The CHIRP Record Fair has become a hallmark sign of springtime in Chicago. Every year, Chicago's independent radio project brings vendors from across the Midwest together for a crate diving day of fun and discovery.
This year, the fair is being held at Plumbers Hall in the Randolph Street Market district (1340 W. Washington Blvd.) this Saturday, April 11. In addition to dozens of vinyl vendors, food and beverages, the fair promises a few "Other Delights" in 2015.
Here are five things you'll stumble upon should you attend on Saturday:
Yes, there will be plenty of vendors at Plumbers Hall selling contemporary rock and pop records but stray from the mainstream and try veering towards the obscure, the worldly and the retro. Oak Park's FPE Records advertises itself as a specialist in Afrofuturist jazz and Ethiopian music while Bob Craig's Midwest Classical Record Show (hailing from Lake Barrington) has classic rock from the ‘50s through ‘80s, classical and orchestral records to sell you. Visit Remake Remodel Records' (of Carol Stream) booth for everything from ‘60s and ‘70s Japanese and Dutch to Krautrock to Chicago blues.
Your Favorite New Piece Of Wall Art
Music-related memorabilia is another big draw of the CHIRP Record Fair & Other Delights. Visit Chicago-based Atlantic Poster's booth for a seemingly endless supply of promotional and concert posters. Check out Tight Five Productions as well for some interesting imports.
Your New Local Go-To
Many of the dealers setting up shop at the fair are from right here in Chicago. Record Breakers, Saki, Funk Trunk Records and others have store fronts around town for you to enjoy long after Saturday's festivities end. Don't miss Le Cave Records & Crates (also local) for some sweet custom-made crates to store your new finds in.
Art Of Other Kinds
Obviously, music is what brings CHIRP Record Fair attendees together, but this year there is plenty more for the creative mind to indulge in. Check out an installation from Chicago artist Nick Fisher. CHIRP's own First Time Storytelling series will host a pop-up event. And if, like this writer, you consider recording and remembering seemingly useless trivia is an art all its own, then you'll want to attend the Music Quiz series hosted by DJ Mary Nisi.
A Dance Party!
That's right. This isn't the type of record fair that you just stand around at. Get your feet moving during Chic-A-Go-Go's Dance Party at Plumbers Hall. The public-access children's dance show (airing regularly on CAN-TV) brings a promise of musical fun for all ages. The fair will also host guest DJs throughout the day including White Mystery's own Alex White, the members behind local indie band NE-HI and Chicago-born rapper ShowYouSuck.
The 2015 CHIRP Record Fair & Other Delights is comes in the wake of CHIRP's exciting news that the station will be hitting terrestrial radio in the very near future. If you're jonesing for more indie radio on your dial sooner rather than later, make a donation at the fair!
The fair runs Saturday, April 11, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is $7 (or $5 with a flier). Special early access tickets are available for $25 and will get you into the fair before the general public from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.
Images courtesy of CHIRP