Peabody Heights Brewery is planning a night market series for September and October. Photo courtesy of Peabody Heights Brewery.

Peabody Heights Brewery is inviting Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) artists and vendors to participate in their market series after a separate group’s Asian food festival on Saturday frustrated attendees with long lines, overcrowding, sold-out food and other issues.

The brewery in central Baltimore’s Abell neighborhood wants participants from last weekend’s Asia Collective Night Market in Howard County to “do what they do best under smaller and more manageable circumstances.

Eddie O’Keefe, vice president of Peabody Heights Brewery, was dismayed by the negative experiences that attendees of the Asia Collective Night Market had.

“As a Korean-American owned and operated small business, the highly publicized failure of the Asia Collective Night Market hurts,” O’Keefe said in a statement.

Peabody Heights Brewery wrote in a Facebook post that they worry people will view other AAPI events with cynicism based on their negative experiences at the Asia Collective Night Market

“Amidst rising AAPI hatred we feel the event has set back AAPI creatives and entrepreneurs … We earnestly hope the anticipated success of our mini Night Markets can serve as a rebuttal to all those inclined to write off AAPI cultural events,” they wrote.

Organizers for Asia Collective Night Market wrote on Instagram on Sunday that they had faced an “unexpected sheer volume of individuals who did not have tickets driving to the fairground,” and they allowed people to enter the fairground without tickets to reduce traffic.

A Howard County Police Department spokesperson said the event far exceeded the 25,000 attendees that they were permitted to have, The Baltimore Sun reported.

In a subsequent Instagram post on Wednesday, the organizers apologized again for the issues with their event.

“It was with the best of intentions that we embarked on this endeavor to bring awareness to the thriving Asian community and culture in the DMV. And it was clearly above our abilities,” they wrote. “We want to sincerely apologize to those who were stuck in traffic, didn’t have a positive experience, or were left with a negative impression of Asian culture, which is the last thing we would have ever wanted in producing this event.”

Peabody Heights Brewery is seeking to give creatives and businesses from the Asia Collective Night Market another opportunity to showcase their work at the brewery’s own multi-day, mini-night market series.

The brewery, located at 401 E. 30th St., will host the first market event in the series from 5-10 p.m. Sept. 10. They are planning subsequent night markets on Sept. 15, Sept. 22, Oct. 9, Oct. 13, and Oct. 20.

The market series at the brewery will provide “more relaxed conditions,” said Denis Sgouros, co-founder of UPPU, an Asian American and Pacific Islander-owned and operated marketing and events agency.

“As members of the AAPI community and event professionals, my co-founder Rachel
Paraoan and I, aim to ensure that the creatives and small business owners of the [Asia Collective Night Market] have the opportunity to shine under more relaxed conditions than last Saturday,” Sgouros said in a statement. We invite the public to a gentler opportunity to celebrate AAPI culture at Peabody Heights Brewery.”

No more than 300 attendees will be allowed at one time at the brewery’s market.

The event is free to attend and open to the public, but Peabody Heights Brewery is asking attendees to register for tickets to help control the capacity. They will announce tickets on their Facebook and Instagram pages.

Vendors will not have to pay to sell at the market, and artists will receive a stipend. Individuals interested in being a vendor or artist for the brewery’s market series can contact events@peabodyheightsbrewery.com.

Attendees can also make an optional donation, which will support performing talent and an AAPI non-profit.

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Marcus Dieterle

Marcus Dieterle is the managing editor of Baltimore Fishbowl. He returned to Baltimore in 2020 after working as the deputy editor of the Cecil Whig newspaper in Elkton, Md. He can be reached at marcus@baltimorefishbowl.com...