The importance of “black gold” to Alberta is well established. We know what you’re thinking, but in the arts and culture context we mean the other black gold: vinyl records.
Vinyl, in case you haven’t heard, has made an incredible comeback over the last few years. According to the British Phonographic Industry, global vinyl sales reached a 25-year high in 2016 with more than 3.2 million records sold – up 53 per cent over 2015. Vinyl even surpassed digital in sales for the first time in the UK late last year.
Alberta’s love affair with records is so strong it has inspired a number of vinyl-related happenings across the province. April, in particular, is so full of events some record retailers and aficionados are calling it “Vinyl Month.”
What’s spinning for Vinyl Month
Vinyl Month in Edmonton started off on April 2 with Dead Vinyl Society’s monthly vinyl swap and sale, Bring Out Your Dead!, at Malt and Mortar on Whyte Avenue. The Dead Vinyl Society collective regularly organizes vinyl events around Edmonton. If you missed their latest swap meet, don’t worry. They return on the first Sunday of each month at a different Edmonton location. Visit their Facebook to stay up to date on their schedule.
Dead Vinyl Society stays busy this month with their Super Mega Records Garage Sale at Kenilworth Community Hall in Edmonton over Easter long weekend (April 14-16). Now in its fourth year, Super Mega Records Garage Sale features roughly 50,000 records, 78s, 45s, cassettes, CDs, 8-tracks, music memorabilia and more – all at “garage sale prices.” DJs will provide tunes throughout the weekend and food trucks will also be on hand in case digging for records makes you hungry. The event is a fundraiser in support of Edmonton’s Food Bank.
Vinyl retailers across Alberta and around the world are gearing up for Record Store Day 2017 on April 22. Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, Record Store Day is an annual event held every April to “celebrate the culture of the independently owned record store.” The day brings together fans, artists, and thousands of independent record stores across the world. RSD always features limited edition exclusives and reissues of hard-to-find titles so be sure to get in line at one of the province’s many fine record stores.
Finally, to close out the month, the Edmonton Music Collectors Show returns to the Central Lions Recreation Centre on April 30. The EMCS is Northern Alberta’s premier event for buying, selling, and trading rare, vintage, contemporary and collectible vinyl. Patrons will also find a selection of music-related memorabilia, record collecting supplies, audio equipment and more. The Calgary Music Collectors Show happens the following Sunday at the Acadia Rec Complex on May 7.
To complement the physical connection people have to records, Alberta collectors can also connect with one another digitally on the #yegdigs (Edmonton) and #yycdigs (Calgary) vinyl community forums on Facebook. Community members are encouraged to buy, sell and trade records, as well as share their digging stories, recent purchases, collection photos and more.
To all the Alberta diggers out there, have a great month!