Vinyl connoisseurs, nostalgics and overall music fans can flock to remaining physical music retailers to celebrate the unofficial holiday of Record Store Day this Saturday.
In 2007, a group of independent store owners dreamed up the idea of a day to celebrate local vinyl shops, which maintained their popularity even as listeners turned to the Internet for their music. It began as an unofficial holiday but has since been declared a national holiday in some larger cities, such as New York and Los Angeles.
Columbus’ record stores will take full advantage, with some stocking up on special releases while others host bands and throw parties.
Used Kids Records, located at 1980 N. High St. near campus, traditionally celebrates Record Store Day. This year, the store is opening up at 8 a.m. and serving coffee and doughnuts. The first band will take the makeshift stage at 11 a.m., and the music won’t stop until 11 p.m.
“Each year we’ve done bands from noon on, but this year we added two acts,” said Ryan Eilbeck, who is in charge of booking bands and organizing record purchases for the store. “It can get ridiculous to get that many people in here, hanging out, listening to their friends’ bands. It’s always a good time.”
This year will be the last Record Store Day on High Street for Used Kids, which is moving to 2500 Summit St. at the end of May.
“It’s definitely nostalgic,” Eilbeck said. “It will be a kind of send-off; ‘See ya, High Street!’”
Magnolia Thunderpussy, located at 1155 N. High St. in the Short North, no longer hosts bands on Record Store Day, focusing instead on having a good supply of one-time releases.
“We concentrate on having product available,” said Chuck Kubat, the store’s owner. “Bands distracted, there would be too many people standing around. Things would be too crazy.”
Product coming to Magnolia for the celebration includes a deluxe edition of James Bay’s “Chaos and the Calm,” as well as the strange pairing of the Bee Gees and Faith No More on a split 7-inch.
Kubat sees Record Store Day as beneficial, especially for local businesses.
“People want to shop local,” he said. “They’re a lot more conscious of the local economy, and they want to support it.”
Roots Records, located just south of campus at 1357 N. High St, specializes in reggae music but carries a strong selection of electronic and hip-hop as well. Columbus hip-hop stalwart J Rawls will start the day off with a DJ set from noon to 1 p.m., and the store will be offering 20 percent off used vinyl.
Students will also find stacks of new releases and deals at other stores. Records Per Minute, will be opening its doors at 2579 N. High St. at 8 a.m. Lost Weekend Records, located at 2960 N. High St. in Clintonville, will have a four-day sale starting Friday.
The popularity of vinyl reached a 26-year high in 2015, thanks largely to college-aged customers. MusicWatch, which covers fan engagement with music, reported that half of record-buyers were under 25 last year. CNBC reported that the last time record sales were so high was 1989, before half of the consumer base was born.
Paul Fox, the president and founder of OSU’s Vinyl Club, said he sees more than the average record store-goer being drawn in on Record Store Day.
“It’s the Black Friday of records,” said Fox, a third-year in aviation. He went on to say that vinyl has become the most prominent nondigital music format.
“It’s become such a big thing that more and more artists are putting stuff out on vinyl,” he said. “The smaller bands don’t even have CDs anymore.”
And while there will be plenty of people purchasing records on Saturday, Eilbeck said that Record Store Day goes beyond buying music.
“Releases are fun, but a local celebration is something we don’t want to lose touch with,” he said.