Spanish alternative music indie labels have found a new way to increase business and exposure by holding a dedicated indie market stall.

Some 400 people visited the independent label stalls market, held over a nine-hour stretch on April 25 at the central Madrid offices of veteran indie label Subterfuge Records.

Subterfuge director general Carlos Galán says "it occurred to me we should be looking for a way to emphasise our underground and alternative character. There are no record shops left selling our kind of catalog. We sent emails to some 50 indie labels and some 17 were represented at the market."

Hundreds of indie CDs were sold during the program, with album prices as low as 3 euros ($4.70). The session finished with a showcase featuring Lucinda Records' rising artist Lidia Damunt.

Galán, who founded Subterfuge 18 years ago and has discovered such artists as Dover, Australian Blonde, Killer Barbies, Carlos Jean and Najwa Nimri, says plans are to hold the market on the third Friday of each month.

"I'm sure the number of labels will increase," he adds, "and more people will pop by as the word spreads - for sure we'll be looking for a bigger place to hold it in the future."

The market was sponsored by the Ron Cruzan brand of Virgin Islands rum, which is seeking a "cool music fan" market in Spain.

One of the labels at the market was PIAS Spain, whose sales rep Miguel Angel Maroto says "it was an original initiative that worked. I had my reservations, as we all know each other from the biz and don't see each other as clients. But in fact far more records than I had imagined were sold, the buzz was great, the moment is right for an idea like this to take off. Indie labels have to open up more to the public".

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