Record Store Day: vinyl reigns supreme

You are now more likely to look to iTunes than a turntable for new music, but this Saturday, vinyl reigns supreme.

Musicians Merlin, Francis Burgors and Swampmonster. Picture: KIRK GILMOUR

Musicians Merlin, Francis Burgors and Swampmonster. Picture: KIRK GILMOUR

The international Record Store Day, marked on the third Saturday of each April since 2007, is a celebration of record stores, and physical music products. 

In an age where unlimited free music can be accessed – legally or not – with a mouse click, record store owner Jeb Taylor said it was important to remember the true value of music.

“Record Store Day started when music sales were basically at their lowest ever point, as a way to show people stores are still around,” said Mr Taylor, who runs Music Farmers in Crown Lane, Wollongong.

“Everything is heading digital. People are losing the experience of walking into a record store. Many of the younger generation might have never been in one.”

Online streaming services Spotify, Rdio and more dominate the market, and music piracy is still rife, but records are enjoying a revival. Recent ARIA statistics show while CD sales plummeted 25 per cent last year, vinyl sales spiked 77 per cent.

Mr Taylor credits the jump to people rediscovering parts of record stores the internet cannot provide.

“It’s being able to talk to a person in the shop. If you’re online, you can’t,” he said.

“Record stores also interact with local arts and music communities.”

Music Farmers will host a free concert with bands and DJs including Step-Panther, Hank Haint and The Escarpment. They will also stock Record Store Day exclusive vinyl releases from the likes of Aerosmith, Daft Punk, Nirvana and Kings of Leon.


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