It’s every event planner’s dream to see an excited line forming outside. But when Bauhaus Brew Labs teamed up with Margie and Madeline Siggelkow to throw what was meant to be a casual night market of eccentric vendors, things got out of hand. There were 20,000 RSVPs for the inaugural June event, with lines snaking all the way to Broadway Street.
Ultimately, it was deemed a success by those lucky enough to get in. And it inspired them to keep the party going, fixing the issues without changing the dynamic. Tuesday will mark the third and final night market of 2015. While still a work in progress, Bauhaus promises two things: first, a crazy fun party with lots of fresh beer and, second, that it won’t be the last.
The night market draws influence from New Orleans street fests, where a variety of vendors from artists to food trucks, musicians, and street performers create a carnival-like setting. It’s a public event, with low prices on art and a welcoming spirit.
“There’s so much goodwill with the people in Northeast about it,” explains Lydia Haines, Bauhaus Vice President, “that it sort of overpowered any other qualms anybody had.”
That positivity spilled over to 612Brew down the street, who saw the viral response and opened their taproom on a day when they typically close. “We only had one bartender scheduled for the night,” adds 612 co-owner Robert Kasak. “By the end of the night we had called on all of our bartending staff and owners to help out. It was quite a fun and interesting Tuesday night on Tyler Street.”
With walking brass bands, tarot readers, dog caricature artists, and a variety of quirky arts and boisterous activities, the night market embodies what Bauhaus is about. Beer, of course, but also community vibes and off-center entertainment.
“July was one of the most fun nights of the year,” says Haines. In fact, “It was one of the most positive experiences I’ve ever had.”
So how did they go from oppressive lines and running out of beer on their first try to righting the ship so quickly?
“The biggest thing we learned,” says Haines, “is that we can’t accommodate 20,000 people in this building. That’s a shock to hear, I’m sure,” she laughs, noting that she’s also learned a ton about event planning over the past few months. Another key discovery is her love of mimes. “Seriously, there is no situation in life where I don’t want that mime to just be hanging out with me,” she says.
The headcount is now controlled carefully; a restriction of 3,000 tickets sold in advance and another 500 at the door. While the idea was to keep the event free of charge, the ticket system was a necessary evil to manage crowds, and the money goes directly to the night market and not into the Bauhaus registers. Tickets are $2 in advance and $5 at the door. It's a bargain considering the number of vendors and the set-up involved for the party, which incorporates both their spacious parking lot and the taproom interior.
“I never want Bauhaus to be a place with a cover charge or you can’t get in,” she laments. “That’s the exact opposite of what we wanted to do here so it was a big decision to say we have to do tickets to control that. But otherwise we’ll get steamrolled."
While Tuesday marks the end of night market 2015, Haines promises it will return next year. Bauhaus and the Siggelkows have kinks to work out. It may grow into a pop-up series across Northeast or it may remain as is. One thing is certain: Tuesday is the end of the 2015 season and Bauhaus and the Siggelkows want you to party with them. If fried pickles and the 4H barn isn’t your style, head across the river and do something vibrant, different, and affordably priced.
“We want it to be the biggest celebration of all of them,” Haines says excitedly. “There’s going to be weird stuff going on, the art is going to be quirky, and we’ll sell lots of beer.”
Also, there will be a mime.