Preserve Record Store Day

With 74 record stores in Texas participating, the eighth annual Record Store Day (RSD) took place worldwide on April 18. Though RSD was created to help the small, independent record stores around the world, those attending RSD have begun to experience problems.

Since 2007, the event has grown to include various special releases and reissues from several big name artists, such as Violent Femmes: Happy New Year EP, Jimmi Hendrix: Purple Haze/Freedom, Bob Dylan: The Basement Tapes, etc.

Since it’s inception, RSD has turned into a game of who can be at the record store by 2a.m. in order to be the first in line to purchase RSD exclusive releases for $18 and then resell them on Ebay for a $100+ profit.

The problem with limited or exclusive releases, is that they exclude a large demographic of fans by not releasing these tracks in a form that’s available to everyone, causing fans unable to make it to the record store before they’re gone to miss out or pay more for the exclusive content.

The event involves a more rushed sense than one would expect when looking at music in a record shop, causing a disconnected atmosphere in a crowd of hundreds of people. RSD is not the time to go and browse about. Research about what album release you are specifically looking for needs to be done beforehand before entering the doors so that you can be in and out without being pushed out of the way by others wanting to grab a specific record.

Though Record Store Day continues to carry out it’s main intention of bringing people into record stores, the continuing growth of the event is beginning to cause problems during the events attendance. The laid-back feeling of browsing through music is nonexistent during Record Store Day. The buying and reselling of exclusive records on eBay to make a profit is starting to become more common. By not making some of these records available in any other form, fans that are not able to be one of the first in line to grab a copy of the album they want feel cheated.

Record Store Day should aim to cater to both the record stores and fans alike. Without the fans, Record Store Day would be pointless.