This weekend will see the highly-anticipated return of Record Store Day – an annual event held every April to celebrate the cultural significance of the independently owned record store. The international event brings together fans, artists and thousands of record shops around the world, including more than 260 shops in the UK.
More often than not, the day sees vinyl lovers and long-time collectors queuing for hours outside Manchester’s impressive roster of record shops, to bag themselves records pressed specifically for the occasion. Keep reading for a brief guide to Record Store Day and how to pick up the exclusive releases.
READ MORE: Why we must ‘fiercely protect our Mancunian soundtrack’ as Manchester’s live music impact is revealed
What is Record Store Day?
At its core, Record Store Day is a celebration of the record store and its cultural impact. It was first conceived back in 2007 as a way to get people back into record shops and vinyl collecting, and to capitalize on the medium’s resurgence.
The day brings together vinyl lovers, music artists, record labels and record shops, and gives people a chance to snap up limited-edition releases made exclusively for the day. Long-time collectors are also likely to flock to the city center for the chance to pick up classic albums that haven’t been available for many years, or ones that were never pressed in the first place.
Back in January, it was announced that Taylor Swift would act as the first-ever global ambassador for Record Store Day. Previous ambassadors have included Pearl Jam, St. Vincent, Metallica and Iggy Pop. Exclusive records to expect this year include vinyl from Blondie, David Bowie, Happy Mondays and The Cure.
When is Record Store Day?
Historically, the main Record Store Day falls in April and for the first time in two years it will take place in its usual spring spot. Celebrating its 15th anniversary, this year’s event will take place on Saturday, April 23.
For the past two years, in response to the pandemic, organizers planned separate, socially distanced events throughout 2020 and 2021 to cater to smaller crowds. Since 2020, shops have also been allowed to list the Record Store Day inventory online on the afternoon of the physical drop.
How can I find out what’s available?
Prior to the pandemic, many record fans would queue for hours outside their favorite record shop only to find that shop didn’t have the particular record in the first place. With over 500 releases this year, it is not possible for every shop to carry every title, so it is worth checking in with your chosen record store directly for their full stock listing.
Due to manufacturing delays at pressing plants, some titles will arrive late and will instead be available on June 18. You can see the full list of releases for 2022 and find out what your chosen store will stock here .
What’s happening in Manchester?
With its strong music heritage and varied selection of record shops, Manchester likes to go all out for Record Store Day. Having amassed a legion of music fans since it opened in 1978, all eyes will be on Piccadilly Records in the Northern Quarter, who have rather helpfully created a downloadable list of the records they’ll be selling on the day.
Stocking a huge array of the RSD releases, Piccadilly Records usually attracts big queues, so expect to see pavements packed all the way round to Church Street and Tib Street from as early as Friday morning. Back in 2019, queues began to form a full day before the music event even began.
round the corner, Eastern Bloc Records will be marking the occasion with 18 hours of music from 10am to 4am. So far, the line-up includes Means&3rd, Jim Bane, Contours and Luke Daniels, with more names to be announced nearer to the time.
Wilderness Record Store in Withington, it officially opened its doors for the first time on Record Store Day 2019, and this year it’s got even more in store, from exclusive releases and DJ sets to beer made specifically for the day by Meantime Brewing Company. Records will go on sale from 9am and visitors can expect DJ sets from Foley, Pintcan Papi and Mangetout, as well as a live set from Jigs in the evening.
Orders have been arriving thick and fast over at Vinyl Exchange ahead of the big day, and as usual they’ll have a list ready the day before. They’ll also be teaming up with Common on Edge Street, so expect live performances and plenty of beer.
Back in 2019, Dirty Laces performed live at Vinyl Revival on Hilton Street, and while there’s no news yet on any performances this year, the shop usually lists the vinyls it will be selling ahead of time, so be sure to watch this space.
As expected, the fun spills over far beyond the record shops themselves too. At hatch – the independent food, drink and retail destination on Oxford Road – Manchester’s very best vinyl DJs, labels and music collective’s will be hosting the shipping container village’s very own record party.
Northern Quarter favorite Common will also be back hosting live music this Record Store Day, and it’s entirely free. Acts including RUMA, Mali Hayes and White Flowers will be in attendance, while All Hands On Deck will see you through to the evening. If you have a Vinyl Exchange receipt, you’ll be able to enjoy happy hour prices all night.
Record Store Day takes place this Saturday, April 23. Stuck in a queue? Spotted a celebrity guest appearance? Tag us in your photos on Twitter @citylifemanc and we’ll share your updates.
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