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300+ vendors participate in Austin's largest record convention

Music fans come from all over to buy and sell records in Austin.

AUSTIN, Texas — Rows upon rows of records, CDs, and music memorabilia fill the 40,000 square feet at the Palmer Event Center for the Austin Record Convention happening this weekend.

The convention was started in 1981 by Doug Hanners, a local record store manager at Discount Records on Guadalupe Street.

He just knew a bunch of local record collectors,” said Nathan Hanners, Doug’s son and current organizer of the Austin Record Convention. “They would all get together and swap records, and eventually he had this idea, he and a couple of the people, to bring together everyone at once on a weekend and do a big swap meet.”

Now more than 40 years later, the convention has grown into the largest sale of recorded music in the U.S. Over 300 vendors come from all over the world for the convention.

"There're many, many things that I tried to bring to this show because you have people coming from all over the world,” said Craig Williams, owner of Stand Still Music.

Williams has been going to record conventions since the 80s, but says he only brings his best to Austin.

"Michael Jackson in the history box set,” Williams showed. “It is sealed. Original sealed copy with the hype sticker."

Ralph DeWitt from Ralph's Records in Lubbock, Texas has also been coming to this convention since the 80s. He was a vendor for 15 years, but now just comes for fun.

"I got tired of everybody else getting the good deals while I was sitting behind a table, so now I just shop,” said DeWitt.


It's not just the records people come to see. Former music journalist Elise Krentzel toured with KISS when she was 19, and she came to the convention to share her book.

"People that do come here are attracted to a music store or something regarding the band KISS or any band that they like, and I get to hear their story,” Krentzel said.

She says the connections are one of the greatest things she finds here.

"I met the coolest people today,” Krentzel said. “We're actually going to lunch next month."

And it’s the connections that keep people coming back each year, and what makes the Austin music scene so special.

The show runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, May 7. Then, their next convention will be in the fall on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1.

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