Melbourne Vegan Eats hosted Melbourne’s first ever Big Vegan Market at Melbourne’s number one exhibition space and heritage-listed venue, the Royal Exhibition Building in Carlton on Saturday the 13th of May.
The event was held from 10am until 6pm with an entry fee of just $2. Huge crowds had already formed before the doors had even opened.
With 8500 people who clicked ” going”, 20,000 people who clicked ” interested” on the Big Vegan Market Facebook page and 520 people checking into the event on the day, it is safe to say that the event was a huge success in bringing in thousands of vegans, vegetarians and even meat lovers like myself to the event throughout the day.
Those who attended were thrilled to see the incredible number and variety of vegan, plant based and cruelty free options that over 150 vendors were offering, including vegan food, drinks, fashion, crafts, skincare and cosmetics.
Popular businesses such as Girls and Boys, The Australian Natural Soap Company, Pressed Juices, Wrappa Bees Reusable Food Wraps and Royal Wolves Apparel attended alongside a diverse range of other businesses.
“The best part was being able to purchase food and products without having to worry or have to ask about the ingredients because they are all vegan and cruelty free” said Emma Wilson.
Melbourne Vegan Eats accepted applications up until the 17th March from 100% vegan businesses and others that are not 100% vegan businesses that still offered vegan and cruelty free products. The owners of the Melbourne Vegan Eats Instagram account Anne and Tim allowed these businesses to to attend as an inclusive approach to not only encourage veganism as a financially viable option as veganism is increasingly becoming more prevalent in society, but to also normalise veganism in the wider community.
Anne and Tim claim that their, “overall aim of the event was to show those who attend that being vegan is easy and you can live amongst people that are not yet vegan and have many great options”.
However, the popularity and success of the event led to a lot of overcrowding, frustrating many who attended and in turn, impacted the amount of time they spent at the event.
“More attention needs to be paid to space, opening up the closed off areas of the building and spreading the stalls out more would have decreased the amount of crowding and including more seating areas for people to actually relax and enjoy their food would have been good,” says Madeline Bregazzi.
The indoor and outdoor food areas were particularly overwhelming as hungry vegans became impatient waiting in 20 minute lines for their food. Both eating areas only offered seating for approximately 100 people, forcing many to have to eat their food on the floor, becoming an extreme safety hazard and concern especially for young children.
Many were also unimpressed with having to wait 40 minutes in line to use the only ATM machine available in the building, as not all stores offered a card payment option.
Despite these few negatives, the event offered such a variety of individual, creative, vegan vendors that played an important role in further sharing and educating the community and non-vegans about the importance of veganism and the ethical and moral benefits the vegan life style has to offer. vendors accomplished this by explaining the benefits of each of their products and by providing many samples of foods, drinks, cosmetics and beauty products for all to try.
The number of vegans globally and in Australia are increasingly growing and events like the Big Vegan Market contribute to the growing numbers, which is why they are so important.
Given the success of this years Big Vegan Market, you can expect that this may become an annual event, to the delight of many dedicated vegans and vegetarians in Melbourne.
If you would like to see an overview of the market, here is a YouTube video showcasing the market.
Source:Pure Health Coach