Record Store Day – The history of the day

It’s that time of year again, where keen music lovers scour their local record store for a new gem to add to their beloved collection. But what’s the background of Record Store Day and how did it become so popular?…

“The single best thing that has ever happened to the indie stores.” – Universal music.

Record Store Day was officially founded in 2007 after a brainstorming meeting of record stores owners in Balitmore, USA. It’s coordinated in the UK by Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA). Taking place in April each year to celebrate the unique culture of independent record stores, Record Store Day looks to bring together artists, fans and independent record stores worldwide.

Fans queueing up outside Sister Ray – Record Store Day, 2012

A large number of records are pressed for the celebration of Record Store Day, which are only distributed to participating stores in the event. For a store to partake in the event they must be a physical retailer whose product line consists of at least half of their music retail and is a company not publicly owned.

Artists also participate in the day by making special guest appearances, performances and meet and greets with their fans. Each participating store holds their own party on the day, with eager fans queuing up at records from the early hours of the morning to make sure that they get their hands on that year’s limited edition vinyl. As far as we know, the earliest anyone has started to queue up at their local store was at Love Music in Glasgow, where the queue in 2015 started at 2pm the day before. Let us know if you can beat this record!

The Black Madonna performing at Phonica Records for Record Store Day 2017.

As the popularity of Record Store Day increases each year, so do the events that take place. Previous years have seen music events take place at Berwick Street in central London, as well as various DJ sets taking place across the country. Over 200 stores are participating this year and loads of record labels are releasing one-off vinyl productions for this year, including artist releases range from ABBA to Wu-Tang Clan. Of those 230 participating, over 200 indie record stores have announced live music events, making it what Record Store Day are calling “the UK’s biggest simultaneous music party.”

The event has played its part in the year-upon-year increase in vinyl sales. Sales of vinyl were as low as 200,000 in 2007 but have  since increased dramatically with 3.2 million LPs purchased in 2016, a 22-year high. This increase in sales has seen the introduction of the Official Vinyl chart.

Although the event only takes place for one day a year, the organisation continues to work with independent and major record labels throughout the year to create promotions and special releases, so your local record store will always have something amazing going on!

Record Store Day in 2018 is taking place on Saturday 21st April and is looking like it’ll be the biggest event yet. To find your local record store, make sure you visit the Record Store Day website today!