Take one step into the Main Street Vinyl Record Fair in Vancouver, BC and it becomes clear that the event is much more than your average record convention.
Since the first Main Street Record Fair in 2010, organizers of the fair have set out to challenge the idea of what a record fair is and what a record fair can do for its community.
To this goal, organizers have developed an assortment of programs/promos unique to the Main St. fair that help extend participation throughout the community, raise money for kids’ music programs and offer tremendous value for a $4 ticket.
From community discount cards to geo-cache games that hide free records throughout the city, the Main Street Vinyl Record Fair has done well to set an example of how a bi-annual event can benefit the community year-round.
Here are some of the things that make the Main Street Vinyl Record Fair in Vancouver so darn special…
The most significant difference between the Main Street Vinyl Record Fair and other big music sales is the presence of Vancouver’s Vinyl Record Donation Program.
Vinyl records are collected from the community throughout the year and sold at the fair by donation or for very very very reasonable prices.
The program raises money for music-related / youth-oriented non-profits in Vancouver such as CiTR 101.9 FM (UBC Student Radio), the Safe Amplification Society and Girls Rock Camp Vancouver.
To date (Jan 2016), the program has raised over $7500 for charity and kept an excess of 25,000 vinyl records from reaching local landfills.
The donation program table, where it is not uncommon to find a $15 record for only a few bucks, can help anyone start a great vinyl record collection and score some great finds no matter what their budget.
For more information about Vancouver’s Vinyl Record Donation and Recycling Program, visit www.vinylrecordfair.com/donate-vinyl-records/
The Vancouver Record Store Discount Card is one of two discount cards given free to attendees at the Main Street Vinyl Record Fair.
The card provides its holder with 10% off at 14 different record stores across the lower mainland. And since only one store expires per week, the freebie can save vinyl collectors money on their record store purchases for more than 3 months after the fair.
This is a great way for attendees to recoup the price of their vinyl fair ticket simply by supporting their favourite local record store.
The Main Street Meal Ticket is the second discount card given free to attendees at the Main Street Vinyl Record Fair in Vancouver.
With over 50,000 vinyl records on sale plus a selection of vintage audio gear, record storage and collectables, the Main Street Vinyl Record Fair has enough on hand to keep any music fan occupied for the day. So chances are, someone is going to get hungry.
And since Main Street also hosts some of the most excellent restaurants and bars in Vancouver, it only makes sense to duplicate the success of the record store discount card and help record fans try out some our favourite local eateries.
With up to 20% off at nearby restaurants/bars, the Main Street Meal Ticket does its part to help keep costs down when visiting from out of town or when meeting with friends after the fair to discuss the day’s finds.
#Hiddenvinylyvr is a geo-cache game from organizers at the Main Street Vinyl Record Fair.
The game works like this. Records are purchased from local record stores, local record labels or from local artists themselves. These records are then hidden in plain sight in shops across Vancouver, Canada. Vancouverites are then encouraged to follow clues on social media to determine the location of the album and go album hunting. The record is free to the collector who finds it first.
The game has been a great way to support and promote local musicians. And, like the Main Street Meal Ticket, the game lets community-oriented businesses participate in record culture even if their shop is not related to vinyl.
In February 2015, the Main Street Vinyl Record Fair partnered up with Timbre Concerts to include free concert tickets with the hidden records when available.
Past hidden records have included pressings by Dada Plan, the Pointed Sticks, God Speed You! Black Emperor, Jesse Lebourdais and Joy Division.
Some of the venues that have hosted hidden vinyl so far are Hot Art Wet City, Meet on Main, Anti-Social Skateboards, Space Lab and The Lido.
For clues about where to find free vinyl records hidden in your community, follow the Main Street Vinyl Record Fair on social media:
The next Main Street Vinyl Record Fair takes place at the Heritage Hall (3102 Main Street) on Saturday, November 12th and Sunday, November 13th, 2016.
The event includes 100 independent vendors, over 100,000 records on sale, vinyl spinnin’ DJs, a vintage audio market and a growing number of other treats for vinyl record enthusiasts.