Updated: Feb 1
I can't help but wonder what the conversation was like between @radcoffee and @themysticmuseum when they collaborated and came up with the @iepunk flea. When the colorful flyers were posted on social media and basically all over SoCal, I already knew this was to be an insane and incredible event. When it came to the day of the IE Punk Flea, I was still blown away at how successful and fun it was.
In Upland, CA well before the sun even rose on Sunday, February 16 2020, hundreds of vendors began unpacking their cars and setting up for what was to be a day not one of them would ever forget. I heard nothing but, positive feedback, from the ones I spoke to, about how well organized the event planners made their set up and clean up. As a simple guest of the show and an empath I couldn't help but absorb the excitable energy when I arrived just before 10am. I was already feeling good for I found a parking spot right away. I frequent Historic Downtown Upland to get my horror fix and sometimes my hair done at @littleshopofhairdos. I get booze and pizza at @Paulie's and I'm at Rad Coffee weekly. So, I know how limited parking can be at larger events. The line for the free pin and @lovepainandstiches was already intimidating but, its the Horror and now punk community. No one was in a bad mood.
I couldn't wait to roam the four blocks full of vendors. I had to say hello to all of my buddies and take in the crowd which was growing every few minutes. I had to see my favorite cosplayers and shop owners. There was no getting near Rad Coffee for me as the line was down the street. They even had the Rad Coffee truck on hand which too had a line. The food options were incredible and catered to every taste and lifestyle.
The Mystic Museum took over the quaint gazebo that sits in the middle of Downtown Upland. They had it surrounded with their famous photo ops and a booth of their own. Playing in the Gazebo itself was a live band and a DJ. Paulie's booked a Misfit's tribute band, and even had a little pit going! So, there was no lack of entertainment.
It seemed like the cosplayers kept meeting in the middle there. I met some new creepy friends and loved up the ones I already know. It may have been a punk flea event, but, Rad Coffee and the Mystic Museum are known for their tremendous involvement amongst the horror family. I even got to meet some local and horror community celebrities!
I can't gage how much walking was done but, I must have made several rounds. I kept missing vendors, or they were swamped with customers so I had to keep going back. Thankfully @liquiddeath was on hand (until they rapidly ran out of water) to keep the flea patrons hydrated.
On that note, man-o-man it was exciting to witness the success each and every vendor had. @backstichbruja sold out of pretty much everything she brought and still had a few hours until the event ended. @strangecvlt only had slim pickings by the time I arrived at his booth about two hours into the show. Three days later, my vendor friends are still raving about the IE Punk Flea and how it was one of the best shows they have ever attended.
I have heard there are talks of another IE Punk Flea for 2021. However, I think we all can agree we want more than one a year. Or is that the point? To keep it so we punk and horror fanatics have that one show we can look forward to early in the year. Either way this is an event worth waiting for!