Sold out start for Norwich's Junkyard Market ahead of expansion across UK
- Credit: Chris Harvey
Thousands of people headed to street food event Junkyard Market in Norwich for its first weekend back as restrictions eased and it is now being rolled out across the UK.
The open-air food and drink market returned on Thursday, April 15 in the car park outside St Mary's Works, off Duke Street, as outdoor hospitality was permitted to return and all tables were fully booked until Sunday.
Michael Femi-Ola, operations manager for organisers AfterDark Promotions, said: "People were in good spirits and excited to be out but were respectful of the rules."
The market, which launched last summer and returned at Christmas, will continue to run every Friday to Sunday with two-and-a-half hour sessions and although it is still free to attend, customers must now pay a refundable deposit.
Mr Femi-Ola said: "Over the Christmas period we saw a rise in no-shows because of the popularity of the event and found people were booking a table in case they wanted to show up.
"There are refundable deposits of £10 for two or four person tables or £20 for six and it means we can give our food traders an accurate number of people and let more people enjoy the event."
There is a mix of local food and drink vendors and those from further afield each week, which includes Norwich-based Christophe's Crêpes and London burger joint Nanny Bill's this weekend, and all ordering is done online by scanning a QR code.
The charity partner is the Priscilla Bacon Hospice, with optional donations added to orders, and £1,700 was raised over the first weekend.
While this time around there is no end date for Junkyard Market, the car park will not be able to be used permanently as developer Our Place is carrying out a multi-million pound regeneration of the St Mary's Works site in the near future.
In the meantime, AfterDark Promotions is focusing on expanding Junkyard Market, with Ipswich launched at Christmas and eight more sites across the UK planned.
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Mr Femi-Ola added: "We are undecided how long it will run in Norwich at the minute but as long as there is an appetite for it we will.
"We are expanding Junkyard Market this summer starting with Chiswick on April 30 then there will be 10 locations across the UK by the end of June."
Book tickets at junkyardmarket.co.uk