‘Hangry’ vegans fuming over nine-course fail
VEGANS were left angry and confused after a "nightmare" cruise on Sydney Harbour on Saturday night.
Advertised as a four-hour cruise around Sydney Harbour from Circular Quay from 7pm-11pm, the Sydney Vegan Club event promised live music, stunning views and a seven-course - later changed to a nine-course - dinner of canapes.
Patrons were told to "prepare for a feast", but the reality was anything but, with hundreds of disgruntled attendees taking their complaints to social media.
"It felt like I was on the Hunger Games or vegan Survivor," said one disappointed attendee.
"I hadn't eaten properly the whole day and was saving my appetite for the cruise."
"I didn't have huge expectations, and knew food might not be abundant, but never to that extent."
The woman said there were huge mobs of people standing outside the kitchen, waiting for any sign of food. After four hours, she had only eaten three tiny falafels and felt "trapped, dizzy and starving".
Nicole Madden and her partner attended the cruise as part of a Valentine's Day gift, and were angered by the so-called nine-course meal.
"We are feeling extremely disappointed," Ms Madden said.
Her partner contacted the event organisers and received a "half-hearted apology full of contradictions and blame".
The organisers posted a public apology in the group later that day, thanking all those who had attended and left positive feedback, referring to the night as a "success".
They apologised for guests who felt they didn't receive enough food on the night by stating that "25 per cent of the guests ate 50 per cent of the food".
Ms Madden said event-goers were only allowed one appetiser per person, and if a guest reached for two, the staff, who were volunteers, would tell them only one.
Another attendee, Natalie Earl, also expressed her dissatisfaction with the evening, and was angered that certain wines on the night were not actually vegan, despite the cruise being advertised as 100 per cent vegan.
"I was so angry. I really didn't think I would have to check labels on a vegan cruise."
She said during the entire night she was only able to snag two small bites of food and along with many other guests flooded local food establishments after the cruise.
"We didn't get what was promised," she said.
"Definitely not a nine-course meal. A total lack of communication and no apologies whatsoever."
Tickets for the event were $60 each and an estimated 400 people took part, totalling about $24,000 in ticket sales. Most of the staff were volunteers and the bulk of the food was sponsored by a natural food company.
One of four musicians on the night said she was paid $150 for her performance.
"It's a shame the volunteers weren't given some kind of pay as they worked really, really hard," she said.
Organisers did not respond to questions about the complaints from news.com.au.