This past Saturday, was Record Store Day, the biggest physical sales day of the year. This annual event was even more special as RSD celebrated its 10th anniversary!
Numerous independent retailers have already reported that this was one of their best Record Store Days yet — some indicating it was their best sales day in history. Some stores had customers lining up the night before to ensure their chances of grabbing one of the three-hundred fifty exclusive titles released for the occasion. Among these exclusives were The Orchard’s distributed, Jimmy Page & the Black Crowes, Live from Jones Beach EP and George Carlin’s Jammin’ in New York LP.
Stores kicked-off the day with early morning hours, letting shoppers get the first access to these rare releases. To show their appreciation, some shops served breakfast — offering coffee and baked goods to those patiently waiting outside. Most stores reported a constant stream of sales throughout the day, some with lines extending into the afternoon hours. To turn the day into an experience, some retailers offered free local beer and even barbecue for shoppers.
The support for local music retailers was wide-spread, happening all over The Orchard-distributed world. Accounts in Australia, Canada, The U.K. all joined in to celebrate RSD with The Philippines joining in for the very first time.
Several music merchants celebrate the day with in-store appearances from various international and local area acts such as Mastodon, The Zombies, Have Mercy, The Ohio Players and Steve Earle. Three of The Orchard artists were represented with performances from Frenchkiss Records’ Diet Cig at Lunchbox Records in Charlotte, North Carolina, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah at Cactus Music in Houston, Texas, and an album signing at Zia Records in Phoenix, Arizona with Mello Music’s Kool Keith.
This year I aimed to make my 2017 RSD experience as fruitful, entertaining and supportive as possible by venturing out to visit as many stores as I could in one day. I began in the northern part of Brooklyn and mapped my journey through Williamsburg and Bushwick, where there are 10 independent record stores. I started at Rough Trade, where at 11:30 a.m. the official RSD Ambassador St. Vincent kicked off the morning followed by 6 more acts. After Steve Earle’s 5-song set, I moved on to neighborhood shops Earwax, Halcyon, Pop Fuzz and Norman’s where the stores were crowded with enthusiastic shoppers. I continued further east and stopped by Material World, Superior Elevation, Northern Lights, Vinyl Fantasy and Human Head. The latter hosted a barbecue with free beer and burgers along with crates of bargain records, recreating the feel of a neighborhood block party down to the DJ set-up on the sidewalk.
Overall, the stores were bustling and business was brisk. RSD is like Christmas for true music consumers, with stores hoping for a continual increases of repeat customers, the goal is to improve physical music sales for 2017. Here’s looking forward to that halo effect in the upcoming months!
Images Courtesy of Record Store Day, Diet Cig, Zia Records and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah