Independent Record Stores – An Outlet For New Acts

Record Store Day – The Opportunities For New Bands

Independent Record Store day came about in 2007 when 700 stores in America decided to celebrate their unique contribution to the economy, both nationally and locally.

The UK shops soon followed the example of the Americans and the day has grown in popularity with 2015 being the largest yet. With support from major artists through gestures such as special limited releases available only on the day through independent record shops, it’s no wonder that queues form outside hours before they open.

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Independent Record Stores (IRS) are the lifeblood for new acts trying to get their music heard, and the unsung heroes that run these shops do it more for love than money. You will rarely hear of the IRS owner who has become a millionaire, but you will hear of the IRS owner who is your first port of call when you’re looking for something obscure.

With the larger stores that supported new music being squeezed out of the market into obscurity the need for the IRS is more important than ever, and without support they will not survive. You try walking into a high street record store and asking for a cd by the band that you saw in the pub last night but had spent all of your money on beer and shots before you could buy one on the night.

It is estimated that around 20 new stores have opened in past year in Britain and the reason for the growth is down to a number of factors, but the main one is the return in popularity of vinyl. There is no argument, you lose a lot of quality with digital media and music fans are looking for a better sound and are willing to pay for it, but more importantly they are willing to hunt for it.

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These independent retailers will also stock releases from local bands who are desperate for their music to be heard by a larger audience. They are the arteries through which unsigned bands can get their music out, and the people who run these stores should be applauded and supported for putting their money where their mouth is.

The economy has been a mess over the past decade, but these small store owners have stood solid and stuck to their guns, providing a service to a small number of punters, whose number, thankfully, is growing each month.

Record Store Day was April 18th and was a great success, here’s to next year.

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