How A Pittsburgh Native’s Love For Music Has Grown Into An International Record Convention

The convention, coming July 15, has rocked Pittsburgh since 1996, showcasing vinyl albums from across genres and uniting music lovers from around the world.


The Pittsburgh Record Convention is returning to the city on July 15, and is stronger than ever close to 30 years after Anthony Medwid first invited vinyl collectors to share their love of music.

This year, the convention is welcoming 35 vendors from across 10 states to sell vinyl albums, CDs and other music memorabilia from genres including rock ‘n’ roll, metal, R&B, jazz and doo-wop. Medwid says buyers have traveled from locations around the world, such as Canada, Japan and Germany, to visit the convention in past years, and he is expecting several hundred guests from near and far this year.

Medwid, a Pittsburgh native, says the convention has always succeeded in the city because “we always have been a vinyl town” focused on preserving and sharing music. A lifelong fan and collector of vinyl himself, Medwid hosted his first convention in 1996 to bring Pittsburgh’s community of collectors together. 

Since then, he says the show has grown from year to year — he used to only host smaller gatherings in the fall and spring, but now he runs full-scale conventions every four months. The show on July 15 is only his second summer show, but expected to be one of his biggest. 

Admission to the convention is free from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., but dedicated collectors can pay $10 to browse the tables between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. and claim the most rare and unique albums. The event will be held in West View Banquet Hall on Perry Highway, a location that Medwid has used for the past two years to accommodate the growth in attendees after hosting at previous sites in McKees Rocks, Green Tree, Bridgeville and the South Side.


“It seems like the convention has been getting better and better,” Medwid says. “I think that the interest is definitely there, and there’s a lot of different age groups that are coming now. I think right now, we’re at our best.”

Pittsburgh Record Convention’s success mirrors national trends in the growing popularity of vinyl records. In 2022, 41 million vinyl albums were sold compared to 33 million CDs, according to the Recording Industry Association of America’s annual revenue report. Vinyl albums haven’t outsold CDs in that way since 1987, the report says, but vinyl sales have been increasing for the past 16 years. 

Today’s vinyl sales are lower than at their height in the 1970s, when more than 300 million albums were sold in a single year, but vinyl albums have made a resurgence in the digital age as they become collectors items. 

Part of the growth comes from the younger generations’ new involvement in record sales. According to Luminate’s year-end music report, Taylor Swift, Harry Styles and Olivia Rodrigo sold the most vinyl albums in 2022, and Gen Z listeners were 25% more likely to purchase vinyl records than the average music listener.

No matter the age of the collector, Medwid says there are special elements of vinyl records that keep buyers coming back to the convention year after year. 

“Vinyl has a warmer feel to it and a warmer sound,” he says. “And I think the appeal is that you get the bigger album cover and graphics to hold in your hand.”


Medwid says there is a large diversity of buyers and sellers at the event every year, partly because it is the only convention of its size and scope in the area: the other closest record shows are in New York, Michigan and Maryland. That means the convention’s vendors range from avid collectors who have their own stores to sellers who started collecting records as a retirement hobby; buyers range from lifelong enthusiasts to casual shoppers. 

Medwid says he has enjoyed every show, a total of 56 over the past 27 years, because it is inspiring to watch buyers connect with the music that means the most to them. The only downside for Medwid, as a collector of ‘60s and early ‘70s albums who tries to track down every vinyl from his favorite artists, is that he is often so focused on organizing the event that he doesn’t have time to shop. 

“When I am really busy, sometimes I see people walking out with things I wish I would have found,” he says, chuckling about how his own passion for collecting is still strong.

Categories: The 412