Record collectors hunt for treasure at Easter 'mega' sale
Thousands of Edmonton record collectors are on their own personal Easter egg hunts this weekend at the fourth annual Super Mega Records Garage Sale.
"We kind of bill it as an Easter egg hunt for music lovers," Yuri Wuensch, co-founder of the annual event, said Friday.
"I think we're really invigorating a new generation of collectors just because we're able to offer them such a great deal."
The three-day sale continues through to Sunday at the Kenilworth community hall, 7104 87th Ave. The sale is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day.
The idea is relatively simple. Record collectors meet up with vendors selling everything from LPs to 45s, 78s, 12-inch singles, compact discs, eight-tracks and cassettes. In total, there are between 40,000 and 50,000 items on sale.
Nothing is priced more than $3 on the first day, and prices go down from there through the weekend.
Admission is $2 or a donation to Edmonton's food bank.
"The response to this particular sale is always really strong and amazing," said Wuensch, a co-organizer of the event, which is sponsored by the Dead Vinyl Society.
The Super Mega sale got its start in 2014.
Wuensch had purchased a large collection of records, and after he was finished rooting out the gems, he decided to hold a garage sale to find new owners for the ones that were left.
"The response to that garage sale was so profound that we hit on the idea of doing it year over year, and we engaged more people who likewise had records that maybe could go at garage-sale prices," he said.
'Every genre of music'
The records and tapes come from all over, he said. This year he's selling some albums that had been stored in a barn for more than a decade.
"I just hate to see the records languish," Wuensch said. "And certainly there are some records we know will never sell, but then, you know, everybody's tastes are different, so you can never quite tell what people are going to want or what they are looking for.
"So we try to represent every genre of music here. You've got everything from country to rap to techno and house music, through to soul, R&B, rock and pop, you name it."
Matthew Wood, a DJ and beat-maker who was shopping for deals on Friday, said his own treasure hunts sometimes end in exhilaration.
"It's really overwhelming, the energy when you find that one record you've been wanting for a long time," Wood said.
"When you find that Easter egg, the diamond in the rough? Like, you'll go through maybe hundreds or thousands of records and there's that one that you've wanting … it's like being a kid in the candy store."
'Looking for that same rush'
He said that while he flips through the vinyl offerings, he's aware that other collectors around him are on similar quests.
"That excitement is definitely exhilarating, for sure. You can feel it all around. You can hear it, though, too. You'll be digging and maybe someone across from you will be like 'Oh, this is the one?'
"You're always looking for that same rush, too."
Wuensch said the annual sale is a part of what local music lovers call "vinyl month." Other events in April include Record Store Day and the Edmonton Music Collectors Show.
Record Store Day is held one Saturday in April each year. It celebrates independently-owned record stores. This year it's on Saturday, April 22.
The music collectors show, held twice each year, is next on Sunday, April 30 at the Central Lions Recreation Centre.