Throngs of physical media collectors descended on the Caboto Center Sunday afternoon for the 2023 Manitoba Music and Record Sale.
Show chairman Vic Gaggini estimated there were more than 50,000 records for sale at the event, “We have 70 vendors and 91 tables. There’s been over 500 people already here and the days only started,” he said.
Gaggini said the appearance of actual rock stars was a big draw for the music show. “The arrival of Streetheart makes a big difference, there’s a lot of people who came just for that.”
Members of the Winnipeg-based rock band were signing autographs at the event. “They gave us 350 records to give away and they were scooped up in 15-20 minutes,” said Gaggini.
The show runs from 10 am to 4 pm Sunday, attendees paid $ 5 to get in. Gaggini said vinyl has never been more popular among physical media collectors.
“They’ve discovered that vinyl’s actually better. The sound quality is more musical,” said Gaggini. “You take an album, and you’ve got beautiful artwork on it … you’ve got a record inside it, you can feel it, touch it, you can read liner notes, you can read lyrics. You can’t do that with a CD.”
In 2022, record sales exceeded compact disc sales for the first time ever.
Gaggini said the audio cassette tape is also making a comeback. “The cassette is back! That one I can’t explain,” he grinned.
He added that 8-tracks are also a popular item on sale. “If you have an old muscle car, or an old restored car, and it came with an 8-track, you’d like to be able to use it,” said Gaggini.
Liam Korchoski was at the sale hunting for Clash and Dead Kennedys albums. He has only been collecting vinyl for two years but has already amassed more than 250 records. “It appeals to my hoarder tending more than anything, I just like owning things,” he said. “I like the cover art, just seeing it. You can really see the music.”
For those interested in starting a vinyl collection, Gaggini said to start by buying the music you like. “It’s more a matter of getting what you like than looking for the records that are worth all the big money,” he said.
There are, however, some rare Manitoba-based albums out there, like one from the early career of Neil Young. “His first band was called the Squires, and they had a ’45 back in 1963 and it’s a $4,000 record all day long, mind you it has to be in mint condition,” said Gaggini.
The show was a one-day event only but Gaggini said there were plans for it to return to the Caboto Center on Oct. 15, 2023.