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Online fund raises over $100,000 for unpaid Fyre festival staff

A campaign launches to help local victims of Fyre Festival scandal as Netflix documentary brings new stories to light

By Anna Grace on 21 Jan 2019

Fund for unpaid Fyre Festival workers

Restaurant owner Maryann Rolle set up the GoFundMe page

image © Netflix

The release of a Netflix documentary investigating the fraudulent Fyre Festival has sparked an online campaign to reimburse unpaid Bahamian workers who lost life savings in the Fyre fiasco.

A GoFundMe page set up by local catering staff who received no payment for their work with the festival has raised US$129,606 in just seven days. Almost 4,000 people have donated to the page which has almost met its $123,000 target.

The owners of a local restaurant that catered for Fyre Festival staff set up the page following the airing of a Netflix documentary on Friday. The film raised awareness for the many Bahamian workers left unpaid by organisers of the disastrous festival.

Maryann Rolle, owner of Exuma Point Restaurant Bar and Grill, explains in an interview for the documentary how she lost $50,000 of her life savings due to the festival’s failings.

“My life was changed forever, and my credit was ruined by Fyre Fest”

“It has been an unforgettable experience catering to the organisers of Fyre Festival. Back in April 2017 I pushed myself to the limit catering no less than a 1,000 meals per day,” writes Rolle on the GoFundMe page.

“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! My life was changed forever, and my credit was ruined by Fyre Fest.”

The online fundraiser has verified the page, which has received the endorsement of the film’s producers.

Festival organiser and “serial fraudster”, Billy McFarland, received a six year prison sentence and US$26 million fine for his role in the festival, defrauding investors, fans and staff alike.


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