A full spectrum of the local music community, including more than 20 local record labels and four local bands, will converge for the first Bay Area Record Label Fair (BARF), a free event at Thee Parkside on February 15.
Presented by event promoter Professional Fans and indie pop record label Father/Daughter Records, attendees can mingle from noon to 5pm and discover new music while Cocktails, Dog Party, Al Lover and Twin Steps provide the soundtrack.
Attendees can buy record releases direct from the labels at the event and enter a $5 raffle to win music bundles, gift certificates and other swag. We spoke with ProFans’ Gregory Hill, who co-founded the event with Father/Daughter Records’ Jessi Frick, to find out more.
What inspired BARF?
They do this kind of thing in LA and there’s a company in London called Label Market that organizes record label fairs in London. I think they do it in Brooklyn and a few other places, as well.
My really good friend Jessi Fritz, who is Father/Daughter Records, and I had an exchange about why don’t we have that kind of situation here? There are so many wonderful record labels here in the Bay Area, including Slumberland, a legendary record label that’s been around for a long time and a lot of people look up to. Some people consider Papa Slumberland, the guy that runs it, a really famous and influential guy. Polyvinyl is very influential and a big label here. There are so many labels here in terms of rock ’n’ roll, dance, techno and punk. We wanted to bring those communities together.
Especially in the beginning of the year, with John Dwyer leaving, and in December knowing that a lot of bands are leaving the scene. There came to be all this press about San Francisco not having a strong music scene anymore, we’re losing all our bands and stuff like that. I think that’s so false. We have such a strong community here with so many community leaders and really awesome people that have been doing this here for a very long time.
One thing I like to talk about is, there’s no community without communication. The record label fair is an awesome opportunity to get all the labels in a room so fans can meet them, so they can interact with each other to talk about new bands, new music, new artists and just include the state of the general Bay Area music scene.
What can attendees expect?
I think they can expect a lot of smiles, a lot of conversations. The question people usually ask me is how do I find new bands or how do I find new music? This is the place to have that conversation. The people that run these record stores, representing the record shops, those are the guys you really want to ask about new music because they are the people that are hunting everyday and are being sent new music all the time.
Somehow we also got four amazing bands to come out to play and not do a pro bono, [but] we’re going to pay them off what we make on the raffle and the tote bags. You’ll also find records on sales, cheaper than you can buy in stores or online. Hopefully everyone can just bond off of our love for music, enjoy some happy hour, buy some new vinyl and learn about new bands.
Who is this event for—music biz types, bands, fans?
This event is for anybody that like records and likes to support music and understands that your dollar really dictates the way the community lives. Every $5-$10 you spend on a ticket to a show, buying a t-shirt, buying a record for a band, that all really dictates what is possible and how the music can stay here. Really this event is for the general SF music community and fans, and anybody that comes through will be a participator if they weren’t before.
Record Label List:
Fat Wreck Chords
Castle Face Records
Polyvinyl Record Company
1-2-3-4 Go! Records
Revolver USA/Midheaven mailorder
Gold Robot Records
Empty Cellar Records
Antenna Farm Records
Asian Man Records
Bright Antenna Records
Independent record stores:
The Bay Area Record Label Fair is from noon to 5pm at Thee Parkside. More info.