This Saturday, record stores all around the world will celebrate Record Store Day, the annual event centered around the culture of independently owned record stores.
“Record Store Day is always the biggest day of the year for us,” says Luke Wooten, the manager at Boulevard Record Shop. “We’ve got people lined up down the block before we even open.”
Belmont’s own Boulevard Record Shop boasts it will be the only store in town opening at 8 a.m.. Live music starts at 11 a.m. from artists like Secondhand Sound, Isaiah Zach, Say Kids and others.
Vinyl has seen a surge in popularity in the last few years, with sales figures reaching $16.8 million in 2018, according to a Nielsen Music report.
“People like having something that’s actually physical,” says Wooten. “Our generation was raised on bad MP3s, so we appreciate the quality of analog recording and extra album artwork.”
That physicality is important to many vinyl fans.
“I feel like we want a collection of physical records that allows us to document the music that’s important to us,” says Caroline Lafnitzegger, a junior at Belmont and an avid vinyl collector. “I know that the records I buy on vinyl are only the ones I feel a deep connection to.”
There’s also the appeal of fewer choices.
“With streaming, it’s so convenient to find and listen to whatever music you want and I think it can get kind of overwhelming,” says Will Orman, an employee at Grimey’s New & Preloved Music. “It’s nice to just put on a record and listen to it the way the artist intended.”
Grimey’s opens at 9 a.m., with live music from Anderson East, Alanna Royale and SUSTO starting at 3 p.m.. Some of the many exclusives Grimey’s is offering this year are “The Alternative Fleetwood Mac,” Bob Dylan’s “Blood On The Tracks (Original New York Presing)” and “Alive in Tennessee” from Anderson East.
Record Store Day, an annual event since 2008, has contributed to this rise in record sales with offers of exclusive releases and special editions.
“It’s a great way to celebrate the music you love, and it’s always a good time,” says Orman.
Along with Boulevard and Grimey’s, plenty of other local record stores will be hosting vinyl celebrations.
The Groove is celebrating Record Store Day with a day of performances from artists like Future Thieves, Tennessee Muscle Candy and some secret special guests. They’re also raffling off concert tickets, gift cards and merch from Five Points Pizza, Apple & Oak, Marathon Music Works and more.
Vinyl Tap opens at 10 a.m., with live music from Sad Baxter, Peachy, Quiet Oaks and more starting at noon. There will be a 15% off sale on all non-Record Store Day exclusive vinyl, blacklight poster giveaways and the chance to win a Dogfish Head Grateful Dead American Beauty record player.
For a full list of Record Store Day exclusives and other participating stores, click here.
This article was written by India McCarty. Featured image by Colby Crosby.