Punk rock culture started in the 1970s with the advent of musical acts such as the Sex Pistols and the Ramones. So the fact that the once anti-establishment movement is now being marketed as nostalgia and retro fashion shouldn’t be all that surprising – many of 1977’s rebellious punks are now accountants and bankers with disposable incomes and fond memories of their youth.
The punk ethos has been seen on the pop charts, the Broadway stage and fashion runways, but when the Southeast Punk Flea Market rolls into the Jamil Temple this weekend, it will feature collectibles, vintage clothing and plenty of unique and diverse shopping opportunities.
Started in Greenville by Chris Hall, currently of the band Camino, the flea market concept follows a similar DIY approach to a tour by an underground punk band. Hall was booking those tours in the 1990s, so it makes sense that he’d take the Punk Flea Market to some of those same spots.
The event makes regular appearances in Atlanta, Greenville, Spartanburg, Charleston, Savannah and Richmond, Virginia, in addition to Columbia.
“The Southeast Punk Flea Market is an event that focuses on underground art, alternative fashion and anything that surrounds the culture while giving like minded individuals a place to showcase their creations and hopefully make a little extra money selling their goods,” the event’s website states. “If you are a fan of weirdo art, vinyl records, vintage clothes or possibly a collector of strange and unusual things, this event is for you!”
Keith Woodward, who owned the Columbia punk fashion and lifestyle store Superior Feet Playhouse for many years, is at every one of the stops as a vendor.
“We sell vintage music-inspired fashions, along with physical media, including books, posters and records,” he said. “There is definitely something for everybody there, whether from us or the other vendors.”
Why does punk culture still resonate with audiences and shoppers? Woodard has at least a partial explanation.
“People don’t realize it but so much of our current culture has been affected by the punk scene,” he said. “People are about 70% punk influenced, whether they realize it or not.”
So whether you’re looking for a vintage leather jacket, that first pressing of a favorite Danzig album, or some cool posters for your dorm room, it can probably be found at the Southeast Punk Flea Market.