Why should brands keep an eye out for flea markets


On 19th September 2010, Bangalore played host to a massive urban flea market called the Sunday Soul Sante. It featured art, craft, music,and food and saw over 15000 people attending. The flea market of Goa does not need much introduction. A melting pot of cultures; the market is a key offering of the city with tourists swarming the market grounds throughout season time. Similarly, on the 5th & 6th of April, at the Reclamation Ground in Bandra, Mumbai will play host to a very unique event called The Lil Flea. It too is a curated flea market that will see a hundred little pop-up stalls coming together to sell a variety of products with food, music, movies and workshops in tow. Surely something has sparked the flea market trend. EE digs deeper into the story.

 Consumerism!’ states AshaRao, Event Designer at the Sunday Soul Santewhen quizzed about how flea markets are popping up in every city. 'We are flooded with branded goods. I think people want cheaper, more limited-edition stuff that’s made by people they meet at the flea market. Thanks to the Internet, there’s a boom in exposure. People want to live well. They want to beautify their houses with unique products that are artistic, trendy and well designed while staying eco-friendly and biodegradable. In a nutshell, a flea market is a market place with a conscience.’

Alankar Jain who’s heading The Lil Flea weighs in his point. ‘I think there is a need in the city for a fun global and experimental platform that’s not a mall. At a flea market, the whole platform is a crowd puller. It’s the synergy and variety that draws people to it. For instance, at The Lil Flea, we’re curating everything from the pop-up stalls to music, art, food and films. Added to this, there are also interesting workshops that will make people want to attend. So the whole thing is very vibrant and community driven.’

Are brands interested in such a concept? ‘We partnered with Kingfisher, whichcame on board as title sponsor to tap in to the art and culture space. The Times of India also chipped in when we did the Sante the last time. So yes, I do think brands are opening up to the idea.’ says Asha.

We know that the Sante was designed in the form of a bazaar, so we ask Alankar how he plans to design the Lil Flea experience. ‘We’re going in with four curators. One each for food, music, movies and decor. Each of these curators are regulars at other pop-ups and events, so the final output is going to be very beautiful.’ He says.

What does the future hold for such flea markets? ‘When we said we’re organizing a flea market, we got more than a thousand applications from small and interesting brands who wanted to rent a stall. Unfortunately, we could only accommodate about a hundred of them. So we’re planning to host more flea markets so all that the people who missed out this time can cash in,’ says Alankar. Asha too has a similar viewpoint. ‘I organize the Sante every six weeks. My dream in due course of time is ensure that any person who wishes to set up a stall can do so for free.’



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