Behind the Market UMSU International night market 2017

From a student-run Haunted House to camel rides, UMSU International's annual Night Markets attracts a popular following with students with well over 7000 attending every year. The 2017 Night Market saw 19 clubs and societies prepare stalls that offered food, games and drawing as well as performances from dance ensembles to dynamic duo teams.

With the Night Market falling one day before the start of the mid-semester break, I wanted to document the efforts behind the scene in putting this event together from the makeshift cooks to the stars of the nights that are the performers and the actors. It is nights like these we forget that we're just university students.

A student prepares for their club's stall during the set-up period.
Members of UMSU International's International Student Ambassador program being briefed by committee members.

The theme for this year's Night market was "Ancient Egyptian". One of the most peculiar additions to the 2017 market was the opportunity to ride camels. The lines would stretch to inside Union House and the smell was putrid but it created a buzz not seen in previous Night Markets.

Camel riders and its handler pose for a photo during a walk.
Riders posing for a selfie whilst on top of a camel.

Other non-human attractions included a light projection made by Sarah Tan similar to the style of the famous "White Night" on the facade of the Old Commerce/Bank of New South Wales building that is now an entrance for the Melbourne School of Design (MSD). Each projection would be focussed on Ancient Egyptian elements, hieroglyphs and symbols. It was the first time that there such an exhibition on the walls of the MSD.

One of the many projections on the facade of MSD.

It wasn't just camels that were the stars of the show. There was a Photo Booth for people to look silly in as well as Henna drawings and calligraphy. Meanwhile, clubs and societies would try to haggle attendees through creative ways with food, costumes and games. One club, Habitat for Humanity, had a committee member wear a makeshift mummy costume out of the classic material of toilet paper whilst the Japanese club donned colourful outfits from kimonos to Pikachu onesies.

The makeshift mummy costume.
Committee members of the Melbourne University Japanese Club (MUJC).
An International Student Ambassador being treated to a comestic makeover for the night market.
A free Photo Booth means free fun.

One could not forget about the food in a night market. There were dutch pancakes, skewers, popcorn, desserts and an assorted range of cultural/traditional foods that satisfied even the most avid sausage sizzle hunter.

Camels and food weren't the only things to happen at the night market. There was the centrepiece Haunted House run by students inside the Union Lounge.

Two haunted house operators prepare for opening.
An actor for the haunted house.
An actress scaring patrons during a session.
More scenes from the haunted house attraction.

The night market also had live performances from a range of artists and dancers.

UMSU International President Sander Bredal giving an address to attendees.
Two performers rehearsing for their upcoming act.
An ensemble performance.

For a night market run by students, you'd forget your ere on campus. The organising committees from UMSU International, and the students transcended their daily lives to offer something to everyone. The Night Market was a good way to end a tedious mid semester. All eyes are now on UMSU International's next big event, the Festival of Nations.

Students chatting during the end of the night.
Packing up.
The end.
Created By
Alain Nguyen
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