Nfld. & Labrador

Old but not obsolete, vinyl is still king at the Record Fair NL

Vinyl albums have been making their way out of yard sales and back into the record stores — and hearts — of music lovers.

From Elvis to Wu-Tang, this record fair has something for everyone

The third Record Fair NL event was the biggest to date, with vendors from both local record stores and private collectors occupying 50 tables with their merchandise. (Stephen Miller/CBC)

As any vinyl record collector will tell you, newer does not necessarily mean better.

Husband and wife duo Doug and Melisa Jones certainly share this opinion. That's why they decided to try to capitalize on renewed interest in records and grow the local community of enthusiasts with Record Fair NL.

They held the third Record Fair NL event Sunday at the Holiday Inn in St. John's. It was their biggest one yet.

"It's pretty fantastic," Doug Jones said.

"The more the merrier, I say. It builds the community. Everybody here is having a fantastic time buying, selling, talking about their favourite albums."

In just the first hour of the fair, at least 300 music lovers stopped by. The previous event, with fewer vendors, drew a crowd of about 750.

Doug and Melissa Jones are the husband and wife duo behind Record Fair NL. They hope to encourage and sustain the local record-collecting community. (Stephen Miller/CBC)

To prepare for the crowds, the event was moved to a larger space upstairs at the Holiday Inn, rather than the smaller rooms in the downstairs of the hotel.

The Joneses said they are putting an emphasis on community, hoping to bring vinyl lovers together, not just to their vendors.

"It's better for the vendors and better for the patrons as well. Lots of room to walk around and lots of room for socializing," Melisa Jones said

"We're trying to make it a community event and have people hang out and not just shop."

And there were albums to appeal to a wide variety of music fans at the fair.

"Everything from $1 items right up to $500 items. Everything from classic country to Newfoundland music, to punk rock, metal, rap … everything," Doug Jones said.

Old and new

Erika Parrill was one of the hundreds of record collectors who took in Sunday's fair. For her, the record-collecting itch came unexpectedly, after being gifted a rather large amount of albums.

"I really got into it when I inherited my father's giant record collection. So we've been spinning a lot of old stuff lately," Parrill said.

Erika Parrill took in her first Record Fair NL event this weekend. She has been a collector for about five years and thinks vinyl is back to stay. (Stephen MIller/CBC)

With a wealth of classic albums at her disposal, Parrill attended the event looking to modernize her collection.

"We were looking for some newer stuff so we could more evenly spread out our collections, so we just picked up some Tragically Hip and some Matthew Good Band," Parrill said.

While record collecting might be a relatively new passion for Parrill, she said since discovering the joys of vinyl albums she can't imagine ever ditching wax for digital.

"It's a really different experience to sit down and listen to a record from start to finish than it is to throw on a playlist and just listen to different songs," Parrill said.

"We really like throwing on a record and cooking or just hanging out on a Friday or Saturday night."

If you count yourself among the growing number of vinyl enthusiasts — or you're just curious to see what all the fuss is about — Record Fair NL has another event in the works for November.

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