I must admit, as someone who was born and raised in London, ON, I’m quite surprised that I’ve never attended the London Record Show.
This show, that’s lovingly brought to you by London vinyl greats, Speed City Records, is the biggest show in Ontario and has been running since 1983! The sights and sounds of this celebratory day reminded me of a paired down, old-school Comic Con. One where every attendee is on the hunt for a certifiable steal, or a quintessential gem to complete their collection.
As well, I quickly realized there’s a specific etiquette to follow at this event, one in which seasoned hunters and professionals alike abide by. And that means you better too. With that in mind, I’ve put together a list of dos and don’ts for this event (and ones like it) because if you’re a first-timer like me, you better read up!
- Enter with an open mind: You never know what you might find so make sure to keep your options open.
- Be respectful: Wait your turn. This place is like a giant cafeteria line where the ever-anticipated lunch lady grub comes in the form of vinyl. And everyone’s super hungry. You’ll get to the “Metal/Hair/Hard” bin when it’s your turn.
- Talk to the vendors: Strike up a jolly old conversation. You never know, that particular record guru might give you the scoop on something you won’t find through sifting.
- Make at least two full rounds: Mulling about the London Record Show is kind of like proofreading, a once-over simply isn’t enough.
- Get a hotdog: Apparently the Centennial Hall basement hotdogs are quite the commodity. People come from far and wide just for these (gross exaggeration). Plus, a little sustenance is imperative to keeping the hunt strong!
- Don’t lollygag: Seriously. When you’re checking out the Speed City haul and you spend a little too long on the local bin, the man wearing a Canadian Tux next to you will huff and puff because he’s all done searching the soundtracks. Be thorough, but be quick.
- No fighting: If someone calls a record from afar, it’s theirs. I don’t quite agree with this method of hunting but if someone has searched the whole place over for a copy of Aladdin Sane to complete their Bowie repertoire, they’ve likely got fire in their eyes. If they spot it in the bin you’re perusing and “call it,” that’s that. No one wants a fight on their hands.
- Sadness must be overcome: If your friend finds the last copy of Courtney Barnett’s Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit for just $15, be happy for them. Don’t get uppity, don’t get moody, it wasn’t meant to be. Your find of the century’s probably just one milk crate away.
- You went to the ATM directly before the show and thus only have $20 bills: Make some change beforehand if you’re looking at the lower-ticketed items. Vendors get low on $5 and $10 bills fast so make everyone’s life easier and have a combination.
- Don’t hover: If someone’s looking at a particular collection you need to get your paws on, just let them get to the end without causing a stink. You’ll get your turn, we’re all friends in the vinyl world (… or are we?).
So there you have it Forest City friends, whether you’re a collector or not, there are guidelines to follow at the London Record Show (or any record show for that matter!). Another piece of advice is, if this article isn’t quite enough for you, go with a pro, they’ll show you the ropes and make the experience that much better. Get out there and get shopping, #ldnont!
Get more news and info on the London vinyl scene by checking out our LondonFuse Directory right here!
Feature photo by Michael Del Vecchio