In 2007, a group of independent record-store owners dedicated a day to celebrate the sense of community found in record shops — one they feared would fade away as listeners turned to the internet for their music needs.
In the 10 years since, Record Store Day has spread to cities around the world, including Columbus, with hundreds of limited edition records released each year to independent record shops.
Record stores across the city will celebrate Record Store Day’s 10th anniversary on April 22 with live music, storewide sales and special releases.
Some of this year’s nationwide releases include David Bowie’s “Cracked Actor” and a 7-inch single of the Beatles’ “Strawberry Fields Forever.” Columbus record stores will also feature the fourth edition of “Columbus Blood,” which is a compilation of music from a variety of Columbus bands.
Availability of titles varies from store to store, said Kyle Siegrist, owner of Lost Weekend Records.
“Unfortunately, some (titles) are stupid limited,” Siegrist said. “There’s (usually) five, six, 8,000 copies of something, (so) most stores are going to get 15 or 20 copies … but then there’s always something stupid (where) there’ll be 500 copies (total) so you get like one.”
Lost Weekend Records was involved with Record Store Day from the beginning, and Siegrist said he witnessed the event’s growth firsthand.
“The first year, it was announced so late that a lot of stores didn’t even get in on it,” he said. “There wasn’t much coverage, so it just kind of happened.”
However, as the years went on and more people became aware of Record Store Day, the event started to pick up speed, Siegrist said.
Siegrist recalls Lost Weekend’s third Record Store Day, when one of his employees noticed a group of people camping out on the hillside near his store just before they were about to open. Now, the line outside the store is usually about a hundred people deep for the first hour or so, he said.
“Each year it’s just grown,” he said. “It gets to the point now that there’s usually somebody camping out by midnight.”
Siegrist’s situation is no anomaly. Both Steve Louis, owner at Records Per Minute , and Greg Hall, owner of Used Kids Records, said lines stretched down the block by the time they opened their stores at 8 a.m. last year.
Louis said finding and listening to music digitally lacks the gratification that comes with purchasing a physical record.
“Music itself is physical,” Louis said. “The more physically engaged you are, the more connected you are with it.”
Siegrist also said the experience of buying a record in a store is more memorable than buying music from iTunes or Amazon.
“When you’re shopping and buy something … you have a memory with that,” he said. “When you go online, it’s not like ‘I remember at three in the morning, I went to Amazon and bought this Clash album,’ you know. It’s just not there.”
Hall said there is a sense of isolation that comes with listening to music on a phone or computer.
“There’s nothing wrong with having quiet time and hanging out,” he said. “But I guess I think the physical stuff kind of creates a culture where people can interact … I think Record Store Day is a cool celebration of that.”