Record Store Day respond to small label boycott: ‘Give us a break’

Sonic Cathedral and Howling Owl had previously said that the event is 'not beneficial' to small labels

The organisers behind Record Store Day have issued a statement in response to recent criticism from a number of small labels.

Last week, independent labels Sonic Cathedral and Howling Owl announced details of a new split release, one copy of which will be released every day for the next year as a sort-of boycott to Record Store Day.

In their press release, the labels listed their motive as trying to illustrate “how every day should be record store day” and that the current Record Store Day “rules and regulations” mean that it’s “not beneficial to small, backs to the wall labels”.

Now Entertainment Retailers Association, the company behind Record Store Day, have released a statement to The Vinyl Factory.

The statement begins: “Music arouses passions. The music business arouses passions. And when you’re dealing with something as emotive as music, that’s how it should be. But it does mean that almost any initiative you take in the music business, however benign, will find its detractors.”

It continues: “To make it clear, the purpose of Record Store Day is not to promote independent labels. It is to promote independent record shops (the clue is in the name).”

“Of course, because indie record shops disproportionately support independent labels, indie labels are among the biggest winners from RSD. While media coverage inevitably focuses on superstar acts often signed to major labels, in fact three out of four RSD releases are on indie labels. That’s hardly a ‘betrayal’ of indies.”

The letter ends with the organiser asking music fans and labels alike to “give us a break”. Read the full statement here.

Record Store Day, which celebrates the culture of independent record shops, takes place in 2015 on April 18. Mumford and Sons and Foo Fighters are among the artists who will release exclusive material this year.