Vinyl lovers will be in a spin this weekend.
The Hunter Record Fair is back on the calendar, after a COVID-enforced hiatus, with a huge array of bargains, rarities, LPs, 45s and more set to adorn the Kotara High School auditorium, between 9am and 4pm, on Saturday 23 July.
There, devotees face the enviable choice of thousands of albums across all genres of music, including country, rock, soul, metal, punk, pop, hip-hop, jazz, blues, reggae, rockabilly, folk, R&B, ska, alternative, house, hardcore punk, electro, indie, new wave and noise.
“We’re really looking forward to it,” organiser Dan Phelan said.
“I think 2019 was the last time we staged the event.
“So, hopefully, it’ll make a positive return.
“Stallholders from around the country will offer a massive range of both new and second-hand vinyls and CDs.”
Mr Phelan said The Hunter Record Fair had built an admirable fan base in the past decade.
“It’s grown steadily since I started,” he told the Newcastle Weekly.
“My first one, complete with DJs, took place at the Croatian Sports Club in Wickham and attracted a couple of hundred customers.
“We’ve now had to move into a bigger venue.
“This time around, we’ll have at least 60 tables of records.
“And, we’re anticipating 500 to 600 people to attend – if the weather’s still rotten, it’s a good opportunity to get out of the house.
“A percentage of the profits will go to the Kotara High School P&C, too.”
While CDs dominated the market for many years, the good old vinyl record remained a force behind the scenes, according to Mr Phelan.
“To be honest, albums never went away,” he said.
“People did not stop collecting them.
“There’s a holistic experience behind buying vinyl.
“Listening to music from the 60s and 70s on a record has a time capsule vibe to it; the sound’s perfect.
“Plus, you’d miss out on that beautiful artwork if you purchased a CD.”
So, what does Mr Phelan expect will be the “big ticket” items?
“Well, if you take in the Stranger Things phenomenon of late, Kate Bush is enjoying a resurgence,” he said.
“But, then, a record like Rumours by Fleetwood Mac remains just as popular today.
“It’s gone from a $2 bin to a sought-after item around $30 or $40.
“The heavier bands, along with hip-hop, do well, too.
“Although some stallholders have eftpos facilities, I recommend you also bring cash on the day.”
The early bird entry (9am-10am) into The Hunter Record Fair is $5, while it’s $2 after 10am.
The Hunter Record Fair
When: Saturday 23 July
Where: Kotara High School, Lexington Parade, Adamstown
Cost: Early bird entry (9am-10am) $5; entry after 10am $2