How to set up an indie label market

Independent label market is taking place this saturday in east London's Old Spitalfields Market. In anticipation, one of the organizers talks through how the project began and is run.


Words by: Charlie Jones

The Guardian have just published a piece from Joe Daniel, one of the people behind the Independent Label Market project, the next installment of which is taking place tomorrow in east London at Old Spitalfields Market. The article talks about the origins of the idea for the market, which has so far taken place in London’s Berwick Street and in Brooklyn. This weekend, a market is being thrown in support of independent labels who lost their wares in the Sony Warehouse fire during the August London riots and, as with the last two, plenty of independent labels will be selling some pretty cool sounding exclusive wares.

This event is a little different to the others and has come about as a result of the London riots in August, which saw the Sony warehouse in Enfield razed to the ground. Along with storing televisions and Playstations, this warehouse was also used by Pias Distribution who look after the records and CDs of 165 labels. Every label lost all of their stock, which included artists such as Adele, Arctic Monkeys and the Horrors, as well as many smaller names. This market is a benefit for those labels and an opportunity for them to make up for some of the sales lost in those months after the fire. We’ve got some really cool one-off items for sale, including a signed copy of a pink Elton John 7in, and a handwritten John Cale lyric sheet. Additionally, the Go! Team, Roots Manuva and These New Puritans will don their fingerless gloves and help out behind the stalls.

Becoming a fully licensed London market trader was exciting. The experience has been novel and a big learning curve. Dealing with councils and other local traders was completely different to working in music. I was concerned other marketeers might think we were encroaching on their turf, but they were vhelpful [sic], putting up posters for us and lending us crates and step ladders as we set up.

Of course, there was a bit of concern as to whether the concept would work. People asked if indie fans were outgoing enough to hawk their wares in a loud market environment. But then, when you think about it, indie labels are usually started by one or two people shouting their mouths off about music they feel passionate about, trying to persuade other people about music they like. Not a million miles away from the scene at a market, so maybe it will come naturally to us indie folk.

Read the full piece here.

The Independent Label Market will take place at Old Spitalfields Market on 10th December 2011

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