To the sellers cashing in on Viola Beach vinyl

by Craig Evans

In October last year our team were honoured to release a 7” vinyl single from Warrington four-piece Viola Beach as part of our monthly subscription service. Over the last year the band, led by manager Craig Tarry, were seemingly on the brink of breaking through.

But in the early hours of Sunday morning last weekend we received the horrifying news that the band and their manager had tragically died in a car accident in Sweden.

As the details began to emerge the outpouring of support for the band and their music has led Swings And Waterslides to hit Number 1 in the iTunes chart and the music industry to pay tribute to the band.

As a company we always hold back a certain number of our boxes so that when new members sign up to our service they can purchase back-issues of our boxes if they want them.

Needless to say, by Monday morning demand for the October box had gone through the roof. We announced that all proceeds from this box would be donated to the fund being put together for the families of the band and their manager in due course.

Yesterday however I received a few tweets asking whether we’d seen what was happening on eBay and, after investigating, found that several people who were not members of our service had purchased the October box as the news was hitting the headlines and placed them onto eBay. Over the last three days I’ve seen probably about ten copies of the Flying Vinyl Viola Beach single selling for anywhere between £50 — £100.

The aggressive and rapidly changing supply and demand of vinyl’s of course nothing massively new. In the wake of David Bowie’s passing his last work, Blackstar, was being sold online for up to £300.00 the day after its release.

And at last year’s Record Store Day, long queues formed outside record shops across the world with people waiting to buy a series of ultra-limited edition reissues, only for many of them to end up on eBay and Discogs the next day at quadruple the price.

Supply and demand is what it is in art, but over the last week we’ve spoken to a number of people who were very close to the Viola Beach team, many of whom are still coming to terms with what has happened.

This is a loving reminder to the people selling those records on eBay that behind the sudden customer sentiment there are five families that have been torn apart by the events of last weekend and many more friends and fans mourning the loss of the band.

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