This weekend in Sydney, what was supposed to be an eight-course feast on the beach turned into a makeshift pizza party — and pissed-off attendees are demanding refunds for their pricey tickets, The Age reports.
Held at the famous Bondi Beach, the event was billed as “A Moveable Feast” and catered by Australian celebrity chef Luke Mangan. But guests, who paid $165 (around $125 USD) each for tickets, say the pop-up was a disorganized disaster that left them standing in line for hours to get bottles of wine they’d pre-paid for; many allegedly weren’t fed at all, while those who did get their meals compared them to airline food.
The pop-up seemingly drew inspiration from events like Diner en Blanc, which gathers people in picturesque outdoor settings for communal meals that appear to be one big Instagram thirst trap. While Diner en Blanc attendees bring their own food, Mangan’s event was considerably more ambitious, promising elaborate, multi-course meals served in “gourmet picnic hampers.”
But photos posted to Facebook from the event show food served in typical takeout-style plastic containers, complete with paper salt packets — certainly not what people expected after ponying up $330 AUS for tickets, which were only sold in pairs.
Some attendees took dinner into their own hands, apparently ordering delivery from Domino’s:
“More like ACF: A COMPLETE FARCE,” an angry attendee wrote on Facebook. “Good luck selling tickets next year. Piss poor organisation, tiny portions of cold, over priced ordinary quality food,” another posted. Others accuse the event’s organizers of greed, claiming that as many as 3,000 tickets were sold despite the fact there clearly weren’t enough staff or resources to support that many guests.
Organizers have yet to make any public statement about the debacle, or whether they’ll be issuing refunds; a post-event Facebook post reads, apparently without irony, “What a night it’s been.”
A Moveable Feast did not immediately respond to a request for comment.