On April 16, record stores across the UK will unite to celebrate the beauty of vinyl for Record Store Day. The RSD website describes the event as “the one day of the year when over 200 independent record shops all across the UK come together to celebrate their unique culture.” In reality, that often means a scrum for exclusive releases but the all-round good vibes in record stores across the land makes it a can’t miss day in our calendar.
Whether you’re a vinyl neophyte or a seasoned collector, this is your guide to making your RSD ’16 a total success.
What is Record Store Day?
As mentioned above, independent record stores across the country team up and sell a whole catalogue of very exclusive, very limited releases. Many stores have special events, too.
When is it?
In the UK, this year’s event will take place on April 16th.
What’s on offer?
As always, there’s a whole host of fancy coloured vinyl, limited edition pressings and several reissues you can get your mitts on. We’ve already picked a few highlights here but you can see the full UK release list on their website.
What should you expect?
Inevitably there will be big queues at many of the participating shops – that’s just the way it goes. But you should also expect a fun day out – follow the tips below and we’re sure you will enjoy the big day.
Things you should definitely do
Arrive early. If you’re planning to go to one of the big shops, we strongly advise you to get in the queues in plenty of time. Most shops will open around 9am on the Saturday, but there will be people queuing hours before that, so if you really want to nab that Justin Bieber picture disc – you’d better get down there early!
Most importantly, though, be patient. We know you’re going to be sweating it out thinking your record will have gone but racing around and pushing people out the way will kill the vibe for everyone. Soak it up and enjoy the day.
Don’t just take our word for it – Banquet Records (@BanquetRecords) in Kingston suggested that shoppers should “bring some cash, bring a smile, bring an open mind, bring a smart phone” to the event and the crew at Jumbo Records (@JumboRecords) in Leeds say to “try to come with a list of alternatives in case your first choice of record is unavailable or sold out” and most importantly – “enjoy yourself!” Wise words.
Things you should definitely not do
Be a dick and sell them on eBay after. Seriously – everyone hates that person. We know they’re exclusive, but it devalues the whole day if you make a bigger profit on a record than the shop you brought it from.
Also, holding extra copies of a record while you wait for your mate to come into the shop is a big no.
Will there be any in-store gigs?
Certainly! At Pie & Vinyl in Southsea Band Of Skulls will be playing an in-store gig alongside hotly tipped newcomers Blaenavon. Hannah Peel meanwhile will be playing in eight different stores across the South East and you can see the full list of shops here. Up in Manchester, The Deaf Institute will play host to several local bands and DJs in celebration of the day – tickets for which are available right here. There are plenty of free and ticketed events happening throughout the country on the day, so head to the Events page on the Record Store Day website to see what is happening near you.
Which stores are participating?
Over 200 stores will be participating throughout the UK – so follow this link, enter your postcode and voilà! All the record stores near you that will be taking part will be revealed so you can plan your day well in advance.
Why are there loads of releases in the US that you can’t get over here?
Although RSD is a worldwide event, some releases will be limited to certain countries. The list we have compiled above is just for UK shops but if you want a sneaky peek at what is being sold in the US for example, check out the list here.
Is there any way of getting the US releases?
Yep. You might have to wait a while though as several shops will enforce a policy that requires at least a week between the in-store event and the records being available to buy online. Stay tuned to record shops’ social media for updates if and when they are likely to get any of the releases from across the pond.
Why do some artists boycott Record Store Day?
Although RSD seems like an all-round great thing, industry insiders and musicians alike have in the past expressed gripes with the day. In 2014, Paul Weller announced that he would not be taking part in any future RSD events due to his limited release being re-sold on eBay at an inflated price online and last year Drenge criticised the event, calling it “swamp of bullshit”.
The most common line of criticism is that the major labels have hijacked the day to sell expensive reissues of records that have already sold millions. Not only that, but this event is now forcing pressing plants to struggle with demands and in the past has led to records being released outside of the event being shunned in favour of a more lucrative deal from a major label.
In response, RSD said: “While media coverage inevitably focuses on superstar acts often signed to major labels, in fact 4 out of 5 RSD releases this year are from independent labels. This figure has remained relatively static over the last few years so a ‘major takeover’ isn’t really something we have seen at all” and that “only 2% of RSD UK releases ended up on the site last year”.
I don’t have a record player. Is there anything for me?
Several artists will be releasing exclusive CDs and cassettes that you can nab on the day. The Flaming Lips will be releasing a reworking of their ‘Clouds Taste Metallic’ exclusively on CD and Metallica will also be exclusively releasing a live show from 2003 on the format. For those über-hipsters who are trying to bolster their cassette collection, there will be the chance to pick up Marilyn Manson’s career-best album ‘Antichrist Superstar’ on the old-school format.
What do the releases cost, typically?
Prices for vinyl on the day can be somewhat higher than what you’re used to. An LP could fall anywhere between £20-30 and larger box sets could see your bill rack up to well over £50 quid. There is no fixed price for each release as the price is set by the record shops, not the organisers – so they will vary from place to place.
What are ‘checklists’?
To help manage the day easier, some shops will devise a checklist of items they will be selling on the day. Sometimes these are handed out to customers before the day so the shop can anticipate levels of interest in a certain record, but many will hand these out on the day to keep customers informed of what is on sale and how many of each record they have left. Not every shop will do this though, but this is mainly used as a tool for the shops to keep an eye on stock levels.
Stay tuned for updates!