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Thursday, April 18, 2024

Gainesville celebrates vintage music culture at Winter Record Fair

Hundreds of people collected at Cypress and Grove Brewery Sunday for CDs, cassettes, records and more

Winter Record Fair at Cypress and Grove Brewery on Sunday, Jan. 28, 2024.
Winter Record Fair at Cypress and Grove Brewery on Sunday, Jan. 28, 2024.

Beneath the dim glow of brewery lights, the air buzzed with determination amid the beats of ‘80s and ‘90s classics. Hopeful to find a hidden gem, desperate hands sifted through crates of vinyls and cassette tapes. 

Hundreds of music enthusiasts gathered at Cypress and Grove Brewery, at 1001 NW Fourth St., for its Winter Record Fair Sunday. Organized by Gainesville record store Sunshine Records and online record shop Bounty Records, the fair offered a wide variety of music with more than 25 music vendors from throughout the state.

The brewery was transformed into a maze of music, with multiple rooms filled with tables covered in VHS tapes, cassettes, CDS, vinyl records, posters and other collectibles. 

No genre was excluded from the fair. Each vendor offered music categories from the ‘50s to early 2000s, with genres such as indie, punk, reggae, metal and alternative rock. Several vendors also sold rare and autographed vinyls. 

The fair also showcased vinyl browsing tunes by DJ Adikt and DJ Fake and offered hand crafted wine and beer, food from the Vegan truck Frenchmen Street Food and free entry. 

Doug Bliton, owner of Bounty Records, was a vendor at the event and has helped organize the fair for years. 

Bliton said his inspiration for organizing a record fair in Gainesville originated from his passion for collecting music and sharing it with others. 

“It's nice to bring people together,” he said. “These vendors come around from everywhere … It’s just a nice atmosphere here.”

Bliton said there has been a large uprising in the popularity of vinyls and cassettes among younger generations since the past decade. 

“There’s a fascination with holding a record and putting it on a turntable and seeing this piece of plastic that makes music,” he said. 

Craig Baxter, a vendor at the fair, sells his vinyl, CD and cassette collections online and agreed records have become much more popular in recent years. 

“Records seem to be making a comeback with the younger generation, especially for those who grew up when records were obsolete,” Baxter said. “They’re rediscovering music.” 

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Although records have increased in popularity among younger generations in recent years, record fairs have been celebrated for decades. 

Daniel Halal, 38-year-old owner of Sunshine Records, said record fairs occur all over the world, with Gainesville being a venue since the ‘70s. 

“When I was a kid in the ‘90s and early 2000s they would do them at a hotel out on 13th street and…different bars around town,” Halal said. “They’ve just been all over the place.”

King Bada is the owner of the Gainesville graffiti and pop art business, DESL Studio. Baca sold VHS tapes and cassettes at the fair, and he has noticed the newfound trend young musicians have for releasing new music on these collectibles. 

“A lot of times people like it for different reasons, some people are nostalgic and some people like to display them,” Bada said.

Marlee Pricher, a 21-year-old UF public relations junior, and Gabby Anderson, a 21-year-old UF math junior, attended the event in search of CDs to add to their growing record collections. 

To the two friends, it can be challenging to find a high quality array of CDs in Gainesville. 

Anderson said she was happy to find a local place with music that fits her taste. 

“I think it’s fun to go hunting for CDs, it’s like thrifting,” she said. 

Collecting records and tapes have become a hobby or social activity for many, and some consider it an art form. 

Lara DiBlasio, an employee and event coordinator at Cypress and Grove Brewery, said she believes records have increased in popularity among newer generations. 

“Young people are realizing music is really cool, and it’s not just music you can get on Spotify,” DiBlasio said. “Collecting records is an investment, it’s like owning art.” 

Contact Alexandra Burns at Follow her on X @alexaburnsuf.

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Alexandra Burns

Alexandra Burns is a third-year journalism major and a Fall 2023 Avenue Reporter. When she is not reporting, she loves reading thriller books, watching A24 movies and listening to music. 

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