Love and Records at­tracts mu­sic lovers of all ages

Event merges record fair and mu­sic fes­ti­val

Lethbridge Herald - - FRONT PAGE - J.W. Sch­narr jwschnarr@leth­bridge­

The air was filled with Love and Records at Galt Gar­dens on Satur­day as hun­dreds came out to dig for hid­den mu­si­cal trea­sures and take in the late sum­mer fair at­mos­phere.

This is the sev­enth year for West­ern Canada’s largest out­door record fair and mu­sic fes­ti­val, known as much for its moun­tains of vinyl, cas­settes and CDs for fes­ti­val-go­ers to pe­ruse as it is as a stage and venue for live mu­si­cal acts to con­nect with lo­cal res­i­dents.

The event is pre­sented by 88.3 FM CKXU, the Univer­sity of Lethbridge ra­dio sta­tion.

James Mar­shal­say, op­er­a­tions di­rec­tor for Love and Records, said the event rep­re­sents a kind of block party which is free and open to ev­ery­one as a way for the sta­tion to cel­e­brate their com­mu­nity fo­cus.

“We like to make sure the com­mu­nity as­pect is rep­re­sented,” he said. “Our block party is a mu­sic fes­ti­val, but also a record fair, be­cause be­ing a cam­pus com­mu­nity ra­dio sta­tion full of mu­sic nerds, we want to make sure we have all our favourite al­bums on vinyl.

“So we de­cided to have this record fair, and we added some bands, and it’s just grown ev­ery year.”

This year, the stage was moved out of the per­ma­nent struc­ture in Galt Gar­dens and onto the grass to bet­ter fa­cil­i­tate the crowds who come to take in the live mu­sic.

Head­line acts in­cluded Cold Specks and Weaves, both of whom have pre­vi­ously been nom­i­nated for Po­laris Mu­sic Prizes. Weaves was nom­i­nated for a Juno Award this year in the Al­ter­na­tive Al­bum of the Year cat­e­gory.

The lineup also fea­tured a num­ber of acts from Calgary, as well as sev­eral lo­cal acts Mar­shal­say said should be on ev­ery­one’s radar.

“Fox Eyes is amaz­ing,” he said. “Such a gem from Lethbridge that def­i­nitely needs to get more ex­po­sure.”

He also noted lo­cal acts J Blis­sette and John Wort Han­nam who need to be seen.

“We’re try­ing to make sure the lo­cal and na­tional mu­sic scene is avail­able to peo­ple in Lethbridge,” Mar­shal­say said.

“The merg­ing of a record fair and a mu­sic fes­ti­val cre­ates a unique ex­pe­ri­ence that is un­par­al­leled in the city. And sup­port from the com­mu­nity and the city is so im­por­tant, be­cause it brings a col­lec­tive spirit. It’s an eclec­tic ex­pe­ri­ence.”

That ex­pe­ri­ence in­cludes art, live mu­sic, ven­dors, beer gar­dens and food trucks all in one place.

The pop­u­lar­ity of the fes­ti­val also speaks to the ever­green qual­ity of dif­fer­ent mu­sic for­mats. At Love and Records, LPs are king. But they share ta­ble space with 8-tracks, cas­settes and CDs as well.

“Mu­sic fans want some­thing tan­gi­ble,” Mar­shal­say said. “In this age, we have the dig­i­tal medium and ev­ery­one can lis­ten to mu­sic, but to re­ally ap­pre­ci­ate mu­sic, peo­ple want some­thing phys­i­cal.

“Fan­dom is some­thing they want to have ex­pressed phys­i­cally. Not just (dig­i­tal).”

In true univer­sity ra­dio fash­ion, the event also fea­tured the first can­di­date’s fo­rum in the city for the up­com­ing mu­nic­i­pal elec­tion.

“The peo­ple who are com­ing to events like this can know who to vote for,” said Mar­shal­say. “And to make sure that events like this con­tinue to hap­pen in our city.”

He added the pres­ence of sum­mer fes­ti­vals such as Love and Records are vi­tal to a vi­brant cul­tural scene and as a way to pro­vide events where lo­cal res­i­dents can come out, be them­selves and be to­gether.

“(Th­ese events) aren’t only for a few in Lethbridge,” he said. “They are for ev­ery­one in Lethbridge.”

Herald photos by J.W. Sch­narr

Kelsey Janzen checks out the back of a record while Mada­lyn Zent­ner looks on at the Love and Records mu­sic fair in Galt Gar­dens on Satur­day. @JWSch­nar­rHer­ald

@JWSchnarr Herald

Lo­cal mu­sic group Fox Eyes per­forms ons­tage at the Love and Records mu­sic fes­ti­val in Galt Gar­dens on Satur­day.

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