Record Store Day Achieves Record Participation

Amidst the growing culture of file-sharing and music downloads, Record Store Day shines as a beacon of hope for traditional media enthusiasts everywhere. Dreamed up in 2007, the annual “holiday” is celebrated on the third Saturday if April. Recording artists and industry professionals joined together on the 18th to pay tribute to the independently-owned and operated music shops that refuse to be washed away by the tidal wave of digital technology. The celebrations can reach the scale of block parties or carnivals, as described by the official website: “Festivities include performances, cook-outs, body painting, meet & greets with artists, parades, djs spinning records and on and on.” Some performers showed support by playing in-store acoustic sets or signing autographs; others, like Radiohead and the Boss, championed the cause through the release of special edition albums or DVDs. According to Steve Jones of USA Today, some 600 artists and 1000 stores participated in this year’s Day. While the celebration originated in the States, it has become an international event – reports that more than 50 independent retailers in the United Kingdom joined last Saturday’s party. Co-founder Mike Kurtz expressed his amazement concerning the occasion’s popularity: “”We touched a nerve. So many people are passionate about record stores. It’s like how people feel about wine shops. We had no idea it would be that way, but it is and it’s incredible.”

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