Jack White addressed nearly 300 attendees from every corner of the vinyl industry at the inaugural Making Vinyl event in Detroit.
The White Stripes frontman and Third Man boss issued a rallying cry for a format that has seen double-digit growth for 10 consecutive years, telling delegates at the Westin Book Cadillac Hotel: “If you really want to show reverence and respect to the music, experience it this way.”
“I don’t care if we lose money,” White declared, of his record plant Third Man Pressing, which opened in February. “Exposing people to beauty at any cost – that’s everybody’s job in this room.”
The conference’s opening keynote speaker, Michael Kurtz, co-founder of event partner Record Store Day, emphasised the format’s continued growth: “It was amazing to spend two days with people who actually make things. The energy level and quality of discussions was refreshing and exciting. I cannot wait to begin work on Making Vinyl 2018.”
Rap pioneer Darryl “DMC” McDaniels opened the second day by underlining the message. “My life has been empowered by records,” he said, adding that listening to vinyl provides “an experience that you can touch and feel… it gives you a memory.”
Among those leading panel sessions at the event were top executives from the world’s top pressing plants, including GZ Media, Optimal and MPO from Europe, Nashville’s United Record Pressing, and southern California’s Record Technology Inc. and Rainbo Records, all whom have stuck with vinyl through thick and thin.
“We had a hunch that we were onto something with a B2B conference devoted to vinyl’s
comeback, and the outpouring of comments that it’s been the best business conference
they’ve ever attended has been especially gratifying,” said Making Vinyl’s executive producer
Bryan Ekus and president of Colonial Purchasing.
Other sessions covered the fine art of mastering and lathe cutting, as well as the workflow
involved in creating an audiophile record, what labels are planning, independent retailers grappling with inventory issues, slim margins and the importance of the twice-a-year Record Store Day holiday to their financial well being.