By Maisie Lawton
The organisers of Leeds Record Fair say they hope the event can return indoors in November.
The event, managed by John Cox, 52, has been an indoor event since 2018 that takes place on the 2nd Saturday of each month. However, owing to Covid-19, since August the event has taken place outdoors at Leeds Kirkgate Market to respect the 1m+ social distancing rules.
John said, “We hope to be inside by November, but everyone will have to make sure to wear masks when they come.”
The record fair was suspended from March until August due to the global pandemic of Coronavirus.
Melvyn Hughes, who is a stallholder at the event, said: “Covid has affected me massively as I don’t sell online so it’s meant that I’ve had to go into my savings to pay for stuff.
“I also feel like when buying online, a customer can never feel a vinyl in the same way. It catches your eye when in person rather than online.”
However, stallholder John Greyhound said Covid did not affect his business personally as he sells online and in store.
Instead, he believes the national lockdown helped raise his business.
“With everyone at home at the moment they miss concerts etc- they have more time to sit down and enjoy that kind of music in person and that’s really had an impact on vinyls,” he told Yorkshire Voice.
Leeds Outdoor Record Fair has 40 stallholders with 75 tables of collectable records and bargains across all genres, including rock n roll, soul, punk, psychedelic, new wave, prog, heavy metal, jazz, funk, blues, indie, hip hop, house, techno, reggae, folk, world music and classical. There are also some CDs.
Attending outdoors on Sunday 11 October, customer Finley Rimmer said: “What I love about this event even is seeing all the different types of music and all the different stalls.
“There’s never two of the same and I think it’s great especially for people wanting to try new stuff.”
Finley agreed that the event had met the Covid restrictions and guidelines by having the stalls distanced, and hand sanitisers provided on site.
But Kurtis Lane, who has an inherited love of vinyls through his family’s generations, said he felt the fair could have been improved with a one-way system.
The next event is due to take place on Saturday 14 November; whether it will be indoors at Kirkgate Market is yet to be confirmed.