Nearly 5,000 vinyl records were scattered on a Vancouver sidewalk, free to take

Approximately 5,000 vinyl records were left scattered outside of a vinyl store on West Hastings Street overnight on April 6, causing confusion and concern from neighbours, passing residents, and even police.

The vinyls were placed outside by David Jones, owner of Vinyl Records, as he usually does with records he no longer wants to keep. But, according to Jones, the boxes were probably “roughed up” by a stranger overnight, causing a messy sight.

“This is the first time that they came into a mess and got on Reddit and even the police came by, but up until then, it was all happy in the neighbourhood. It created a lot of attention last night,” Jones tells Vancouver Is Awesome over the phone.

“Apparently the video on Reddit looked a bit shocking. That’s what happens when records are left unattended for a period of time, and it was quite a lot [too],” adds Jones.

The vinyl store owner regularly gives away records of all genres, placing boxes of them outside of the store at 321 East Hastings for anyone to take for free. They’re all from collections that he’s bought over the last 20 years of his business but are hard to sell and expensive to keep.

“I’m happy with what I’ve got and whatever success I’ve had in business. So why not? It’s a way of giving directly to the street, but at least part of the time it’s brought some joy to people. I could have just donated them all to the Wildlife Thrift store. I’ve done that in the past. If you can make someone’s day by all of a sudden creating a record collection for them I think that’s kind of fun.”

The boxes upon boxes of vinyls are just a portion of his collection; he’s got nearly 20,000 vinyl records he must purge before moving the store into a new location at 44 Water Street in Gastown this month.

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