PETALING JAYA: Good Vibes Festival 2023, one of the year’s most anticipated and momentous entertainment events, was cancelled on Saturday following a controversial onstage stunt involving UK band The 1975.
While concertgoers may be concerned with ticket refunds, 22 food vendors who invested at least RM10,000 to prepare for the three-day festival have bigger worries ahead of them, even as the government investment arm MyCreative Ventures has said it would look into assisting those affected by the cancellation.
Regardless of how one feels about how the entire situation unfolded and was handled, it’s worth noting that many Malaysian foodies have come together to support these establishments during this challenging time.
In part one of this article, FMT Lifestyle presents 11 of the vendors who need your support, as well as how and where you can find them.
Don’t miss part two of this list tomorrow.
1. Sausage Sizzle Malaysia
Offering handmade juicy sausages, this small-time street food vendor was among those that were hit hard by the turn of events. Owner Nazri Adam then took to Instagram to express his thoughts in a video that went viral.
“We are all micro businesses hoping for our chance to boost our sales, to boost our revenue. Times are tough, this year has been tough in general. Opportunities like this at Good Vibes don’t come often,” he said.
“We have spent over RM15,000 minimum on food stocks for this event, but that doesn’t include rental, accommodation, staffing logistics, and the time it took us to prepare all the food for the festival. This is not a small amount for entrepreneurs like us. How do we move forward from this?”
By the support of fellow Malaysians, that’s how! Sausage Sizzle is clearing major stocks from Good Vibes at the Riuh event held at Fraser Valley Kuala Kubu Bharu in Hulu Selangor this weekend (July 28-30).
2. A Pie Thing
Owned and managed by three young entrepreneurs, A Pie Thing specialises in a range of one-of-a kind savoury and sweet pies.
With their recent move from a physical store in Damansara Utama, Petaling Jaya to a temporary cloud kitchen, things have been even more difficult for them.
“As many of you would know, we have recently moved away from a physical store. In doing so, every decision we make has to be calculated carefully as we do not have the resources we once had.
“To have two-thirds of the event suddenly cancelled is seriously damaging to not only every food vendor’s excess stock but to their financial, physical and mental exertions,” they wrote on social media.
Another vendor, local favourite myBurgerLab, similarly voiced their concerns via their Instagram profile.
“While we’re tearing down our stalls in the afternoon heat of Sepang, we realise: how will we and all the other food vendors recover from this?”
For many of these vendors, it’s not just about the money – it’s also about “the time, effort, collaboration, and lost sleep we had to go through”, they said.
4. Dream Burger – Penang [NON-HALAL]
In challenging times, even food vendors – many of whom one might presume to be competitors – can be seen helping one another out. Case in point: myBurgerLab showed up for their fellow burger buddy who came all the way from Penang for the festival!
At a pop-up in collaboration with flaaah bakery, myBurgerLab made a special appearance to help small-time Dream Burger sell all its remaining food that had been prepared for the three-day event.
And, thanks to the amazing support from Malaysians, they sold out!
5. Kickin Prawns
While some vendors have managed to recoup some, if not all, of their losses, others like Kickin Prawns have been unable to do so.
Event organisers and restaurants invited them to operate a pop-up store at their venues but, owing to limited manpower, space and capacity, they haven’t been able to bounce back in such a short period.
And while you may not be able to purchase food from Kickin Prawns directly, you can still show your support to these entrepreneurs in other ways.
Owners Sam and Adeline have been running Abbey Road Bistro in Penang for over 10 years, while co-owners Gee and Lynn run a humble neighbourhood speakeasy known as Locker & Loft in Damansara Kim, Petaling Jaya.
“We are genuinely saddened that we couldn’t serve you our Kickin Prawn rolls this time, but if you’d like to show us some love, please visit Abbey Road or come say hi at Locker & Loft in PJ for a wonderful evening,” they wrote.
6. Kingu Kongu
This izakaya-style Japanese restaurant in Chow Kit, Kuala Lumpur – which serves some of the best yakitori, sushi, soba bowls and more – was all set to make a splash at the festival.
Despite the cancellation, there’s still time to experience their culinary delights.
“Please help us prevent food wastage by dropping by our restaurant,” they said on social media, “and you will be entitled to get free chicken karaage that we have exclusively created for #GVF2023.”
7. Pizza Mansion
This popular pizza place, which started with an outlet at Happy Mansion in Section 17, Petaling Jaya, is cultivating the spirit of #NoBadVibes with its current promotion.
For a limited time only, all Pizza Mansion outlets – including on Jalan Mesui in Bukit Bintang, at The Five Damansara and Kiara Bay in KL, and in Semenyih, Selangor – will be serving Personal Pizzas and Truffle Mac & Cheese, each priced at only RM20 while stocks last.
From cheesy nachos to KL’s best tacos, this humble food truck serves some of the most indulgent Mexican dishes – a box of happiness, a bite of pure joy. Who wouldn’t love to dig in?
Visit them at Tapak Urban Street Dining in Ampang and Cheras from 5pm-1am daily.
You can also find them at the Art of Speed event in Serdang this weekend (July 29 & 30), as well as at Stadium Bukit Jalil this Saturday (July 29) for Muse’s “Will of the People” world tour performance.
Don’t forget to check out NachosLah on Instagram.
9. Nomms Fried Chicken
Nomms offers a unique take on ayam goreng by having their chooks pressure-fried. The result? Crispy, juicy and absolutely scrumptious chicken to satisfy the most discerning meat lover!
Post cancellation, they had about 1,300 portions remaining, but thanks to the power of social media and foodies in the area, they sold out rapidly at both their outlets.
“It’s been a crazy couple of days, from our in-house preparation, begging suppliers to reserve more chicken for us, to setting up our booth, and to see the disappointed faces of everyone at the end of the first night,” they wrote on social media.
“It’s like somehow after the event, Malaysia reunited once again, regardless of race, skin colour and religion.”
The battle may be over but it doesn’t hurt to drop by – plus they’re working on a new menu!
Operating since 2019, Hijau is home to the freshest plant-based Indo-Malay cuisine in KL. Just take a look at what’s on their menu: rendang burger and nasi kerabu percik, to name just two – what a hit that would’ve been at the festival!
Not to worry, you can still support them by checking out their outlet in Damansara City Mall, Bukit Damansara. Go get your green on!
11. Wok It Malaysia
Serving memorable wok-fired meals in Bangsar, Wok It Malaysia has a little something for everyone, from customisable stir-fries to delicious sides such as chicken wings and onion rings.
Again, it’s a real shame that festival goers were deprived of the opportunity to sample their wares – this restaurant is giving quite a twist to the term “wok hei”!
Nevertheless, it’s not too late to sink your teeth into their drool-worthy offerings – “wok” into their Bangsar outlet for a satisfying dining experience, or get your meals delivered from their Mont Kiara branch.