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Reviving Vinyl: WPKN's Music Mash Spins Into Downtown Bridgeport

Al Bell, host of a weekly blues show on WPKN, spins some tunes at the last Music Mash.
Al Bell, host of a weekly blues show on WPKN, spins some tunes at the last Music Mash. Photo Credit: Contributed

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — It’s that time again, vinyl lovers.

Time for Music Mash ’17, WPKN 89.5-FM’s annual record fair. It's expected to bring an estimated 50 dealers peddling records, CDs, collectible posters and memorabilia to downtown Bridgeport’s Read’s Artspace building on Saturday, March 4.

“Our first event back in 2013 at what today is The Warehouse at Fairfield Theatre Company was a big hit, and for the third consecutive year we’re back in Bridgeport,” said Steve di Costanzo, the station’s general manager. “Each year we’ve grown and we are targeting 1,000 people for this year’s event.”

The record fair is a large fundraiser for the nonprofit, community radio station, which has more reason than ever to raise funds this year: WPKN needs $75,000 for a new analog solid-state transmitter to replace its ailing 45-year-old transmitter.

Music Mash ’17 will include some of the region’s top dealers and vendors with such music as rock, jazz, blues, garage, psychedelia, country, soul, new wave, punk, reggae, ska and ephemera.

John Bastone of Record Riots, which operates shows up and down the Eastern Seaboard, called the event “one of the best record fairs in New England.”

WPKN programmers will be DJing live from the event. Talking Head drummer Chris Frantz, who hosts a WPKN show, and bassist Tina Weymouth are likely guests. And The Animals’ Hilton Valentine and Rusty Ford of Lothar & the Hand People and Charlie Karp of the Buddy Miles Express have attended in the past.

Stratford’s own Two Roads Brewing will be on hand and a consortium of downtown Bridgeport restaurants, including Milano’s, ‘A Vucchella, Barnum Publick House, Leisha’s and Moe’s Burger Joint, will be offering Music Mash food discounts all day.

Early bird hours are from 8 to 10 a.m. with a $20 admission. The main show opens at 10 a.m. and runs through 6 p.m. Admission is $6, $5 for students and children under 12 are free.

Read’s Artspace is at 1042 Broad St., Bridgeport. On-street metered parking is available and there will be free outdoor parking in the lot across from Read’s via Cannon Street.

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