The bi-annual DC Record Fair took place this past Sunday at downtown bar Penn Social, which found hundreds of vinyl hungry shoppers combing through the crates set up on tables both upstairs and downstairs. Over 40 vendors participated in the Vinyl District event, including city shops Som, Red Onion, Smash and Songbyrd, among others. Attendees enjoyed Penn Social’s diverse taps of craft beer while searching for deals in the expansive space, and enjoying background music provided by a host of local DJs.
Vendors priced their selections individually, but many had ongoing specials, including iconic DC label Dischord Records, which offered two bins of $1 LPs. Selections ranged from the obscure and cheap to rare and expensive and many vendors had new albums for sale. Shoppers fingered through the bins in search of deals and according to one overheard middle-aged man, “those albums that I regret throwing out years ago.”
Indeed, the diverse crowd of attendees reflected the broad demographic to which vinyl appeals, most of whom no matter what age or race would describe themselves as musical purists, those who appreciate how music was meant to sound and how the artists intended it to be heard.
This fan/purist in particular stocked up on a half dozen used classic albums from several vendors, including: Bruce Springsteen’s Born to Run and Born in the USA; The Who’s Who’s Next; Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon; Heart’s self titled album; and Randy Newman’s Good Old Boys.
The only minor issue encountered, and repeated by several attendees with whom I spoke, was the fact that many of the vendors did not clearly market themselves with name displays. I can attest to this in that, besides Smash Records, who had their trademark stickers on their albums, I cannot recall from whom I made my purchases, as they were all in cash and did not come with any receipts. Perhaps the Winter edition will find more vendors taking note of this, as it would certainly improve name recognition and drive customers to their physical stores.
The next record fair will be held in early 2016, with TVD usually announcing details in November. In the meantime, check out and support your local record store year round!