Thousands flock to Brick Lane’s first London Vinyl Fair

Brick Lane's vinyl fair. Pic: Kitty Knowles

Brick Lane’s vinyl fair. Pic: Kitty Knowles

Thousands of enthusiasts for shiny black plastic discs flocked to the first official London Vinyl Fair held at the Truman Brewery on Brick Lane this past weekend.

Attendees included local music producer Simbad, and Hackney-based BBC radio presenter Gilles Peterson.

Peterson, 49, applauded the fair as “essential to our music culture, reaching different generations and keeping history alive.”

“It’s always fun to exchange stories around a record, meet music lovers and find that perfect beat,” he added.

Shoreditch local resident David Smith, 32, coordinated the event with Bow-based record dealer Mike Vital, 48, to hopefully be “the biggest vinyl event in Tower Hamlets yet.”

The pair invited 60 sellers to set up 150 stalls in the Truman Brewery from Thursday to Sunday, choosing the location for its many nearby vintage shops and vibrant atmosphere.’

Those who attended shared their enthusiasm for vinyl.

James Knox, 29, from Dalston, said physical records felt “more like an investment” than digital downloads, while Jenna Jones, 24, from London Fields, said some popular nineties tracks were “now only available on vinyl,” particularly club music genres like house.

Alex Hahn, 51, who travelled from Guildford for the fair, spoke for the older generation: “We now have the money that we didn’t have before – we can find the records we wanted 30 years ago and buy back our history.”

Among the stallholders, Andy Westbury, 44, who owns Dalston’s Eldica record store said he has noticed an increase in younger customers turning away from “pop idol bullsh*t” to find “something real.” James Thornington, 37, of Stoke Newington’s Kristina Records, stressed that vinyl “would never be the media the masses buy” as digital music is widely accessible, convenient and cheap.

According to figures released by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, 2012 saw a rapid growth in vinyl sales, rising by 50 per cent to 12m – their highest level since 2000.

Organisers plan for the London Vinyl Fair to return to Tower Hamlets next year.

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