Arts Desk

D.C. Record Fair Moves to Artisphere

The D.C. Record Fair has become a vinyl-nerd fixture over the last couple of years, and for its next iteration on Feb. 13, it's setting up shop in Rosslyn's Artisphere.

The multi-use arts center is something of a departure for the fair, which has previously taken place at Comet Ping Pong, the Black Cat, and U Street Music Hall. Co-organizer Jon Meyers announced the event today on his blog The Vinyl District.

"If we've heard anything," Meyers tells Arts Desk, " it's been that the overcrowding has been an issue." That was certainly the case last February at the Black Cat, as Jason Cherkis reported on Arts Desk at the time. Around 1,500 people attended the fair that day—many of them drawn, no doubt, by a DJ set by Ian MacKaye.

The most recent record fair—this past fall at U Street Music Hall—drew around 500 to 550 people, Meyers says, but even that event felt crowded. "Even as an organizer, I've waited to browse," he says.

(I didn't get much browsing done myself that day, but between solid DJ sets and UHall's delicious pho dog, I was happy.)

Artisphere's spacious ballroom should mean more than enough space for the event's 30-plus vendors. And the organizers will make use of the building's various other spaces. For example, Meyers says, they're hoping to screen Burn to Shine (the concert DVD series created by Fugazi drummer Brendan Canty and filmmaker Christoph Green) in one of Artisphere's theaters.

As for the guest DJs, expect an announcement soon.

Meyers' Vinyl District added websites in eight other cities this week—and, says Meyers, it'll soon be adding at least two more. Look soon for Vinyl Districts in Austin and Cleveland.

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  • Pati-G

    Totally disappointed this will be out of DC - it should be called VA Record Fair in this case.

  • scottreitz

    I have to agree. I didn't mind the crowds at all. The Black Cat may have been packed, but it was the perfect feel for the event. Artisphere?...eh.

  • Neal – Som Records

    There is no "perfect" venue. We love the Black Cat and will very likely have more shows there in the future but we really wanted to give Artisphere a shot at it. Its got a lot to offer and I think folks will be blown away. Those that want to hate, will do so. If we gave away free beer and records someone would post that it was the wrong beer and the record was the wrong pressing! See y'all at the fair.

  • Record Guy

    Pati and Scott, how long have you been living in DC? 2, 3 months? True DCers know that, as Brooklyn is to Manhattan, Rossyln is to DC. In fact, it's the closest "borough" to downtown. I doubt I'd be hearing NYers complaining if a Manhattan show was moved only one train stop into Brooklyn. Grow up.

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  • Ben

    Record Guy - couldn't disagree more, and I assume Brooklynites would be slightly horrified by your characterization.

    My initial reaction is to assume that you're affiliated with the Record Fair somehow. The first year it moved to the Black Cat from the Warehouse Next Door, I posted on the Vinyl District that I was disappointed with the event as compared to its previous incarnation. I thought that it was overcrowded and too dark. I suggested that it could have been more successful if the downstairs areas of the Black Cat had been used. Figuring that this was an appropriate place to voice any feedback (positive or negative. I was wrong and met only with attacks.

    It seems slightly reasonable that someone is "disappointed" the "DC" Record Fair will now be held in Virginia. It also seems reasonable for that person to post here voicing their opinion and not be told to "grow up" in response.

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