MaryAnn Rolle, 55, appeared in the Netflix documentary Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened and claimed she spent $50,000 of her own money to cater the event, which did not take place.
She started a GoFundMe campaign to recoup the costs after she was not paid by organizer Bill McFarland, who she says owes her $134,000 for making and serving food to festival staff.
“I don’t even like to talk about the Fyre Festival,” Rolle said in the documentary. “Just take it away and just let me start a new beginning. Because they really, really, really hurt me.”
Last week, Netflix and Hulu premiered documentaries on the disastrous 2017 music festival, which was billed as a luxury event, to take place on a private island in the Bahamas. When festgoers arrived, however, they found hurricane tents from FEMA, limited food and water, entertainers had cancelled their appearances and, because of cancelled flights, many people were stranded on the island. The experience was a far cry from the villas, musical acts and lavish food that were promised to those who had paid thousands of dollars to attend.
McFarland, who organized the event alongside rapper Ja Rule, was sentenced to six years in prison last fall in connection with the fest after he pled guilty to wire fraud earlier in the year.
“As I make this plea it’s hard to believe and embarrassing to admit that I was not paid…I was left in a big hole,” Rolle wrote on GoFundMe. “My life was changed forever, and my credit was ruined by Fyre Fest.”
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Teddy is a multimedia journalist who serves as the culture and political writer for EBONY. His work has appeared in NBC's Owned and Operated stations, as well as DNAInfo, which covered local neighborhood news in New York City. He received his Masters in Journalism from the Craig Newmark School of Journalism at CUNY in 2017.