Record Store Day is fast approaching – on 22 April – and more than 260 independent record stores will be participating, and are well under way with their preparations. It is described as “one of the biggest annual events on the music calendar” where exclusive and unique vinyl are made by some of the biggest artists just for the day. The day can also bring performances and events in some stores.
Participating stores, such as Action Records, are independently owned, so the day is a celebration of the staff’s dedication to the music scene. These exclusive vinyls will be served on a first come first served basis, so stores can expect queues early on Saturday morning, however people are able to send a wishlist to stores, so they can get an idea about what people will be wanting to buy.
“It generates a real buzz for the industry, getting a lot of new, young people in. People start queuing at 6pm the night before, so usually by the time we open at 8am, we have at least 100 people waiting.” Gordon Gibson (owner of Action Records, Preston)
Other participating stores in the North West of England include: Applestump Records (Cheshire), Vinyl Cafe (Carlisle), Piccadilly Records (Manchester), X Records (Bolton), Electron Records (Burnley), and many more.
Taylor Swift and The 1975 – a few big artists who are supporters
The 1975, from Manchester, were announced as Record Store Day ambassadors on 6 February following their recent world tour. They will be releasing a vinyl with a live performance with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra for the first time, songs include hits like Chocolate and The Sound.
“Independent record stores are the lifeblood of the music industry and have played a crucial role in our story so far.” Matty Healy (frontman of The 1975)
Previous ambassadors have been Noel Gallagher, Sir Elton John and The Big Moon – to name a few. Last year, Taylor Swift was the global ambassador for Record Store Day, but this year she is releasing a rare vinyl folklore: the long pond studio sessions which will be the first and only release – causing excitement amongst fans.
Other artists releasing exclusives include Sam Fender, Tom Brennan, Bastille and Baby Queen. The full list of albums being released for Record Store Day can be found here.
Record Store Day’s official charity partner is War Child – a charity which supports children affected by war and conflict. In support, collectible and highly sought after records from artists such as The Cure, The Police and Miles Davies will be released, with a donation of £1 from every purchase going to the charity. As well as this, War Child are holding a raffle to win a signed Rega Planar 3 deck – a vinyl turntable – with tickets costing £5 which can be purchased via the War Child website.
Vinyl is becoming more popular
According to figures released by The Digital Entertainment and Retail Association, on 10 January, vinyl outsold CDs by value last year for the first time since 1987. Vinyl sales grew 11% however, CD album sales declined by 17.4% suggesting there is a future for vinyl, and events such as Record Store Day can boost this.
“The industry was in quite a bad way 15 years ago, we started Record Store Day and there wasn’t very many releases. Now it is a massive event.” Gordon Gibson (owner of Action Records, Preston)
Record Store Day is an important event for independent stores, keeping the vinyl industry exciting and refreshing.