A visit to Greece, home to a big group of European Discogs users, is long overdue. So we’re excited to finally head over to Athens! With 30 record shops listed on VinylHub, the capital will be a great place to start exploring the local record scene. And the Vinyl Is Back Record Fair, happening on March 16-18, will be the icing on the cake. Before heading out, we reached out to organiser Dimitris Antonakos to find out more about the Vinyl Is Back event. We’re looking forward to seeing you all there!
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
My name is Dimitris Antonakos. I’m the CEO of the “Demand Fairs and Media Ltd”, a company that organizes trade fairs and events. I am a graduate of University of Athens School of Law, Economics and Political Sciences, and my professional experience is mainly in Marketing, Sales, Communication and Management.
Can you remember the first record you ever purchased?
I’m a big fan of the Greek artistic music, so the first record I ever had was a record of ‘Yannis Spanos’ a well-known and established Greek composer. I was fourteen when I decided to buy my first personal record player, paying with my own money. Given that my money was limited, I bought a second-hand record player. After a little bargaining with the seller, he threw in a record by ‘Yannis Spanos’. It was the soundtrack of the film “Ekino to Kalokeri” (translation in English: “That Summer”). That film had won 1st place in the Thessaloniki International Film Festival in the Best Soundtrack category.
What does your personal record collection look like?
My personal record collection includes about 1,000 vinyl records. I mainly like Greek artistic music, so the bulk of my personal record collection includes artists like Mikis Theodorakis, Manos Hadjidakis, Manos Loizos, Kostas Chatzis (my favorite one), etc. In addition, I really enjoy rock ballads so while going through my records you will definitely find stuff like Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Scorpions, Deep Purple, and more!
How did you get into organizing record fairs?
I have done business in the Fairs Organizing Sector since 1996. When I rediscovered my records and bought a new record player after a fifteen year “break” (when my old record player was broken down and I turned to the cd format), I thought that it would be great to make a fair about the “return of vinyl”. So, the “Vinyl is Back” event was born!
What was your best find at a record fair?
As I said, my favorite Greek artist is Kostas Chatzis. At the first “Vinyl is Back” event, I found the only vinyl record of his, that was absent from my personal record collection. This is a record released in 1972 and its title is the same with the artist’s name: “Kostas Chatzis”. As you can guess, I bought it immediately!
What do people not know about the record culture in Greece?
Traditional Greek music record sales (traditional folk music, Rebetiko) was not profitable due to the weak and under-achieving promotion on behalf of the record companies. In addition, record companies would release limited copies of Greek pop and rock bands records and as a result nowadays these discs are considered to be precious and rare. The culture of vinyl in our country is proportional to the age background. Older people know more about these issues and the music industry while young people are learning now.
The relationship between the Greeks and the vinyl is primitive, beginning from Rebetiko, during the first and second decade of 20th century. Since the mid ‘90s, for about 15 to 20 years vinyl was replaced by CD, which had already entered the market as a new format. In recent years, people of all ages are more and more interested in vinyl, and we have observed a sharp shift in the market. Thanks to “Vinyl is Back” people who are unfamiliar with the vinyl industry and vinyl lovers meet each other by sharing a common passion no matter their age.
What makes the Vinyl Is Back Record Fair unique?
The people! It is always the people! The ones who work for it, the ones who visit it and the ones who participate in it. We love music and we love vinyl and we want to share our passion with as many people as possible.
“Vinyl is Back” is not just another vinyl bazaar. We have live performances by well-known Greek Artists, DJ sets, music games, record presentations and a lot of fun in general!
Any pro-tips for sellers and visitors?
Always smile and be honest to your costumers! Vinyl is not just a product, it’s a way of living. It is not just about buying something, it is about commitment, passion and the thrill of something old that in the same time is something new. Nothing tops that!
Drop by our table at Vinyl Is Back, 16-18 March 2018, Hellenic Motor Museum, Athens, Greece!
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