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Records and their fans: Beuel: The longing for vinyl is satisfied

Records and their fans : Beuel: The longing for vinyl is satisfied

For many years, the vinyl record eked out a shadowy existence, but now vinyl also has many young fans. In Beuel, collectors and new enthusiasts get their money's worth in Nobbi's record shop and at the record fair in the Brückenforum.

Sought, found, happy, bought - that's what record enthusiasts want when they hold their usually black objects of desire in their hands. Vinyl has been back for a long time, for those who are convinced it has never gone away, and the sales figures have also long since proven the comeback of the record. On Sunday, for the first time in about two years, the Brückenforum in Beuel offered the opportunity to dive deep into sheer masses of sound carriers.

According to organiser Ulrich Lauber, around 500 people followed the temptation of the record fair. Otherwise, music fans have a permanent place to go anyway with Nobbi's record shop in Beuel. Both experts observe a trend: recently, numerous new vinyl fans have come on the scene - many significantly younger than the long-time regulars.

For Norbert Schumacher, vinyl is anything but a trendy object. For more than 25 years, he has been the namesake and owner of his shop in Beuel, a highly esteemed contact point for record enthusiasts from the Bonn area and especially far beyond. Strictly speaking, he has had more bad years for vinyl with his shop than good ones.

Since 2010, sales of vinyl records have increased from ten million euros at the time to 99 million euros last year, according to industry associations and statisticians - and this in the face of gigantic streaming figures and the steady extinction of the once celebrated CD.

Besides old hands, teenagers also come to the shop

His regular customers have always carried the shop on Marienstraße, says Schumacher. That is predominantly the case even in pandemic times, he says. "The Lockdown period was really bad, from a business point of view as well as for me as a person," says the record purist. "Being alone in the shop so often was totally unfamiliar and uncomfortable. I don't want to have that again.“

Since regular customer traffic under mask obligation has been possible again, the clientele has definitely changed, according to his observation. "The old hands still come, but there are many younger ones, up to teenagers. In any case, people who grew up without a parental record player," says Schumacher and laughs. "I wouldn't have expected what some of them buy. Soundtracks from old films, for example, or 60s and 70s rock, I have quite a lot of that." There is as little new merchandise to be seen at "Nobbi" as at Laubers Börse.

Schumacher's observation confirms a broad trend. "Retro" and "vintage" are sought-after attributes in the buying behaviour of many people under 30, and records are obviously one of them according to sociologists. Accordingly, used vinyl albums are developing as one of many mosaic stones in an analogue way of life to which many are drawn in the sometimes overloaded digital age. The experts in Beuel are only too happy to provide the appropriate soundtrack - "we are happy about every fan", says Lauben, who was also able to observe entire families browsing in Beuel on Sunday.

After several vinyl dealers in Bonn recently gave up the ghost, beacons like "Nobbi's Record Shop" and the Record Fair - next date: 6 February 2022 - have become even more indispensable for fans.

Original text: Alexander Barth - Translation: Mareike Graepel