Okanagan Vinyl Fest keeps record hunters spinning

Three decades after the release of the first albums on compact disc, vinyl records still enjoy a certain popularity.

Devin Tetz of Penticton checks the condition of this album while shopping at the annual Peach City Community Radio Society second annual Okanagan Vinyl Festival at the Shatford Centre in this photo from last year's sale. This year's event takes place Sunday

Devin Tetz of Penticton checks the condition of this album while shopping at the annual Peach City Community Radio Society second annual Okanagan Vinyl Festival at the Shatford Centre in this photo from last year's sale. This year's event takes place Sunday

It’s been three years since the Peach City Community Radio Society started the Okanagan Vinyl Festival to celebrate the resurgence of vinyl record albums, and they are back for another round this weekend.

Three decades after the release of the first albums on compact disc, vinyl records still enjoy a certain popularity.

“We didn’t have any idea how long the resurgence of vinyl would last. It seems like it has really taken hold. And pairing it with Peach City Radio is just an obvious fundraiser,” said Dave del Rizzo, president of the community radio society. “We are certainly glad the popularity is still there to support it and it seems to be growing, so we are pretty happy about that.”

This year, the third annual OK Vinyl Fest takes place on Sept. 21 from 10 a.m.  to 3 p.m. at the Shatford Centre. If you’re really eager to get first pick of the vinyl, you can pay $5 for a special early bird session from 9 to 10 a.m.

More than 30 tables have been booked by record vendors. Del Rizzo said that most are coming from the Okanagan Valley, but there are several coming up from Vancouver and farther afield.

“It’s been amazing, the response we are getting. We do a lot of social media to get the word out, I think the effort we put in that area really helped us,” said del Rizzo. “Every year we see new people.”

Besides vinyl, there will be an opportunity to buy turntables and other audio equipment. London Drugs Penticton and the Hi-Fi Attic of Vernon have displays and listening stations to demonstrate the range of equipment available, and Peach City Radio is also offering used equipment for sale.

Vinyl artists Kitty Lankhorst and Tim Tweed are returning this year, selling vinyl-themed artwork, but new this year is a Winyl auction where attendees can bid on pairings of vinyl and wine at a silent auction happening throughout the day.

All visitors will also be entered in a draw for two tickets, supplied by the South Okanagan Events Centre, to the Oct. 27 Doobie Brothers concert.

The vinyl fest is a major fundraiser for the radio society, which is working to bring a community radio broadcast station to Penticton. The group already operates an internet radio station, available through their website at peachcityradio.org.

“All the money we raise for Peach City radio goes to the same place, which is to build the station,” said del Rizzo, who adds that besides being a good source of funding, the vinyl fest has helped people discover the community radio project.

“A lot of people come to vinyl fest, they don’t really realize that it is run by Peach City Radio. They discover it there and they get a sense of what we are trying to do,” said del Rizzo.

Even if you are not able to drop by the vinyl fest, you will still be able to keep in touch. Peach City Radio will be hosting DJ’s throughout the day who will be keeping the festival filled with music and information, which will also be streamed live to the Peach City Radio internet radio stream.

Admission to the event is $2. For more information, contact info@peachcityradio.org.