Fyre Festival’s Organizers Didn’t Pay a Restaurant Owner, So GoFundMe Donors Stepped In

Fyre Festival’s Organizers Didn’t Pay a Restaurant Owner, So GoFundMe Donors Stepped In

A Bahamian restaurant owner who lost a fortune as a result of the Fyre Festival debacle has recouped nearly all of her losses after a GoFundMe campaign raised more than $167,000.

The owner, MaryAnn Rolle, 55, was featured in the Netflix documentary “Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened,” one of two documentaries released this month that chronicle the 2017 music festival disaster, which left attendees stranded without food or drinking water and sleeping on beaches in makeshift tents. The other new film is Hulu’s “Fyre Fraud,” which also takes a critical look at the festival and its organizers.

Well-heeled festivalgoers were cheated out of tickets costing hundreds or thousands of dollars, and local islanders were not paid for their services in building the infrastructure for the festival on Great Exuma in the Bahamas. In the Netflix documentary, Ms. Rolle explains that she spent $50,000 of her savings and received no compensation from festival organizers. In May 2017, she told The New York Times that she was owed $134,000 by festival organizers. She said her credit had been ruined.

The campaign was Ms. Rolle’s last appeal for help because she, like other island business owners and workers who provided services to festival organizers, was left empty-handed. GoFundMe verified the campaign and Ms. Rolle posted a thank-you note on Facebook. In her interview, she offered this advice: “Be mindful of strangers.”

She said she had participated in the Netflix documentary because she wanted to tell the world what happened to her island community. “People have responded well,” she said. “What a wonderful world we live in where people are so generous.”

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