Pop up shops and online ordering helps Bluesfest food vendors recoup costs and avoid waste

Jess Canabou was among those showing their support for Bluesfest vendors at the weekend, stocking up at the Holy Moly Empanadas pop up shop at Mullumbimby.
Jess Canabou was among those showing their support for Bluesfest vendors at the weekend, stocking up at the Holy Moly Empanadas pop up shop at Mullumbimby.

The fallout from the last minute cancellation of Bluesfest is huge, but there have been some bright spots along the way, including the support the community has offered to the food vendors who were going to be at the festival this year.

People turned out in droves to pop up shops last weekend and have been ordering online from vendors to help them recoup costs and make sure food doesn't go to waste.

A Facebook page set up to help food vendors, Bluesfest Food Recovery, now has more than 2500 followers.

At Mullumbimby, Jerry's Smokehouse and Holy Moly Empanada's pop-up shops sold out at the weekend.

Noosa based food vendor Andres Moccero spent the weekend home delivering his empanadas to homes across the Northern Rivers.

Noosa based food vendor Andres Moccero spent the weekend home delivering his empanadas to homes across the Northern Rivers.

UNBELIEVABLE RESPONSE

Another empanada seller who travelled from Noosa, Andres Moccero of Pipi Cucu, spent the weekend delivering online orders to homes all across the Northern Rivers after a friend shared his predicament on social media.

"The response has been unbelievable," said Mr Moccero, who had made thousands of empanadas for the festival.

"We got over 100 orders, which is great. The support came from everywhere, from Ballina to Lismore to Mullumbimby."

"It's really touching that everyone has gone out of their way, not because they like empanadas, but because they want to support us."

Fiona Roubin, of handmade clothing business Fairtale, invested thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours of work into preparing for Bluesfest

Fiona Roubin, of handmade clothing business Fairtale, invested thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours of work into preparing for Bluesfest

 BIGGEST WEEKEND

The cancellation of Bluesfest was a huge setback for non-food vendors too, like Fiona Roubin of Byron Bay-based handmade clothing store, Fairtale.

She now faces the challenge of selling all of the extra stock she had made for the festival.

"I had been making for the last couple of months quite intensely...working really hard to build up a lot of the collection...because last time I didn't have enough.

"This time it was all set to go ahead, so I really made a lot.

"I spent thousands over the last couple of of months just investing into the festival - fabrics and the whole set up, everything.

I spent thousands over the last couple of of months just investing into the festival - fabrics and the whole set up, everything.

Fiona Roubin

"I invested so much in to it because it's the biggest turnover for the year for me."

She says it was devastating to be told of the cancellation just a day before it was due to start.

"I was just about to put the lights in and finish the set up...we pretty much got told in the last hour of set up."

It's now a case of trying to move the stock.

She'll have an online sale and will organise some special events at her shop in the Byron Industrial Estate.

"I have so much stock now. It's a lot of winter stock, so hopefully I can sell it. But it's a lot. So hopefully it doesn't go to waste."

Meanwhile, Bluesfest announced plans at the weekend to hold a special market on the Bluesfest site for stallholders and says there are plans for a 'rescue package' for everyone involved in the festival.