Michaela Graham is a bit of a 'foodie entrepreneur'— she set up the Atlanta Underground Market, which gave way to the Atlanta Nosh a few months ago. She also put together a flash mob picnic last summer, which was called Feast Noir and took Atlanta by storm. Around 1,000 people dressed in all black brought tables and chairs and food to Atlantic Station and set up camp under the open skies. It was secretive and fun, and people who attended were eagerly anticipating this year's event, which was set to fall on June 23, according to an email Graham sent out on Friday. However, as with all new ventures, there's a risk of failing, and Graham announced this morning that the Nosh has been cancelled permanently and that as a result, she'll be "discontinuing all food events in Atlanta" since she knows her reputation has been shot.
The Atlanta Nosh has been faltering since the beginning. The first market on April 15 was expected to bring in 4000-5000 visitors, and only 800 showed up. A few weeks later, Graham decided to do away with the $5 entrance fee and move the event to a more central location in Atlantic Station to increase foot traffic. And now she's announced that it will be no more. In an email sent out this morning, she said that someone had allegedly gotten sick at the Nosh event on Sunday and was seeking payment as a result. It was just too much to handle after the monetary losses Graham had already incurred— having to set up permits, relocating, reimbursing season ticket holders after canceling the entrance fee, etc— and she decided to shut down the market.
About the mishap, Graham said, "Unfortunately, that was the piece of straw that broke the camel's back. I just don't have the financial ability to deal with that. I can't pay someone, nor can I afford to hire a lawyer. While the vendors were starting to make profit, I only had losses with the Nosh. I was trying to hang on for the vendors that did start their businesses and to make the season pass holders whole, but yesterday just did me in." Interestingly, she was going to ask Feast Noir attendees this year to pay a $10 buy-in, despite the fact that the event would cost her nothing, since she wasn't going to get permission from the secret location where the event would be held and since everything from the tables and chairs to the food is crowd-sourced.