Main event

Main Street Vinyl Fair helps young vinyl lovers start their record collection

The Main Street Vinyl Fair is always worth a visit.

The Main Street Vinyl Fair is always worth a visit. Photo courtesy of Death Waltz Recording Company

The sixth Main Street Vinyl Fair takes place on November 10 at the Cambrian Hall, and it’s promising to be the biggest one yet. With six major Vancouver vinyl shops and private collectors sharing their records, this event is heaven for music lovers of all generations.

The Link got a chance to chat with Robert Privett of Badbird Media, who came up with the idea for the fair two years ago.

The idea came to Privett while he was working at Planet Bingo on Main Street.

“They had this big open space available, so I got together with a friend of mine and said, ‘Well, what can we use that space for? What’s going to cost us no money, and will be inclusive for local community and businesses?’”

The first record fair happened in August of 2010 and was a huge success. Local record shops were able to promote their business and sell records, and music lovers from many generations welcomed the chance to browse through products from several shops in one go.

Main Street Vinyl Fair is not the only collective vinyl exchange event in town; Neptoon Records’ semi-annual Record and CD Convention targets a similar crowd.

However, there is a difference in the buying strategies for an average attendee of the two events: the Convention attracts more old-time collectors looking for that one rare edition, and are more likely to leave empty-handed if they fail in their quest.

Main Street Fair has a varied selection of cheaper vinyl, which allows people who are only beginning to appreciate vinyl records to purchase the first items for their collection.

“The younger generation doesn’t have a hundred dollars to spend on a piece of vinyl,” explains Privett.

The Vinyl Fair’s main patronage is mostly young professionals, the “Main Street crowd” with less cash to spend. This arrangement is still profitable for the vendors, since beginner vinyl enthusiasts are not as picky about their record choices as long-time collectors.

Aside from making the event fun for the crowd, the fair’s organizers are always looking for new ways to get involved with the local community. Its sixth run will include a silent auction, where both record shops and private collectors have a chance to auction off pieces from their collection, with proceeds going to Girls Rock Camp, CiTR and Safe Amplification Site Society.

Privett’s dream is to eventually expand the fair into a street festival. The event already goes beyond a simple trade of records, with DJs to entertain the crowd and contests to win vinyl-related gear.

As for the interest in vinyl, Privett isn’t worried about the craze slowly fading.

“This is just more fun. Everyone who’s getting into vinyl now grew up with everything being so accessible, and it’s just boring when everything is at your fingertips,” he explains, “You value it, because it’s not like getting a song off YouTube in twenty seconds, you have to work to find it.”

The upcoming Vinyl Fair will make finding a gem for a collection of any size much easier.[hr]

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