Really Really Free Market?

Has anyone in Duluth ever held a Really Really Free Market? If so, has it worked?

I’ve always found the concept interesting and exciting, and with many people being affected by job loss and economy woes, it might be helpful for a lot of people. Plus I think Duluth has enough of the sort of DYI population to be able to host a fairly successful one. Are there people who would be at all interested in putting one on? I obviously couldn’t do it myself, I don’t know much about organizing big events in Duluth, but if there were people who did I would definitely be into doing it.

For those who don’t know a RRFM is basically what it sounds like – an open air market where everything is free for the taking. People bring usable things that they don’t want/need anymore and would love to get out of their house/apartment, set up a little area on a table or a blanket or just the grass, and then anyone who comes to the market can take whatever they want–no bartering, trading, or money allowed. Other things that people integrate into it are free food (giant potluck!), free groceries, free entertainment (drum circles, musicians, storytellers, dancers), free games, free plants (spider plants anyone?), free services (haircuts, bike repair by a collective, etc), free art made on the spot, etc. It’s basically just a big fun market day.

Info on How to Hold a RRFM
Awesome Photos & Article of a RRFM

Because there is enough for everyone
Because sharing is more fufilling than owning
Because corporations would rather see landfills overflow than anyone get anything for free
Because scarcity is a myth constructed to keep us at the mercy of the economy
Because a sunny day outside is better than anything money can buy
Because “free trade” is a contradiction of terms
Because no one should have to do without food, shelter, entertainment, and community
Because life should be a picnic, but it only will be if we make it happen

Have you ever picked up something you found on the sidewalk? Or saved your neighbor from throwing away something useful?

A Really Really Free Market is like a potluck for whatever you want to give or take away. Have you ever brought one dish to a potluck and gone away with a full belly and a balanced meal? Everybody brings something and goes away with more.

We all have skills, ideas, objects, smiles, talents, friendship, excitement, discussions, and many other things to share. If we bring them all together at the Really Really Free Market, we can provide more balanced and full lives for everyone.

As a community we have many more resources than we do as individuals. If we share our resources we won’t need to buy as many new ones. This uses fewer of the Earth’s resources, and fewer of our working hours, leaving us more time to devote to ourselves and our communities.

Would we all work forty hours a week at one job if we didn’t feel we had to? What if instead we worked at improving our individual skills and talents and shared them with each other? We would all spend more time doing things we enjoyed.

The Really Really Free Market is an attempt to put these ideas into practice.

A 100% FREE and non-commercial event. Come together and forget about trading, bartering and money. Leave the business cards at home and remember the joy of giving for the sake of giving.


Rebecca Hartong

about 15 years ago

In a similar vein, check out Duluth's Freecycle group. I'm not living in the Duluth area, but my own local Freecycle group has been a really wonderful addition to my life. I've found new homes for all sorts of things I no longer have a use for -- and it's been a real joy to give to people who really WANT what you're offering. Likewise, I've received some very nice things that people were giving away. It's just really really good.


about 15 years ago

Thanks Rebecca! I've personally used FreeCycle many times, it is fantastic.

I'm more interested in the whole festival aspect of a live open air market. There are a lot of extra benefits over FC: People aren't wary about Stranger Danger, it brings the community together, you can offer things that you can't offer online (entertainment, lunch, live services), and it would be able to reach people who don't have computers. 

Mostly I just think it would be fun! :-)


about 15 years ago

I think this would be great in Lincoln Park or Leif Erickson. It just might be a little swampy for the next month or two.

Paul Lundgren

about 15 years ago

Twice a year (in May and November) the Valley Youth Center in West Duluth hosts an event called Circles of Giving. (It's not organized by the Valley Youth Center, but the event is held there.)

It's basically an RRFM. They request quality items that people no longer need, sort them out and display them for people to take what they want. They usually collect items the week before the event, and will even make trips to pick up items from people. 

Here are some contacts:
Alicia Gilbert:  218-722-5080
Roni Horak:  218-626-3264
Dawn Turchi:  715-566-2766


about 15 years ago

swap meet?


about 15 years ago

Holding this event during the big Park Point group garage sale might make it very interesting.

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