Final results from Record Store Day 2013 held on Saturday April 20 show sales through indie stores reached a new high for the annual event. Record Store Day singles sales were up around 20% and albums sales up a significant 60% on 2012’s already record-breaking total.
Eight of the Top 10 Vinyl Albums this week were Record Store Day exclusives, according to the Official Charts Company.
Shops have reported the average spend of each customer was around £45, with some spending hundreds of pounds on special limited editions.
The day was marked by a massive turnout of music fans at the 220 participating stores across the UK and Ireland with many queuing from early in the morning to bag some of the 500 exclusive items produced especially for the day. Resident Records in Brighton reported that the first person started queuing outside their shop at 6:45pm on the evening before Record Store Day, some 13 hours before the shop opened for business on the Saturday.
The official Record Store Day hashtag #RSD13 trended across the UK on both Friday 19 and Saturday 20 April, as music fans turned to social media to share their experience of the celebration. Massive media interest saw coverage on everything from NME to Woman’s Hour, helping to raise greater awareness of Record Store Day than ever before.
Big name artists pledged their support in greater numbers than previous years as record shops mounted both in-store gigs and organised city centre stages. Artists appearing included:
Frank Turner, who played three different sets across London;
Glasvegas, who played at Love Music in Glasgow and Avalanche Records in Edinburgh
The Wedding Present, who played Oxford’s Truck;
Paul Weller, who played the UK’s biggest indie record shop, Rough Trade East.
Artists did not just give up their time to perform on the day. Many got involved in a series of official Record Store Day promotional videos produced by Greatcoat Films. These included Brian May and Kerry Ellis, Billy Bragg, Frank Turner and Ghostpoet. Twitter followers grew 500% on last year and Facebook likes doubled from 2012.
Record Store Day UK Coordinator Spencer Hickman said, “Indie record shops pulled out all the stops once again to make Record Store Day UK a huge success. They proved yet again indie stores are more than just shops – at their best they are a focus for the passion, the excitement, the stubborn belief in the power of great music which is the hallmark of the true music fan.
“What was particularly exciting visiting stores on Saturday was to see so many families who had made a day-out of it, and were clearly introducing a whole new generation to the joys of record buying.”
Probably the biggest development for Record Store Day 2013 was the one day festival created in London’s Berwick Street by Sister Ray Records with The Music and Video Exchange, Sounds Of The Universe, BM Soho, Phonica, and Reckless Records.
With performances from artists including Wire, Steve Mason, Frank Turner, Brainiac Five, Matthew E White, Georgi Kay and the Smoke Fairies, the event drew a big crowd including celebrities Joanna Lumley, Jarvis Cocker and Jude Law.
Sister Ray’s Phil Barton said, “Great weather, great customers, great vinyl and the magnificent Wire headlining the whole caboodle, Record Store Day 2013 will be pretty hard to beat.”
Record Store Day 2013 even offered something for those who preferred to stay at home: the official film of this year’s event, the documentary Last Shop Standing, was broadcast on Sky Arts 1 and HD on both Friday 19 and Saturday 20 April.
A limited edition set of eight postcards were produced around the theme of Last Shop Standing and was sent to all participating stores as a free gift to customers on the day. Stores featured included notable indie stores of the past including Hudsons, Intoxica and Selectadisc. The final card in the set featured one of today’s most dynamic stores, Crash Records in Leeds, who received thousands of votes via Facebook to win the competition to be included.
Record Store Day is organised by the Entertainment Retailers Association whose Chairman Paul Quirk said, “Record Store Day reached a new level this year. What is clear is that it is the stores which have done the most in terms of organising gigs and special events which have seen the highest sales. Being a music fan is about more than just shopping, and those stores which recognise that are the stores who will prosper. I am continually amazed by the effort record store owners and their staff put into this event.”
Quirk said that efforts to prevent exclusive Record Store Day editions being bought by “touts” to sell on eBay appear to be paying off. “There is a lot of revulsion among music fans when people try to cash in on Record Store Day,” he said, “But the stores have made strenuous efforts to restrict this trade and our researches suggest less than 2% of product ended up on eBay this year – which means that 98% did not.” He added that Record Store Day organisers are already discussing measures to restrict it further in 2014. “I am confident we can continue to reduce the impact of this problem,” he said.