Despite everything your parents said, your affinity for all things emo and punk was not “just a phase.” For those of us who memorized My Chemical Romance lyrics and experimented with too much black eyeliner, a little piece of that middle school punk rocker still lives inside of us. Let your inner pre–teen punk rock enthusiast out at the first–ever Halloween edition of the on October 27–28.
Running all weekend long at , the Punk Rock Flea Market highlights Philly’s rich punk scene. The market showcases more than 200 of the best local bands, apparel brands, collectors, and artists. The best part? It’s carefully designed to foster a sense of community, inclusivity, and independence—all of which are totally punk.
“It’s run for people with a DIY spirit,” says Walter Weber of , the West Philadelphia based online vintage retailer responsible for the flea market. That very notion is at the core of the event’s structure—unlike other niche markets, the Punk Rock Flea isn’t curated. Vendors aren’t selected. Rather, tables are offered to anyone willing to pay and register which “gives people who are excluded from curated events a chance” to share their love of all things counterculture.
This translates to a diverse cross section of offerings. Yes, there will be businesses dealing in rock ’n’ roll wares lined up. Personal favorites include , who specializes in feisty needlepoint work, and , who sells reworked band merchandise and classic denim. But there will also be personal tables, which allow collectors and punk rock savants to showcase momentos. This means you’ll get unrestricted access to decades of punk rock paraphernalia, ranging from original The Clash merch to mint condition Green Day vinyls and signed setlist and ticket stubs from hometown punk bands, like The Wonder Years.
That being said, you don’t need to worship at the alter of The Sex Pistols or name a Blink–182 song to enjoy the Punk Rock Flea Market. “People from all walks of life enter punk culture through all different ways,” says Weber, meaning that you don’t have to conform to the stereotype of a leather–wearing, tattoo–touting punk rocker to feel welcome. The market’s mission is to be a “uniting force that...is open and accessible to all,” including even the most casual of pop punk listeners.
While you shop, be sure to check out their host of eclectic food vendors. Amongst others, University City fan–favorite will be dishing out their signature Spurritos and will be in charge of the brews. After all, you can’t stick it to the man on an empty stomach.
Whether your knowledge of punk spans the Misfits’ entire discography or is limited to the chorus of Bowling for Soup’s banger “1985,” the Punk Rock Flea Market is this weekend’s hottest ticket. You’ll come to buy a leather jacket or a handful of quirky buttons and leave with a newfound appreciation for punk—the genre that brings people together.
Location: The Armory | 22 South 23rd St.
Dates: Oct. 27—28 | 10 a.m.—5 p.m.
Admission: $3 for both days