Record Store Day kicks off next week, here’s how it’s going to work

Record Store Day kicks off next week, here’s how it’s going to work

Words by Tom Parker

The event will be split up into three separate instalments.

It’s a crate-digger’s favourite day and a record store’s biggest annual coup, and while this year’s Record Store Day has been postponed on a number of occasions, it will kick off next week in a new, dynamic format.

Saturday August 29 will be the first of three Saturdays the occasion is celebrated, with September 26 and October 24 to follow. The event’s segmented makeup has been devised to spread out exclusive releases and amplify the benefit for the stores heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

On each day, record stores will receive a different bundle of exclusive releases, in what have been called separate ‘RSD Drops’. When the RSD organisers announced the new format in April, they had one main consideration in mind.

“Prior events have been as much about the gatherings, parties, concerts and ‘group hang’ element of a celebration as the special releases,” RSD organisers said in a statement. “But in this unprecedented global situation, the focus of these ‘RSD Drops’ dates is on bringing revenue to the stores, as well as to the artists, labels, distribution and every other business behind the scenes making record stores work.”

That statement still holds true right now, with the potential revenue more important than ever for those concerned.

With each Australian state currently facing different restrictions relating to the COVID-19 crisis, the August instalment of Record Store Day will be rolled out differently in each major city. Adelaide, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth are in a different situation to Melbourne and as such, the respective record stores in these cities will be operating as normal, in a safe socially-distant manner.

In Melbourne, Record Store Day will be conducted online or within 5kms of a buyer’s home. Punters can venture to record stores nearby, if they happen to be open, and pick up a purchase they made online. Otherwise, all RSD purchases will need to be made online and posted.

There will a host of exclusive reveals, such as reissues from The Cure, Kraftwerk, Paul McCartney and Robyn alongside rarities from the likes of David Bowie, Fleetwood Mac and Miles Davis. That’s just the start, check out more of the releases here.

Australian record stores have been given special permission from the US organiser to sell RSD Drops online, as this has made up a large proportion of their sales since COVID-19 hit.

“We negotiated special permission with the US to sell RSD Drops online while at the time never expecting to need it, but now very thankful we did,” Blake Budak, president of AMRA – the entity that runs Record Store Day in Australia – said.

The first instalment of Record Store Day goes down on Saturday August 29. Find out what’s going down via the Record Store Day website.

Find a Melbourne record store you can support on Record Store Day here

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