#DOWNTOWNRVA: Meet Bobby, Owner of the Record Store Vinyl Conflict


We dispatched our hometown photographer, CJ Payne, to the heart of the city to capture a snapshot and engage in some casual conversation. Consider it our local twist on the acclaimed Humans of New York series that we hold in high regard. Our aim is to foster a sense of community and encourage our readers to deepen their connections with their downtown neighbors.

Photo by CJ Payne

“I am Bobby Egger. I own Vinyl Conflict Records in Richmond, Virginia. I am not originally from Richmond, I’m from Northern Virginia. Initially I had gotten a job in 2010 that brought me down. I love Richmond; it’s home… new home at least.”

“[The Richmond music scene is] sprawling. There’s a lot of different styles of music going on. I think what’s really fun about the Richmond scene is it’s not just limited to a specific scene. People tend to really like music here of all backgrounds. You can find any sort of group of people at any sort of show on any given day of the week because there’s live music happening every day… it’s really cool to see different venues and bands get opportunities to play all over the city even though it’s not that big of a city. People really get a chance to get exposed to different things that I feel like they might not be able to in different places.”

“[Moving downtown has] been a complete game changer to how the store operates. Since we opened in 2008 and the last year and a half has been basically the busiest the store has ever been. We’re getting intense amounts of foot traffic that we didn’t get before. There’s a lot of venues like The National, Richmond Music Hall and the Carpenter Center within walking distance, there’s a number of different hotels and restaurants like Perly’s and Rappahannock, and there’s a lot of activity that’s happening. I love Oregon Hill, I live in Oregon Hill, but if you don’t live there and you’re not passing through to go to the River, then it’s kinda a destination to get over there. So in downtown you’re really in an in-between spot for people heading from the East End to the West End, or tourism that’s literally staying over this way, or people are finding their way in either before or after work.”

“[Downtown is] constantly shifting; there’s a lot of opening and closing. People are getting a lot of opportunities over here that I feel is more difficult in the fan because of its expenses.”

Give CJ Payne a follow @tallglassofleche

CJ Payne

CJ Payne

After studying Classical Performance and Sound Engineering at William Paterson University, CJ moved to Richmond in 2020 where he took up photography. No stranger to the local music scene, CJ has been making a name for himself by shooting concerts around town. You can find more of his work at www.cjpaynephotography.com

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