Metal Swap Meet's Brian Discloses the Details on the San Diego Successor with Many More Years on the Horizon!


Swap meet, flea market, whichever preferred is an outdoor market, with numerous vendors selling various items. But there is one take on these markets known as a "Metal Swap Meet", taking place out on the West Coast down in sunny Southern California in San Diego! Happening down at the Protector Brewery, every year, once a year is when it takes place, having metal, food, and bands perform as well. One (Brian) out of the two (Israel) does the disclosed details about this yearly event, that has been actively doing well over the past 12 years! See what is all said from this conversation below.


1. To those who may not be familiar, is this a swap meet and or flea market?

Both! I guess it depends on where you come from. I believe they are pretty much the same. Here in San Diego, we have many swap meets. The biggest one is Kobey's Swap Meet in the Sports Arena parking lot. It's a big market where anyone can reserve a space to sell things. On the east coast, they are often called flea markets.

2. Who came up with the idea to create the "Metal Swap Meet" version of a swap meet and why go through with it?

It was mine [Brian]. I worked at a metal record store called Blue Meannie Records. When it closed, I felt there was a void for people to buy and sell metal related merchandise, as well as a place where people could meet up and hang out. I then pitched the idea to my buddy Israel, and he agreed to help me bring the idea to life. We then planned the first one out, and the very first one was in my driveway with about a dozen vendors, and over 200 attendees.

3. How long has this event been taking place and whereabouts?

This will be our 12th one. We missed one year because we needed a break, and missed 2020 due to the pandemic. The first one was in 2009.

4. Have you considered expanding it to reach other areas perhaps?

We have been approached, but we work full time jobs, and we feel the only reason it works here in San Diego, is because we live here. There have been many events in other locations that have popped up, and are similar, so we will leave it to them.

5. Why do you think this particular event has gotten so popular year after year?

It's a unique event. We have over 70 vendors, beers, food, all ages, and some amazing bands for a very reasonable price. It's a fantastic time, and I think anyone who has attended, often tell their friends about it.

6. When it comes down to the actual event what takes place there?

It's a party to celebrate metal for everyone. People come dressed up as vikings, King Diamond, or any of their favorite band members. It's damn good fun! There have been couples who have met, bands who have been formed, and vendors who have gotten their start, all at Metal Swap Meet. I often wonder how many kids get inspired to listen to, and learn to play metal music, from visiting Metal Swap Meet. There's tons of merch, music, bands, and friends.

7. If someone wanted to be a vendor how do they go about's setting that up?

We have vendor spots available on our Eventbrite page

8. Is this an all ages event that all can attend and enjoy?

Absolutely! This event welcomes all ages!

9. Throughout the years of running it, has there ever been an incident both good or bad that has happened?

So many! Having Phil Anselmo [Pantera], Bill Metoyer [Slayer producer], Katon W. de Pena [Hirax], Derek Riggs [original Iron Maiden artist] there have been amazing. Also being able to have bands like Exhumed, Cattle Decapitation, Jag Panzer, Evildead, and Night Demon are highlights for me.

10. What sort of vendors are set up at this event, what can people expect upon walking in?

It's a varied mix of people selling metal merch like CDs, vinyl, patches, and shirts. There are also hand-made leather goods, art, horror movies, women's clothing, wood art, and so much more. Of course we have food provided by Full Metal Burgers, Mr. G's Salsa, Deli Sushi & Desserts, and Jaunt Coffee Roasters.

11. Can we ever expect an Los Angeles version of this swap meet to ever take place, aside from its home turf in San Diego?

Our friend Kim, who has been a vendor in the past, has started something similar in Los Angeles called the Metal Merchants. Check it out!

12. Where can one purchase tickets if online or can they be bought at the door?

Tickets will be available at up until a week or so before the event. They can also get VIP tickets on that link where they can get in an hour early, and reserve a shirt. Tickets will also be available at the door for $20.  

13. Have you thought up what will happen for the next years?

I wish I thought that far ahead, but no. Maybe Iron Maiden? But seriously, we are just two guys that have a hell of a support staff around us, and we normally start planning the next year a few months after the event. We don't feel a need to top ourselves, just to provide a nice event that people enjoy. We have been fortunate to have had such great support from so many friends, and are thankful to have met so many amazing metal fans over the last 12 years.

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