Soul Sante or Souless Sante?

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Last Sunday, Pune saw the first Sunday Soul Sante, a flea market of sorts at the lawns right next to Hard Rock Café in Koregoan Park. A hit in Bangalore, the Pune edition had its own set of Mother Nature troubles last month courtesy the freak 3-day downpour period. But, this month, the weather was helpful and Soul Sante was under way. It had its ups and downs though…

Entrance fee and number of stalls:

I have always been a big fan of flea markets because they’re a good way to get some quirky tidbits for your home, see what the the art world is up to, eat some interesting food and generally have a fun afternoon of shopping! The entrance fee was just Rs. 200 (sadly no cover because there was a bar). Looking at the number of stalls, I expected it to be bigger somehow- there must have been about 50 stalls and about 10-12 food stalls in total. No biggie and not something that you have to specially leave the comfort of your own laziness on a Sunday for.

Stalls and pricing:

The stalls varied from chic magnets for your table to clothes to organic food to superhero t-shirts to even so called “vintage” clothing. There was plenty of quirky art on display and some rather nice clothes, but nothing out of the ordinary. There was a stall which was selling pop art of all the popular shows now like Breaking Bad, The Big Bang Theory etc.; this was the only stall I actually bought something from. And this is because these flea markets and pop up stores are a blatant reason for these supposedly arty small time business to just rip people off! The prices were just crazy! A small jacket which barely covers me and takes all of 1 metre in clothing was priced at Rs. 900! Anything you touched which remotely had a misshapen half face of sequins on it , would cost you Rs. 1000. A keychain was Rs. 200! Not worth it at all.

Crowd:

We went around 5:30 pm and the crowd was just about there. Not many people and the stalls were just about getting some business. Can’t say much about crowd management…

Food:

Usually, flea markets have funky food, which you wouldn’t normally get at a restaurant near you. Well, Soul Sante food was meh. It had about 10 food stalls ( panipuri, pizza, Faaso’s etc.); no great shakes. Pizza was being sold by the slice at Rs. 200/slice! Seriously? Also, half the stalls looked like they really didn’t want to be there, so guess what I felt like! Let down by the food quotient- completely.

Music:

There was a live band on stage when I arrived and they were pretty good. The stage had a decent sound system and overall a fun vibe. There was a talent contest right at the start of the day with a whopping “50 entries” (feel the sarcasm) and beer being served at the bar. Again, nothing great or whopper to talk about. Music was there. Yay. Nice.

Overall:

Soul Sante was a massive disappointment and did not live up to its expectations at all. Pricey stalls, pricey food (wasn’t even that great- we ended up eating Faaso’s!) and overall a so-so vibe for a great, crisp Sunday evening. I wouldn’t go the next time around unless there a serious change of scenery. Soul Sante was rather Soul- Less Sante for me!

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