Once a year, lovers of music in its most tactile form — vinyl records — flock to different independent music stores all over the United States for the now-popular event known as Record Store Day.
Record Store Day continues its nine-year history this spring and has become a special holiday for record fanatics.
Large numbers of exclusive LP’s and albums are released on this day, causing vinyl collectors to go to great efforts to ensure that their favorite album will be in their possession. Lots of record stores have also increased deals on their inventory so that the shoppers are more inclined to make collection-expanding purchases.
Several Record Store Day attendees have even camped outside of their local music shop a day in advance due to the rarity of some vinyl records sold exclusively on this day.
With thousands of music fans flocking to shops and causing fights over albums by David Bowie and Twenty One Pilots, some might ask, “What is the point of Record Store Day?”
Almost like a sacred tradition, Record Store Day has evolved into a coming together of music fans to share their love and passion for keeping music alive, specifically, music in physical form.
Often, attendees will bring extra food and drinks for people standing in lines outside participating record stores. Sometimes, new friendships form as people discuss which releases they are most excited about.
The stores themselves benefit from the business because record stores constantly change alongside ever-altering music trends.
“The independent record stores are what keeps much of the music-consumer relationships real and unharmed by major labels and large media corporations,” said Derek Frye, owner of Cat’s Music, in an interview with Record Store Day officials. “The bond of the music and fans is more intimate when you hear it at a record shop or discover it by word of mouth rather than just hearing a catchy track on the radio or seeing a music video on the top ten countdown. Indie record stores allow the people to choose their music and not be force-fed music by the corporate side of the industry.”
Several artists have even used Record Store Day as an outlet for creativity and innovation in vinyl record technology. Some albums have been created with hidden songs under the sticker. Other records have been made so that a hologram appears above the needle during its first play.
The artists themselves have a deep love for record stores and hope to see the continuation of their success.
“I think record stores play a huge part in discovering new music,” said Joe Principie of Rise Against in an interview with Record Store Day representatives. “When I was growing up, I would spend hours going through all the bins looking for something new that seemed interesting to me and that could relate to what I was listening to at the time. This is why I want to support Record Store Day.”
Record Store Day will take place on April 22. Several stores in Utah will participate, including Graywhale Entertainment, Randy’s Records in Salt Lake City and Lavender Vinyl located on Historic 25th Street. The list of exclusive albums can be found on the Record Store Day website.