There’s no denying it – Singaporeans love their flea markets.
Thus, from the overwhelming popularity of the annual Artbox Singapore event, it was pretty much expected that a ‘same same, but different’ newcomer would see the same roaring success.
That assumption was true…to a certain extent.
CMYK: The Shade Of Young Enterprise
Called CMYK (short for ‘Creative Millennials Youth Karnival’), the event promised more than 500 stalls selling food, clothes, crafts, and all the stuff you’ll usually find at flea markets.
Just like Artbox, CMYK is inspired by the sprawling flea markets in Bangkok, and brought together vendors from Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and even Hong Kong and Australia.
Held just last weekend from 20-23rd Sept, CMYK was located at the Bayfront Event Space, which Artbox occupied just a few months back.
It was also expected to attract “more than 500,000 people and make $5 million over the four days”.
From photos of the event, while it seems like the event definitely had a more than decent turnout, vendors at the event were in for a rude shock.
F&B Vendors Fined $300 For Not Having Appropriate License
In a report by The New Paper, “more than 30 of the 70-plus F&B vendors” at the event received summons from the National Environment Agency (NEA) after finding out that they did not have licenses to operate their booths.
This was despite the fact that vendors had submitted the required documents for the license application to the organiser ahead of time.
The first of several enforcement operations by NEA was conducted last Thursday, when many of the stores were still in the process of setting up.
According to vendors that The New Paper spoke to, they were told by the officers that their license applications weren’t approved and were subsequently issued a $300 fine.
One vendor also shared that “he had previously taken part in similar events and never had an issue with licences”.
3 out of the 4 vendors with license issues said that they received full refunds, “which included booth rental fees, additional fees for electrical points and the NEA fines”.
However, they added that they still “lost thousands of dollars” from miscellaneous costs that were incurred in preparation for the event, like transportation, materials, and manpower.
And it wasn’t just licensing issues that plagued the event – several vendors also mentioned that water supply and electricity were “cut off several times” over the four-day event.
When approached by The New Paper, the organiser said it “accepted full responsibility for the issues that arose”, but also “needed time to resolve them”.
In spite of this, a vendor that The New Paper spoke to called it a “well-marketed event” and shared that sales was brisk, and “people came and it was crowded”.
While there’s no denying the success rate of such events, perhaps organisers should take a note from this event and ensure that administrative matters are better handled.