Halifax Record Fair does a booming trade amid vinyl renaissance
Twice-annual fair attracts hundreds of customers browsing at least 25,000 albums
Dozens of Haligonians took those old records off the shelf and put them up for sale at the latest Halifax Record Fair, as the vinyl resurgence continues.
Kevin Beal, who owns Black Buffalo Records and who co-founded the twice-annual fair, said between 400 and 800 people show up at each event to flip through between 25,000 and 50,000 albums.
The vendors did well on Saturday, too, with people intending to pick up a record or two, often leaving with a bigger stack.
"There's an ATM on site for a reason," he said of the event at the Halifax Forum's Maritime Hall.
Record sales up 30 per cent last year
Record stores are thriving and expanding in Canada and many big acts are putting their albums out on vinyl again.
Canadian record sales rose 30 per cent to 517,400 units sold last year, according to Nielsen Music data. LP sales in the U.S. hit a new record at 12 million units, marking the 10th straight year of vinyl sales growth. Forbes reported earlier this year that U.S. sales were the best they've been since 1988.
Beal said vinyl records have a tangible appeal in the digital age.
"It's hard to show off your record collection when it's all on a digital computer or whatever," he said. "So there's that esthetic to it. A lot of people just like actually sitting down and opening up the record and enjoying it and kind of getting immersed in the whole thing. I think that's really what's drawn everybody back to it."
He said the records change as new vendors come and go — some are one-timers, for others it's their life.
Beatles, Rolling Stones still popular
Joel Gray made about $500 in sales on Saturday and said he still has about 800 records.
He said albums are more substantial, more collectible and sound better. People on Saturday were looking for the usual suspects, he said: Beatles, Rolling Stones, obscure metal.
Gray said he's sad to see some of his collection, go, but not all of it.
With files from Adam Carter