Bedford Flea is returning for its second year, but the new organisers have had to be extra creative as they navigate running the event during the pandemic.
The first Flea market of the year will take place this weekend – but to keep everyone safe, the organisers will be running the event online rather than in St Paul’s Square.
The Bedford Flea Virtual Market Showcase begins at 10am until 3.30pm on Sunday 14 March, and will be live on the Bedford Flea event page on Facebook and on their Instagram page.
“We’re trying to keep spirits high,” explained organisers Talia Giles and Hannah Hey, both artists who will also be selling their work at the event.
“Our aim this year was to not only expand the affordable art offering, but also launch our local produce market. It’s akin to a farmer’s market, and includes produce that is grown or handcrafted within a 20 mile radius of St Paul’s Square.”
The Bedford Flea, Affordable Art and Local Produce virtual marketplace will have over 20 traders, including many that are new for this season.
Each seller has been showcased in a ‘spotlight’ on Bedford Flea’s social media pages, to give customers a sneak peek at what’s on offer.
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So, how will the virtual event work?
“At 10am, Hannah and I will be live, introducing the day, and from then on, each stallholder will have a 10-15minute slot where all of their wares are on sale,” explained Talia.
“The audience can respond to the posts of items they like/want to buy and then each stallholder will complete the sale direct with the customer.”
As an added extra, the organisers have let slip that there will be special offers and discounts as well as competitions for the viewers.
“It’s been rather a strange time for all of us, particularly all the small businesses and self-employed people out there who basically make up the entire Bedford Flea family,” said Talia.
“As the new organisers of this market for 2020, we planned some epic outdoor fun for all of our Flea dates this year, so, the Covid crisis came as a bit of a shock in more ways than one.
“We’re hoping that we will still be able return to our home in St Paul’s Square at some point later in the year (maybe even with an added August date) but, in the meantime, we will do everything in our power to keep the spirit of the Flea alive.
“We’re sending love and good vibes to all during this time and we have fingers crossed that retail will comeback fighting harder than ever before – small businesses and the self-employed are the most creative, hardy folk out there and keep the market culture alive, so please, just keep giving us your support and before you head online to all the big retail chains out there to start shopping, remember that your £££s are so much better spent locally and will help keep everyone afloat.”
Bedford Flea, Affordable Art & Local Produce Market
Sunday 14 June
10am – 3.30pm
Live across Bedford Flea event page and Instagram.