It is well and truly winter here in Australia, and in my home town of Melbourne, it gets pretty chilly. We are pretty far south. And you would naturally think that it is pretty quiet at night around town – especially during the week. Ah but that is where Melbourne is different. There is always, always something to do in Melbourne and the weather is no kind of deterrent at all. So on a chilly Wednesday night, I found myself at the Queen Victoria Winter Night Market. I was fortunate enough to have been invited to a press event for the market. More on that later.
As many of my friends and followers will know, I love Melbourne markets. Both during the day and night. I have written about my times exploring Melbourne’s amazing markets many many times. But the Queen Victoria Night Market is a fantastic event that seems to now be running all year around. I have written twice about the Summer night market here and here. I have written about the Hawker Night Market here. And even written about the Euro Night Market here. I love these events for many reasons. For me, they are a street photographers playground with people getting together for food and company, vendors preparing and selling food. Smoke and steam filling the halls. Then, of course, there is food! Oh, so much food and from so many different cultures. Mouth watering meats from the Mediterranean. Delicious dumplings from Asia. Soul-warming soups and crispy pizzas. So much food.
Then, of course, there is the environment. Queen Victoria Market has been around for ever. I remember going to the Sunday market there as a kid. And now as an adult, I enjoy it all the more. The buildings provide a perfect backdrop for street photography. And the people that fill the sheds are all engaged in the environment, the food, the attractions and the company. And for a cold Wednesday night, this market was absolutely packed. Even by the time I left the market, the crowds were still flowing in. It is a perfect destination after work to meet up with some friends and grab some fantastic food. Grab a Brick Lane Lager or a Mulled Wine and go and sit by one of the giant outdoor fire pits. Or watch one of the many wandering performers. Or simply grab a table and watch the world go by in all its multicultural glory.
And that brings me to my main love of the market. Regardless of the political or news-driven environment going on in the world, this is a place of peace. It is what makes Melbourne such a fantastic city. A mix of cultures from every corner of the world coming together to enjoy a mix of other cultures through food and experience and company. That’s the kind of connectedness I want to see in my world. And the Queen Victoria Night Market is the perfect platform for that. I love capturing that on my camera and creating content and stories about my experiences.
On this particular occasion, I was at the Queen Victoria Winter Night Market for their press event – Christmas In July. They had encouraged all participants to wear their best Christmas jumpers. Fortunately and unfortunately I don’t own any so garish. The event hosted probably around 30 – 40 people. Mostly social media influencers who, like me, had been invited to attend and enjoy all that was on offer. Any boy did they offer a lot. We were in a fenced-off area with seating and tables and a small bar just for us. And then staff would bring in giant trays of food they had sourced from the food vendors around the market. Let’s see. They brought out Polish Dumplings, Pork Buns, Pizza, Arancini Balls and some cream and chocolate filled pastry. Not just a piece or two for each person. Each of those dishes was a whole serving per person. So while I was not sponsored for this blog, I must declare that they fed me well.
As it was Christmas In July, lots of the vendors had decoration on their stalls, or their staff wore Christmas themed clothing. There was a group of Christmas trees set up and sparkling at the front of the market – just near the main entrance. And, to top it all off, there was a pair of snow machines raining snow down on the crowds of people. Something very nostalgic about Christmas, especially in this setting. Kids were having a ball and couples were taking selfies under the falling snow while Christmas songs played overhead.
As I have written before, the Night Markets are beautiful events. For all the reasons above. I highly encourage anyone that has not been to rug up and get down there with some friends for a great feed, a few drinks and a cultural experience that is so very Melbourne. The Queen Victoria Night Market – Christmas in July runs until 31 July. Merry Christmas…kind of. Happy eating. Happy shooting.
All images were shot with the Fujifilm X-T3 with the XF23mmF2 or the XF50mmF2. Alternate shots taken with the Fujifilm X70.