(An open letter from I Love Vinyl founder Ben Goldfarb aka DJ Scribe)
In early 2009, Brice Rosenbloom, a talent booker who I had worked with previously at the Knitting Factory, approached me about a new venue he was booking talent for in the historic former Village Gate space on Bleecker Street. Owned and run by two classical musicians, with a diverse high-quality live music calendar, Le Poisson Rouge stood in stark contrast to its tourist trap blues bar, trashy “nightclub", and NYU student dive neighbors. I met Brice there and he showed me the side room, then casually known as the gallery bar. It was the type of space I wanted for an intimate dance party. Wood floors, low ceilings, compact dance floor, minimal gallery-style decor with a rotating art exhibition, and a good sound system. I had conceived of I Love Vinyl almost two years prior and had just been waiting for the right place. LPR was it. I assembled the five other djs, some of my best friends, and some of the best djs i know, and we started putting together our first party.
From the beginning I was very impressed with the staff at LPR (booking, management, sound and lighting, promotions...), both in their sheer number, and their level of professionalism. I felt more respect and support there as a dj and party promoter than I had ever felt before anywhere else. Over the next six years, that feeling has remained a constant for me. Our opening night was a big success and the monthly I Love Vinyl party at LPR was born.
After six months or so, we started doing parties in Brooklyn as well. First at Brooklyn Bowl, then Southpaw, then Littlefield (when Southpaw closed), then the Public Assembly loft, then TBA Brooklyn and Output (when the Public Assembly loft closed), and others. But during that entire time, the party continued, monthly, at LPR. That consistence, and their great staff, was key to our success and growth over the years, and I never took that for granted. Over the years we watched a lot of clubs and record stores in Manhattan close and new places open in Brooklyn to replace them. But we knew we would never have it better than we had it at LPR so we stayed there, despite the trend. And LPR continued to be a vibrant and relevant cultural oasis in Manhattan. But over time we found ourselves swimming against an increasingly strong current, not at LPR whatsoever, but just with the scene and its shifting habits. So recently, after much deliberation we decided it was, sadly, time for us to move on.
Now I find myself in a similar position as I was in 2009, waiting for the right place (in Brooklyn) to present itself, possibly for the next 6 years of I Love Vinyl. Thankfully, there are some very promising possibilities… But no matter where we go, we will not forget where we started. Just like we all have a place where we were born and grew up, our “hometown", LPR will always be our first “home”. So for all of that, I say a deeply heartfelt thank you to everyone who made it possible for us to begin there, and to maintain something there for so many years. I am eternally grateful.
Saturday 7/25 will be I Love Vinyl's last party at LPR