In today’s digital world, clicking download has become the norm for many when obtaining music. It’s all about mp3s, iPods or VEVO on youtube. With the downfall of CD and cassette giants like HMV, whose Canadian flagship store on Robson closed in 2012, it is clear that a majority of music lives on the computer. However, a fascination for many has remained with music on vinyl records. In fact, record sales have nearly doubled over the last 5 years according to Neilson Sound Scan. For many it’s a jump back to a more simple time with singles on 45s and LPs on 33s. Those with trained ears find the warm analog sound more appealing and others see it as a new trend and are interested in buying back into this old and nostalgic technology.
Each of these groups will find the Main Street Record Fair a surprise. It’s a two day sale going on at the Cambrian Hall on May 18th and 19th. Supported by a number of Vancouver based record stores and labels, it is one of the widest collections of vinyl for sale anywhere in the city. According to Dandelion Records, a Vancouver based store who have held a table at the fair for the last 3 years, the two days are an opportunity to not only buy some rare releases at fair prices, but see what other audiophiles have tucked away in their own homes. Because of this, the event is more than just sale. With local record label reps, DJs like Knights of the Turntable and even the infamous Nardwuar the Human Serviette in attendance, its opportunity to get to know more about the Vancouver music community in a friendly and social environment.
It’s clear that the popularity of vinyl in on the rise, this has been reflected in the attendance at the fair. Due to its success last year, this is the first year that it has become a two day event, including different vendors on each day. Organizer Robert Privett explains “We are trying to open the event up to all aspects of vinyl community from newly interested to the longtime fan”. Having a wide array of vendors on each day allows the fair to boast of a stock of records from nearly every genre. The event also has a charitable aspect to it, with the funds raised from donated records going to Girls Rock Camp, CiTR 101.9 and Safe Amp. Added bonuses with the two dollar entry fee include food tickets to local restaurants on Main Street as well as a ten percent discount card to ten of the major vinyl record stores across Vancouver.
Recently, vinyl has been popping up in some of the most weirdest places. From London Drugs to clothing stores like Urban Outfitters, records are on the comeback. If you’ve seen this and you’re digging through your parents record collection and are looking to sell, trade or buy the record Main Street Record Fair is a fun, educational and easy way to truly get into the vinyl world.
The event runs May 18th and 19th (May Long Weekend) at the Cambrian Hall at 215 East 17th Street from 11am-4pm.