Creative collective RED and party pop-up Background Bars team up for Red Market – an oasis of food, cocktails and Balearic beats in East London.

Creative collective RED and party pop-up Background Bars team up for Red Market – an oasis of food, cocktails and Balearic beats in East London.

Red Market, an outdoor tropical vibes watering hole, tucked in between the old factory buildings of Shoreditch’s industrial past, combines cocktail bars, street-food trucks and Balearic beats to offer a retreat from the steel and glass of brutal London summer.

The brainchild of pop-up party architects Background Bars and RED (a creative collective based in the heart of Shoreditch that facilitate experimental exhibitions and projects in their own space and beyond), Red Market will run every Wed – Sat, 5pm – midnight, until August.

Founded by three entrepreneurs with deep roots in creative events culture stemming back to Acid House and rave – Ernesto Leal, Giuseppe Percuoco and Yarda Krampol – RED is hoping Red Market will bring a bit of carnival spirit to the concrete jungle. We caught up with Ernesto to find out more.

What inspired you to start RED?
My main inspirations came from my childhood in Chile where my mother and father would take my brother, sister, and I to events called Peña. When our family was exiled and eventually landed in Scotland, we would be invited to traditional Scottish Céilidhs. They featured live folk music rich with poetry and storytelling. At times the music would stop to hear someone reciting a poem or someone telling an old folk tale. Both of these involved a high level of dancing and massive amounts of drink and food peppered with children and dogs running around all over the place. In short, it was life.

As I got into my early teens I began to look to the beat generation of the 1950s in New York – finding out about Warhol’s factory in the 1970s and seeing the similarities between the Céilidh, the Peña, and Warhol’s Factory. In the last twenty years I have been running events that have brought different forms of art into a club culture format. These events included a mixture of disciplines including music, deejays, poetry, films, literature, graphics and art. So when I got the chance in 2011 to take on a building, it all came into place. I joined forces with Yarda and Giuseppe and Red was born.

What is it you hope to provide with the space?
There is no purpose to the space, but it’s really down to the type of lease we have and the knowledge that one day this building and car park will not exist. It could be three months, six months or even a year – so this gives us the sense of ‘the now’. All three of us have been involved in club culture and so we know it has to happen here and now; the people that we work with, be it the artists and promoters, also have to work within these boundaries.

We don’t see these as constraints but we see it as a form of freedom. This freedom enables us to work outside the corporate and government grants world and allows us to offer the local community (be it a local primary school, tech company or religious group) to use the space for range of ideas that include raves, film screenings and live music. We like to think of it as a modern day community centre.

What can people expect at Red Market?
Bright colours, a love for the city, a pan-European culture with easy living people, affordable street food and amazing Balearic music.

Is there a ‘do it yourself’ ethic to Red Market?
Yes, to a certain extent. When our landlords gave us the opportunity to take on the lease one of the requirements was to not use it as a car park. The team (a Chilean/Scot, Czech and Italian) came from an acid house culture background so it was a no brainer. We also knew that there were no open spaces in Shoreditch, so decided to mix this together with the so-called street food revolution and Balearic music to create a more continental approach to open-air drinking. As for DIY? We don’t know any different. More important to us is that we’ve been given the chance to create something different that is culturally creative, inclusive with the local community and in the end financially successful.

Why did you choose the particular music line-ups for Red Market?
East London is full of places where people can enjoy amazing, ‘hands in the air’, beat-driven music experiences and for us to create the complete opposite to these places was key. We knew that we had to look for deejays that have an extensive musical knowledge and are not scared of stopping, pausing, silencing and educating the audience during their sets. Cue Mr Phil Mison whom I have known and worked in the past – to me he seemed the only one armed with this knowledge.

Do you think Shoreditch compliments the Red Market personality?
I’ll tell you what I don’t like first – the countryside. I don’t get it. Beer gardens in the Cotswolds, Essex or any other shithole like that. I came into Shoreditch twenty-five years ago; at a time when there were no cafés, no shops, two art galleries, two bars that were only open during the week and only junkies used Hoxton Square. In the words of some of my West London friends it was “that shithole”. Shoreditch didn’t exist; it was an unknown space that in the minds of some Londoners wasn’t even a place. I was following on from past cultural echoes and breaking into warehouses, doing all-night raves, and being in a place that gave me the freedom to create. So the people that live and work in Shoreditch understand where Red Market is coming from. They feel these past cultural echoes and embrace this of type freedom.

If you could do Red Market anywhere else in the world where would you choose and why?
The Cotswolds, Essex, Marlborough and Winchester as these places need a bit of post-UKIP multicultural love.

Any famous last words?
The only certainty is the experience.

Red Market will be running every Wednesday to Saturday, 5pm – midnight, until August. Head to the website to find out more.