Music shops up and down the UK have reacted to the impact coronavirus has had on Record Store Day 2020.
The annual event was due to take place on Saturday April 18 and was set to see hundreds of vinyl and cassette releases sold exclusively through independent record shops for one day only.
Up to 230 independent record shops from every corner of the UK, as well as thousands around the world, were set to take part in the celebrations with live in-store performances, mini street festivals and entertainment.
But with the ongoing coronavirus crisis continuing to hit the UK music industry, organisers were earlier today (March 13) forced to postpone this year’s event until June 20.
Reacting to the move, Rough Trade East store worker, Elliott Oggers told NME: “It’s definitely had a big impact on us and we’re getting cancellations for a lot of things right now and things are getting pushed back because of coronavirus.
We are sad to announce that following a decision made by the organisers of Record Store Day, the event will be postponed to June 20th. #RSD20 Full statement on our website here: https://t.co/h6G3dADTmG pic.twitter.com/EEqzToc5SN
— Record Store Day UK (@RSDUK) March 13, 2020
“It will impact us massively, it’s the biggest day in record store day world. Postponing may ease any losses but it depends if it gets pushed back any further or cancelled permanently. We just don’t know.”
Dep Downie, co-owner at Monorail Music in Glasgow, said despite the date being pushed back, it was “the right thing to do”. He added: “I think [the postponement] is really sensible and it’s the right decision. It’s very uncertain just now what’s going to happen, day by day.
“[The impact] is not good because record shops rely on Record Store Day now as part of their yearly turnover and you become reliant on it because it’s the most important day of the year.
“Just the nature of Record Store Day, we normally have people queuing overnight and I just can’t see people wanting to do that this year. I can’t see how they would want to stand in such close proximity to each other. Record collectors are a very hardy bunch and they would walk through blizzards to get the records they want. But this is unprecedented.
“I’m sorry it hasn’t happened. We had a great day planned with lots of bands and DJs booked and we were really looking forward to it. I also thought the releases this year were excellent.”
At Eastern Bloc Records in Manchester, manager Jim Spratling is hopeful the event will still go ahead at the later date of June.
“We get involved every year and sell some of the products off the list particularly funk, soul, disco reissues and a few electronic bits on there as well,” he said.
“We also run parties on the day so we’ll have DJs on from 9am til 4am so that’s obviously gonna be affected. Hopefully it will still go ahead in June. At this point we have no idea how long this is going to mess everything up for. What will be, will be and we just have to deal with it.
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Proud to announce our official charity partner @warchilduk with three exclusive and limited-edition releases from @davidbowie, @manics and @u2. These #RSD20 releases will help to protect, educate and stand up for the rights of children all over the world caught in conflict ❤️ Find full details on these releases through the link in bio.
In Birmingham, shop worker Jake Clarke at Swordfish Records stressed the importance of Record Store Day. He told NME: “Obviously it is a big day in terms of takings so if it were to be cancelled I think it would have an impact but just moving it won’t impact us too much.
He added: “Coronavirus has had an impact on the shop especially this week. There’s a definite drop in people coming in.”
The full list of special releases for Record Store Day 2020 included the likes of My Chemical Romance, Robyn, Gorillaz, New Order, Eminem, The Cure, Christine & The Queens, Biffy Clyro, U2, David Bowie and Manic Street Preachers, in aid of War Child.
Many concerts have also been cancelled in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. You can view a full list here.