April 10, 2019
Updated October 2020
Yes, it’s true - independent record stores all over the world are celebrating Record Store Day a bit differently this year. Every year, thousands of shops globally throw a party unlike any other to celebrate how music brings the community together.
But, this is 2020 and the rules changed a bit. Instead of one day, Record Store Day is being celebrated on four different days this year - August 29, September 26, October 24, and Black Friday (November 27).
According to the official RSD website, the holiday was “conceived back in 2007 at a gathering of independent record store owners and employees as a way to celebrate and spread the word about the unique culture surrounding nearly 1400 independently-owned record stores in the US and thousands of similar stores internationally.”
For audiophiles, these holidays are on-par with Christmas, except you’re generally shopping for yourself.
We caught up with our friends at Indy CD & Vinyl to talk about why this holiday is so important for the music industry.
“The idea is for your favorite artists to make something truly unique, special, and limited on vinyl for your collection, and to make those records only available at independent record shops, only on one day per year,” says store owner Andy Skinner. “The excitement alone drives music fans and their friends to the shops on that one day - and the experience potentially keeps them coming back all year long.”
Skinner says Indy CD & Vinyl has been a part of Record Store Day from the very beginning. “While it is up to each individual participating store exactly how to do this, what records to order (and how many)," he explains. "And what other events and fun stuff to do at a shop, what we have always done is to make the experience as fun and as community-centered as possible."
According to Indy CD & Vinyl's website, "This means we'll have four months of release events – the RSD 2020 exclusives are spread out over three months, followed by a new round of exclusives for Black Friday – to end this crazy year on a high note." Like almost all brick-and-mortar stores, Indy CD & Vinyl is taking a wealth of extra precautions to keep people safe and healthy while they grab their favorites from the RSD List.
Other record stores across the country are hosting similar celebrations.
Skinner says Record Store Day is extremely important to the industry as a way to specifically showcase the small business owners, many of whom run their record shops as a labor of love. “It moves physical music product - the format that ensures the artists get paid for their work the best,” he says. “It is such a marketing blitz with such reach it gets the message of the existence of independent record stores to people who may not realize there is a great record shop in town. The volume of sales helps ensure mom and pop record shops on a small budget can continue to exist in down economies or slow years. It shines a spotlight on the best physical format of all. Long live Record Store Day! Long live the indie record store!”