After 15 years and 29 sales at the Park Community Centre Don Burnett has decided to change venues for the popular Brandon event that consistently drew more people with each passing year. Just as the demand for vinyl has grown over the years, the popularity of the sale has grown as well. In fact it has gained so much momentum the sale was renamed “Brandon’s Biggest Record and Music Sale!” According to Burnett the timing was just right, “It was finally time as the years went on more vendors came on board and some wanted a second table. The last few shows I had vendors in the coat check room and in the skating room of the Park Community Centre so we literally out grew that venue.” Recent stats show vinyl sales are the highest they’ve been since 1988! Many people will remember the handful of albums they may have bought that year but fewer will still own those records as the CD became the dominant music format in the mid-eighties. More and more people are going back to the vinyl format so it’s nice to see things have come full circle (pun intended). What’s even stranger than the impressive stats of vinyl sales these days is the fact that the younger generation are consuming more classic rock than what is passing for music today. Although there are a handful of today’s artists who lead the charge with sales according to some recent eyebrow raising stats here in Canada. The top selling record was Adele’s ’25’, which sold 116,000 copies, followed by Taylor Swift’s ‘1989’, with 74,000. But overall Vinyl sales are up more than 26% than at this point last year. What’s more, bands and artists are making more from vinyl sales than at any time since 1988, with 17 million records sold last year in the US alone. With sales up 28% on 2014, they accounted for 6% of the overall retail music market, and one in five of all ‘physical’ sales.
Those numbers are impressive and inspiring to Burnett who thinks they’ll translate into a busy day for the sale come next Sunday, “I would like to see 400 to 500 through the doors. With the resurgence of vinyl it is possible.” Burnett says attendance figures at the Park Community Sales over the past few years reached upwards of 200 – 300 people per sale so hitting the 400 mark is doable. Burnett is quite happy about that his love of collecting has grown into a sale that has continued for so long, “I have been collecting for about 33 years. I started when I was 16, got a little more serious about it in 1990 when I met Wayne Russell who used to run the country music center on 10th street.” So how many albums does a collector amass who has been at it for over 30 years? Burnett offers a staggering ballpark figure, “I can't really put a number on it for sure but I would say 4500 to 5000. Keep meaning to count them one of these years I’ll get around to it.” Some of his more prized possessions are impressive batch of oddball titles as well as releases from more popular artists, “oh I have a Japanese pressing of Pink Floyd’s Obscured by Clouds, some colored vinyl and some picture discs of The Beatles, Marc Bolan and The Yarbirds.” Like many collectors do Burnett says he has a wish list of titles, “I am trying to get Rodreguez's albums Cold Facts and Coming back to Reality. Also looking for Porcupine Tree, the Black Angels, Gov't Mule, Joe Bonnamassa, also Roky Erickson and any Psyche/Garage rock records.”
As for what the common consumer is after these days Burnett says from his experience at his various sales, “most people want the standards like Beatles, Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd or Black Sabbath but you also get people that want Lenny Breau and more obscure albums. However I would say David Bowie will be one of the more popular artists this year, possibly the Eagles and Jefferson Airplane, all because of the recent deaths and a renewed interest in their music.” Vinyl won’t be the only item available at the sale, Burnett says when it comes to music, the list of items will run the gamut, “There will be t-shirts hoodies, music books, CDs and Music DVDs. Maybe some stereos and Musical Instruments, all depends on what the vendors bring it is basically anything musically related as well as records.” The sale runs from 11am – 5pm and there is no admission but the Legion will be taking a silver collection at the door and there will be a non-perishable food item collection for the Samaritan House. The new location is The Royal Canadian Legion Branch # 3 (Banquet Room) at 560-13th Street EAST Brandon.
The new venue allows for 40 tables to be set up. To inquire about table rentals call Don at 204-726-0703 tables are $35 each. As of this writing there were only 6 tables available.