The Juan Maclean to Play Discogs' Debut Crate Diggers Event in L.A.: Exclusive

Diogo Baptista/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images
The Juan MacLean performed live at NOS Primavera Sound.

The online vinyl database and exchange is bringing record swaps and DJs in real time.

The Juan Maclean will play the upcoming Crate Diggers free record fair and after party in Los Angeles on Oct. 22 at Lot 613 marking the vinyl exchange's first event since Discogs acquired it earlier this month. Others on the bill include Rick Wade, Harmonie Park, Rush Hour, Moods & Grooves, Zernell and Grimy Edits.

For Discogs, the online vinyl database and exchange, which claims to have the largest online physical music database with a catalog of more than 6.5 million recordings and 4 million artists built by users, the Crate Diggers acquisition provided an opportunity for the 16-year-old company to bring together its global community of fervent record collectors in real time.

"Community involvement is huge for us," says Chad Dahlstrom, Discogs chief operating officer. "We see the Crate Digger events as an opportunity for our online community to see us live, meet us live and to meet each other live. We're sitting in front of our audience and getting a lot of feedback about what they want, we're getting new customers, we're getting new sellers and we're engaging current customers and sellers—there's a long tail to it."

Crate Diggers, which Discogs sponsored before acquiring it for an undisclosed sum, was founded three years ago and has held events in Miami, Portland, Ore. and Berlin. In addition to Juan Maclean (new mix premiere below), past performers at the event have included the likes of Doc Martin and Theo Parrish. Discogs plans to take its new franchise to ten markets next year including Chicago, New York, Tokyo, London, Paris and Barcelona.

Founded in 2000 by Kevin Lewandowski, who initially only wanted to catalog his techno records, Discogs became an open source online community data base similar to Wikipedia with extensive information compiled by users on millions of albums (witness the reported 309 versions of the Beatles' White Album). The site experimented with ad revenue, paid subscription and membership models before 2007 when the site added a market place feature where users could buy and sell vinyl and which led to something of a windfall.

Today Discogs has a staff of 50 and offices in Beaverton, Ore. and Amsterdam and expects this year to break the $100 million sales threshold. Its business model is similar to eBay or Amazon with the site taking 8 percent of sales which would mean $8 million in revenues for this year. With a database many independent retailers find indispensable, Discog's now claims 3 million users (although not all are active) and nearly 15,000 new users per week. The site gets some nearly 400,000 orders a month which would put the site on pace for 4.8 million orders for the year.*

Discog's bread and butter and most popular format is vinyl which accounts for more than 80 percent of its sales even while cassettes this year have had a resurgence growing 42 percent to more than 60,000 units. According to the most recent music sales figures for the larger market in the first half of 2016, vinyl sales jumped 11.4 percent to 6.2 million.

Discogs also owns Vinyl Hub, a database which catalogs the location and types of music sold at record shops and currently lists 5,668 stores. The company also has plans for a gear exchange which is scheduled to launch at the end of the year.

Meanwhile the free Crate Diggers record fair at Lot 16 in L.A.'s Arts District will go from noon until 6:00 p.m. with the after party headlined by Juan Maclean running from 8:00 p.m. until 4:00 a.m.

The Juan Maclean has a new album currently slated for next year and will release a split 12" single with the Savages on DFA in November. The industrious Maclean also has an EP with Peach Melba, his vocal-house project, due out Oct. 28 and an EP with his techno outfit Autofac is out in November.

*Correction appended. Per Discogs, new user figures were updated from 15,000 a month to 15,000 a week; and monthly orders increased from 95,000 to 400,000 which put the company on pace to have 4.8 million orders for the year.