The Night Market was certainly full of surprises. Possibly the first surprise was the organisers agreeing to let me take a stall: this is absolutely not a fetish or adult event (so yes, I left the hardcore bondage, fisting and play-piercing stuff at home).
Second surprise had to be the sheer beauty of the venue: Manchester’s Victoria Baths. For those not familiar with it, this is an old swimming pool/bathhouse that is currently being used as an event venue while funds are raised to continue restoring it and, like so many of that era’s philanthropic public spaces, it is stunning even in its state of moderate disrepair. It’s a good job I’m a quick set-up type of stall as I spent quite a lot of the time between arriving and the doors opening just wandering around with my mouth open. Stained glass! Glorious tiling! Vintage metal changing cubicles! I only just made it back to my pitch before the first influx of punters.
Yes, there were punters. It’s a big event, with a lot of stalls and a lot of attendees – I haven’t traded at anything as busy as this one since the glory days of the original Eroticas. (Please note, dear fetish-market friends, that this place had three, maybe four, huge rooms – well, empty full-size swimming pools – all full of stalls and, at some points, all full of punters.) And I did pretty well, getting a fair few customers myself. Another nice surprise was that my offspring (now 18) who I brought along, chose to up and sell a book, all by herself, while I was out sneaking a cigarette.
I have been considering, for some time, the viability of doing slightly more mainstream events from time to time even as the fetish market scene expands, though many of those which pop up in my social media are clearly not so suitable. However, the delights of the Night Market make me more inclined to keep exploring.