BCN Week was born in April of 2006. It was tongue-in-cheek and edgy, covering Barcelona’s b-side, in English, from the g-side (for Guiri). The founders’ capital lasted a few months. The target public was too small; the task, too large. But seven of us fell in love with the dream of an independent, local, multicultural voice in Barcelona, and became the cooperative that kept publishing. Over time, seven became six. We printed bi-monthly. Six became five. We became trilingual. Such a narrow g-perspective just didn’t make sense. Five became four. The wanna-be-Vice vibe was discarded. We were more interested in sincere local journalism. Selling was hard. Four became three. Then two became a couple, and three became two.
We rebranded to BCN Més, closed issues at three o’clock in the morning and continued exhausting ourselves distributing 15,000 issues all over Barcelona in a rental van and carritos de compra cargadísimos. There were various emotional breakdowns and one economic crisis. Selling was beyond hard. But we stayed independent, and managed one salary. In shared office space in El Raval in 2012 we met Angel, Nacho, Ferran, Mireia and our first intern, Esperanza. Two became three. We changed to our current subscription model. We launched Eat Street. Three became five. But street food markets went from zero to sixty in no time (Barcelona’s typical bandwagon behaviour) and we made some mistakes. How could we know how to navigate a crowded events market in a small city? We were indie newspaper people. Five went back to three. Fight. Keep printing.
We spun out new events in a push to stabilize, and to stave off poaching (read: copiability). What the Foc! was reborn, and Flors al Mercat saw its first sun shortly thereafter. That was last year. We poured everything into preparing for a successful 2020. We were positioned, learned, and ready to go. We hired our first editor to be able to manage the workload and still push the newspaper forward. He brought along a friend and all of a sudden we had a sales team for the first time. With interns there were eight of us in the office, nine during closing week. It was looking so good, so hopeful, and with the bank account at hand-to-mouth we only needed to get to the event season and 2020 would be tied up with a nice little bow. The team would be secure. Fear and instability would be a thing of the past.