Last year during Melbourne Music Week, Fitzroy’s Polyester Records celebrated its 13th year with Polyfest: 30 Years of Polyester Records. Polyester has become one of the most-talked-about record retailers in Melbourne over the last three decades. Six years ago, owners Nate Nott and Simon Karis decided to open a second store on Flinders Lane in the city. It was here they began holding in-store performances by bands releasing new albums. These in-stores hosted bands such as Best Coast, Dick Diver, My Disco and Bitch Prefect playing free live music to crowds spilling out onto Flinders Lane on Friday afternoons.
Unfortunately, in February this year, rising rent costs meant Polyester Flinders Lane had to close. And with it went the Friday afternoon in-stores. Moving them to the Fitzroy store was always the plan, but renovations need to be done before that can happen. In order to raise the money required to renovate, Nott and Karis have launched a Pozible campaign, reaching out to fans all over Melbourne. “We’ve really missed having bands use the shop,” Nott says, “We’ve just busted our arses to fast-track it and that’s where the Pozible campaign comes in.” Nott says the shop fit-out won’t drastically change. They have enlisted local architect Murray Barker and will be treading very lightly when it comes to the changes. “It’s always felt like a great record store and it’s always felt iconic. I don’t want to have anything brand-spanking new, but it’s about finding middle ground; keeping it a record shop that feels like it’s been there for 30 years, but a bit fresher.”
The counter will be moved to the front of the store to allow for a performance space at the back. New modular racks on wheels for the LPs will be installed to let more people in during the performances. Any extra money made through the campaign will go towards purchasing a permanent Polyester in-store backline with a drum kit and bass cabinet.
The campaign has already hit the halfway mark and still has more than a month to run. “We’re amazed at where we are and at the kindness – the vocal support, the comments we are getting and people sharing the campaign on social media,” Nott says. “The bands really love doing it, people come to see them. It really does have a community vibe to it.”
Pledge to Polyester’s Pozible campaign here.