Envision the archetypal marketplace.
Vendors hock wares by waving them in the air and shouting prices while the consumers are divided into two classes: astute veterans who know the art of the bargain and rubes about to lose their pants. Buyers bid competitively on rare and esoteric goods. A child gets in on the transactional action, and begins to shriek, seeing something she wants to buy.
That sort of scene is normally reserved for holiday bazaars and farmers' markets. But this holiday season, Mr. Entertainment and friends will be bringing a riot of buy, sell, or trade to Miami's best rock bar, Churchill's Pub.
The bimonthly Churchill's Swap began after bartender and general manager, Nicky Bowe, hosted a motorcycle swap at the pub, during which bike riders could trade gear and accessories. That event was a big success, and Bowe realized the format was both pliable and popular. So he suggested adapting the concept to the other interests of the bar's patrons.
Following his epiphany, Bowe approached E (short for Mr. Entertainment, real name Steven Toth, 47 years old), a well-known collector and local music aficionado, to help organize the first-ever Churchill's t-shirt swap.
A couple of months later, Little Haiti's favorite (and only) sort-of English pub hosted a gear swap, and now it's time for a no-holds-barred, bring-what-ya-got, holiday Rock 'N Roll Swap.
"Pins, posters, buttons, records, t-shirts," Mr. E says, enumerating swappable ephemera like some salesman shouting through an olde-time-y cone-shaped megaphone.
But unlike the traditional commercial square, a communal spirit of music fandom will permeate the Churchill's event. All are welcome to set up a table and push their wares, free of charge. There is no cover at the door. In fact, profit will possibly be the furthest thing from the average swapper's mind.
"I've been collecting t-shirts for 30 years and I have a lot of 'em," E says. "So I haven't worn them many times. And people, when they see a shirt, they're like, 'That thing is 20 years old, it looks brand new!'
"Really, the swap is just a way of redistributing these things to the right people."
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Holiday Rock 'n' Roll Swap. With Mr. Entertainment and the Pookiesmackers, the Cost, and the Gun Hoes, plus DJ Skidmark. Sunday, December 22. Churchill's Pub, 5501 NE Second Ave., Miami. Doors open at 8 p.m., and admission is free. Ages 18 and up. Call 305-757-1807 or visit churchillspub.com.