Record shops up and down the country were swamped this bank holiday weekend, as a postponed Record Store Day took place with social distancing measures.
The event, which was due to take place on April 18, has become a focal point in the music calendar in recent years. To contribute, a plethora of artists and bands annually release previously unheard material or re-release classic tracks on vinyl.
This year has broken a number of records for the day, initially rescheduling the event to June 26. Now, for the first time in its history, the movement is straddling over three separate dates as an inventive way of adapting to the pandemic and social distancing measures.
Record Store Day 2020 has pushed the public to celebrate independent record shops, proving their worth in developing communitas. In a world where live music is a distant memory, they have provided solace for all those involved in the industry. This sentiment is only furthered by images on social media showing vast queues of music fans, tempted to find a hidden gem or two.
On Instagram, Rough Trade’s shop in Nottingham saw queues stretch and wind back to the heart of the city centre. Piccadilly Records, located in Manchester’s Northern Quarter, was experiencing similar scenes, typifying the UK’s appreciation of music during difficult times.
The first of these three events has been bombarded with new content, including previously unreleased material from The Cure, Gorillaz, Tyler The Creator, Christine and the Queens and David Bowie. These names join the huge list of artists who have contributed music for Record Store Day One this August.
The September date will feature hot releases, ranging from Declan McKenna to Daft Punk. Fleetwood Mac will be dropping The Alternate Rumours, a series of alternate takes and rarities from their landmark 1977 album. October’s celebration will round off with releases from Beck, St Vincent, Lou Reed and The Who, completing this year’s event in extraordinary fashion.
Record Store Day is a special event for music fans each year, but this year is more special than most. It is hoped that its success will provide the music industry with the support it desperately needs.
If you haven’t ventured out yet, you still have two more opportunities to do so. Get involved, and you might just find your own hidden gem.
Words by Lewis Oxley
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