Just over a month after our first Crate Diggers Record Fair in Brighton, UK, the memory of the event, the city, the laid back vibe, and the wonderful people we met still brings a big smile to our faces. The idea behind Crate Diggers is fairly simple: Discogs started organizing free entry record fairs a few years back to thank and celebrate the record collecting community around the world.
So this wouldn’t be our first Crate Diggers, but it would the first one of this scale. We’d have around 120 tables filled with records! Although we did everything possible to prepare, we were a little bit nervous — just like every time. So many sellers were travelling all the way to Brighton (some as far as Scotland, Manchester, and mainland Europe). Would the collectors turn up!?
There was no need to worry. Brighton is home to well over 20 record shops, and The Great Escape Festival was on while we were there, as well as Vinyl World Congress. It’s a seaside destination for music lovers! A diverse crowd found their way to Crate Diggers in the Brighton Centre from the moment we started, and they kept coming.
From disco to doom, rave to rock, from samba to soul; there were treasures to be found for every collector out there. DJs Nick The Record, Mr Thing, Format, and Billy Nasty played sets of music that they were selling on the day. Everything you heard, you could purchase there and then. Technimatic from Shogun Audio played a set of records that they bought at the fair. Upstairs in the Brighton Centre, there were performances by The Accidentals, Zion Train, Jah Wobble, and many others.
In the Experience Zone, Native Instruments taught visitors how to sample a record they just purchased and make a track out of it using their latest equipment. Audio-Technica showcased turntables, including a bespoke Rolls Royce owners club exclusive turntable unit (with built in whisky drawer!). Dublin Vinyl, one of the newest pressing plants in Europe, were there to present their record subscription service.
In the afternoon, the after party kicked off in the auditorium. General Levy, David Rodigan, Soup of Jurassic 5 presents Fullee Love, and others played before closing act Sister Sledge took to the stage. Looking around the big hall while Sister Sledge played We Are Family — watching everyone sing along, dance, and have a great time — was a moment we wished could last forever. Thanks to everyone for making Crate Diggers Brighton happen!
All photos by Ellen Richardson
Our next Crate Diggers Record Fair is coming up soon. On July 27, we’ll be in New York’s PlayStation Theatre, just around the corner from Times Square! Come digging at the fair, where the Mobile Mondays DJs will be spinning, and stay for the after party with an incredible lineup including Method Man, Redman, and Roy Ayers!