The White Label Auction in Aid of The BRIT Trust returns on Tuesday, 6th June 2023, with over 100 lots of collectible ‘white-label’ test pressings set to go under the hammer.
This fourth edition of the charity auction – first staged in October 2019 – will again be hosted live online and on-site for UK and international collectors by the music memorabilia and vinyl records specialists Omega Auctions from their Newton-Le-Willows (Greater Manchester) base.
Super fans and collectors will be able to bid for a great selection of white labels including some hugely coveted signed test pressings. Already confirmed are items by The Cure, Bryan Ferry, Sam Cooke, The Specials, Meat Loaf and Brian Eno, a set of NOW Yearbook releases and superb reggae and ska 10” EP’s and classic albums including The Mighty Diamonds and Gregory Isaacs, with many more to be added over the coming weeks.
In January record labels association, the BPI reported that vinyl albums had recorded a 15th year of consecutive growth in the UK, with over 5.5 million LPs purchased in 2022 alone. This rising demand for vinyl has in turn resulted in a growing archive of white label test pressings – so called because there is no sleeve artwork at this early stage – which record labels produce ahead of the full release of an album to ensure its audio quality. With only a handful produced, these first-off-the-press copies are snapped up by collectors on the rare occasions they become available, as evidenced by the huge interest in the three White Labels Auctions to date, which between them have raised around £100,000.
The UK’s major and independent record labels led by Universal Music UK, who founded the event with the BPI, along with BMG, Domino Recordings, Cherry Red, Sony Music Entertainment UK, Warner Records and others, each year join forces to curate a broad selection of white label auction lots to raise funds for the vital work of music industry charity The BRIT Trust – which promotes education and wellbeing through music and the creative arts to support causes that include the BRIT School and Nordoff and Robbins.
Johnny Chandler, A&R Director at Universal Music Recordings, who founded the White Label Auction, said:
“We’re all delighted there’s another White Label Auction in aid of the BRIT Trust taking place later this year and hope that super fans and collectors will again find some compelling lots from their favourite artists. As ever, we are grateful to all the artists, their labels and teams for making the event possible with their generous support, and hope to generate as much as we can to help the Trust continue its valuable work.”
Dan Hampson, Omega Auctions Auction Manager, said:
“We are excited to be part of the White Label Auction once more in what is always a highlight of our year. Demand for music memorabilia remains buoyant despite the recent squeeze on disposable income as collectors spy a strong investment opportunity, and with the lots coming directly from labels, combined with their rarity, we expect the usual keen interest and for last year’s total hammer price to be eclipsed.”
Read Johnny Chandler’s White Label Auction blog for The BRIT Trust Diaries in full here.