I want to share another little treasure this week. As the New Year sets in I have a list of all the things that I have wanted to share on here for a while now. I am on a mission to share all the amazing vintage/second hand/flea/creative/craft markets that I find on my travels and spread the wealth about all the magical people getting it together and doing something special in their part of the world.
Flea Market, Barcelona, is one of them.
This event is a particular treasure as I have watched it grow a little over the last few year/s. I have even had a table there myself at points to get rid of my rather large wardrobe (which still bulges to excess). Flea Market recently celebrated it's 3rd birthday with a grand re-opening at a new bigger venue, providing more space for Flea Marketeers to peddle their wares.
I think the organisers are doing something
Barcelona and for those who LOVE to rummage. It is very much a social event, as it is a shopping event and the perfect way to spend a Saturday afternoon in my eyes. If you don't want to grab a bargain you can just have a look along, check out the great music, eat hotdogs as the catering is now provided by 'The Dog is Hot' (I tried one myself and they are SO tasty) or just hang out and socialise in a vibrant setting with vibrant people.
Flea Market organisers, Diagonal Mark and his partner Natufa Perez, have taken sometime and answered a few questions about their monthly event. Hopefully the mini interview below will give you an insight into the background of how Flea Market began, how it has grown and what to expect when you pop along this Saturday.
Simple; questions and answers. Perfect.
Mini interview with organisers Diagonal Mark and Natufa Perez.
Where did the idea of the Flea Market come from? and what inspired you to set up the
'Flea Market' , Barcelona?
Anyone coming to live in Barcelona from England will spot the desperate lack of charity shops, flea markets, bring & buys, car boots sales and the like. What finally convinced me to pull my finger out and organise something was an ex-flatmate's leaving and needing to get rid of loads of stuff at low, low prices. So we started something up, downstairs at a bar in Raval. It was quite quiet as I recall, not even said pal turned up, having gone out on the tiles the previous night. Word soon got around, however, and the number of folk turning up encouraged us to try to make it bigger and betterer.
Who are the main people involved involved in Flea market's smooth monthly running?
I started it off, I like to be known as Diagonal Mark, but my partner Natufa Perez has been promoted to president since she has been putting in more work over the last year or so, achieving us recognition as a cultural organisation in Spain and hustling permission to take 'El Flea' to the street, which you will all find out about soon.
I can't not give credit to the dedicated Flea Marketeers, who have been showing up with top gear at low, low prices for the last three years. So I won't not.
Dedicated Flea Marketeers peddling their wares
The Flea Market began in a bar called Dostrece, then onto Mau Mau and now there is a new venue. Are you hoping to keep the monthly running to this venue?
At the moment, we're happy with Espai Jove D'example (Youth centre), for the meantime it will be our home. However, as the hermit crab outgrows its shell, we will inturn have to find a new place to be. The next jump is likely to be a placa, which Natufa has sorted out to happen in the near, to fairly near future.
Has it been a long process to get the Flea Market to where it is? Have the venues and people generally been helpful and embraced the idea?
We brought a lot of people to Dostrece and Mau Mau, who were always supportive of us. We outgrew both venues, and only after an extremely lengthy and boring process of becoming a cultural assosiation we were allowed to bring the market to an adequate venue at a price that we could afford, taking into consideration the low, low fees we charge for a stall.
What should stall holders do if they want to get involved or have a stall at the next Flea Market?
We announce the market first on Unitedjumble, then several days later we do a mail-out. Anyone who wants to be on the mailing list simply has to bang us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You have to have good quality second hand gear and not expect daft money for your stuff. You also have to have 10 Euros that you are willing to part with in exchange for a 2m x 1m table, a cheery face and good manners.
Are there any rules for having a stall? Has it all got to be second hand?
We are 99% second hand bargains, sometimes people come with cakes and little knick knacks to sell. We feel there are plenty of opportunities for people to sell handicrafts and such and peddle their wares in Barcelona already and would like to offer an alternative.
Loads of lovely shoes!
What are the best bargains that you have come across whilst doing the Flea Market?
First of all, I'd like to say that I have rarely made more on my stall than I have spent. People bring good-ass stuff and as I'm invariably there from the start, I can't let some things go anywhere but home. I'd say amongst my all time best buys were a Michael Jackson mirror, which has subsequently been smashed by a cat of mine, a copy of Rockwell's ' Somebody's Watching Me' with home illustrated sleeve, and a black padded Nike baseball jacket which has stood me well for three winters. I'd say I paid about 30 Euro's for those three items.
What are your grand plans for further development and the future of El Flea?
I don't think it's crazy to consider a weekly Flea in open air before too long. Others cities of a similar size have one, why can't we?
Tell me about Unitedjumble. I LOVE this blogspot and think it's a great way of uniting Flea lovers. Tell me where the idea came from and what inspired you to start it?
A friend of ours moved home to Porto from Catalonia, taking with her the idea and our blessing to start one up there using the same name and imagery, which has been going two years now. Another good friend was working on one in Berlin, unbeknownst to me, but when I went to visit I saw that there was potential for uniting in some way, if only to inspire one another to keep pushing the second-hand ideal. Any similar market is welcome to participate, as are Flea Marketeers reporting on any experiences they may have had in the diggin' game.
Pictures from Flea Market's grand re-opening
The Hustle and Bustle of the Flea Market
People having a good rummage for bargains
After reading all about the Flea Market, hopefully it has tempted you into getting out of bed before 3pm on a saturday (which I know in Barcelona can sometimes can be a task!) and enjoying the event in good company and grab yourself a bargain, which shouldn't be too hard.
For anyone that hasn't experienced the Flea Market yet then you are in luck as the next event is this Saturday the 15th January 2011. For all the finer details it kicks off at 1pm and finishes up at 6pm. The venue is Espai Jove, De L'Eixample, C/Ali-Bei 120. The nearest Metro stop is Marina. If you can't make it then check the details below for future events. I for one am looking forward to the summer sun and 'El Flea' taking to the open air!
Happy Rummaging! :)
All the details you need are here.
Check out the blogspot and sign up for mailouts here. You will find all the best Flea Markets around the world here or get in touch if you want to add to one.
Join the Facebook Group by clicking the link.
Details for Flea Market Porto
If you would like a stall, want more information or just want to say 'hello' and tell the guys how wonderful they are, mail them here.