Strange Q&A: What You Need To Know About Moncton’s Fall Record Expo
October is now upon us, and for vinyl enthusiasts in New Brunswick, that means Moncton’s Fall Record Expo.
For those not familiar, Moncton Record Expo is an event that takes place twice a year, once in the spring and again in the fall. Vendors from all around the Maritimes set up their goods for collectors to to buy and hopefully score some wax they’ve been wanted for this collections.
For years, the Expo has been held at the Crown Plaza in downtown Moncton, but this fall, the event will be held at new, bigger location at the Moncton Lions Club on October 13th.
Strange Grooves is so excited to be having a table this fall’s expo. We’ll be selling some of our wicked tote bags for you to carry your finds (for a special price of $5!) as well as some other swag on-hand. We’ll also have a neat photo spot set-up where you can show off your new wax! We can’t wait to meet all of you and see what you score. We sincerely would like thank Expo organizer Marty LeBlanc for having us there.
Speaking of Marty, we caught up with him recently to chat about the event, including how it came about, how it’s grown, the new location, and what he hopes to find:
Can you tell us a bit about when and how Moncton record expo came about?
I started the Expo back in 2002, at that time their was only one held in the fall by another organizer and I felt once a year wasn’t enough for collectors including myself to shop for records so I decided to try one for the spring just to get the feel of it. Keep in mind that back then used records were hard to find, we had 2 music stores selling used records and I felt it wasn’t enough for Moncton.
Can you remember what the first event was like?
Not as big as now that’s for sure. I had about 70-80 people at the door and maybe 10 vendors 25 tables full of vinyl. I had to put a lot of work to be successful the first time by buying an ad in the paper ($80 for a 1inch x 1inch). A lot of promoting as well by putting posters around town and stores. I would also mail posters to record stores around the Maritimes so I could get the word out. For the internet, Facebook wasn’t around so the only way I could mention it was from local message boards and chat rooms.
Who are the people selling the records? How do you go about finding them?
The vendors at the show are a mixture of record store owners bringing a mixture of Lps from their store and also private collectors that have been collecting for more than 10-20 years. They’re from all over the Maritimes and as far as Montreal. At first it was me asking vendors at the expo to see if they knew of anyone else that would like to be part of the expo so it could be bigger, now it’s vendors calling me to book which makes my job way easier. The expo has been full of vendors with a waiting list the past couple of years at our last venue and that is the reason why I had to book it to a new venue this year at the Moncton Lion’s Club on Mark Avenue.
How would you say the event has grown and evolved since it first began?
I find it has grown with a BANG! I have more vendors booking filling up my last venue with 50 tables the past five years. (I had to refuse a couple of vendors last expo in May because of not having enough room). At least 250-300 people go through the door each Expo which is twice a year now. I see new people that are just starting out buying vinyl at the expo which is nice. I like how it has become a social event as well with people talking music history/knowledge with one another. The vendors are happy by the end of the day with the results of attendance so if they are happy I’m happy.
As well, a lot of people talk about it online via Facebook. At the moment on Facebook the event performance has reached 10k people and 309 responses since I started to mention about the new location. I also find that successful record fairs like mine has woken up companies to re-press vinyl because for the longest time you couldn’t buy new vinyl at record stores.
Who are the people who attend the event? How would you describe them?
They range from collectors and record store owners all around the Maritimes. The past couple of years I’ve actually got vendors from Montreal and as far as Ottawa to sell at the show which makes me feel that I must be doing a good job promoting and having good results with the expo if they wanna come and sell.
This year is the first event in its new location, can you tell us more about that?
The Fall Record Expo will be held at The Moncton Lions Club 55 Mark Avenue (off Mountain Rd behind Rinzlers Meat Market). This will be the 32nd Record Expo I’ve done. It’s a bigger venue that can hold 75 tables that are fully booked as we speak. This venue might even hold more tables but I’ll only know once I’m there setting up the tables. Admission is $5 for the day and hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5p.m. Plenty of parking for the public as well
Organizing an event like this takes a lot of time and hard work. What would you say is the most rewarding part of it all?
The thrill of the hunt to buy vinyl and to bring rare and quality records in one location for collectors to search for that missing piece for their collection. If I didn’t like what I was doing I wouldn’t be doing it. For me being a collector myself, I love records and like adding to my personnel collection as well. That’s another reason why I’ve open my own store [Live Wire Records] as well.
Where do you hope to take the event in the future?
I see myself maybe doing the expo more than twice a year maybe a 3rd expo in the summer and to bring vendors from the US or even Europe so we could have a different variety of foreign records
Are there any records YOU’RE looking to score at the Expo? If so, what are they and why?
I have approximately 1500 records in my personnel collection so I have mostly what I need at the moment. Sometimes I’ll find albums that are better then my copy so I buy it to trade for my old copy. I wouldn’t mind finding an original Beatles butcher cover album for a good price but they usually range from $1000-$2000 and I’ve never seen one yet ’cause they are hard and rare to find.
I mostly look for records now for my record store on Mountain Road.
For those who haven’t been to Moncton Record Expo before, why should they consider coming out?
It’s a good opportunity for them to add to their collection for the fact being their’s a 80 per cent chance we have what they’re looking for. It brings collectors all in one spot to chat among themselves about certain albums and bands…I’ve seen some people talk one another how they’ve listen to a particular album in the past and it brings back memories for them. There’s over 25,000 records at the expo to choose from and I can guarantee you cant see everything in one day. It’s also a great adventure for adults and kids that are just getting into vinyl and want to build a collection.