Vinyl lovers all around the world headed to various record stores this past Saturday for Record Store Day discounts, rare finds, and the high spirited adventure across musical genres. Stocking up supplies, hosting live artists and occasionally even spreading out whole art festivals, thousands of stores prepared for flocks of customers looking for the right records.
Vatican City Vinyl Records, a local store in Sarasota, hosted live music from a variety of artists, featured an indie flea market and sealed the deal with a food truck on site. Katelyn Booth, the helpful and knowledgeable owner of the store, expressed her excitement at the day’s turn out with sales high and a cool crowd gathering behind the store for live music and vintage sales from Canned Ham, the main vendor at the flea market.
“The woman who runs Canned Ham is an independent salesperson, she sells vintage items from all over,” Booth said. “The extra entertainment has been great and we also got in a bunch of new records especially for today, that whole shelf there has just-in, exclusively released records,” she added. Vatican Vinyl opened early Saturday morning for presale.
Record Store Day was first conceived of in 2007 by a group of independent record shop owners and employees with the common interest of celebrating vinyl culture. Since, it has exploded into an international phenomenon, reflecting just how diverse vinyl culture has grown. This year’s Record Store Day sales increased from last year’s sales and the White Stripes dominated the sales with their exclusive album release.
“This was only my second record store day and it was awesome,” first-year Annie Rosenblum said. “The first one I went to was last year at Vatican City Records here in Sarasota and it had a pretty good turn out, but Daddy Kool was really bumpin’ in St. Pete. That might just be because St. Pete is a little bigger of a city and its music scene is more developed than Sarasota,” Rosenblum added.
Daddy Kool Records in St. Petersburg brought Record Store Day to its prime, supplying not only dozens of exclusively released records but also a groovy vibe with live music, radio broadcasting, local t-shirt sales, and a number of other entertainment.
“It’s been great for us today, the community always comes out and supports us which is not something that we take for granted, it’s hugely appreciated,” said Benny Normal, an employee at Daddy Kool. “It takes a lot of organizing and time but it always pays dividends. We have WNMF out here broadcasting live on the air right now, we had red bull come out with a local DJ truck,” he added. “The core thing here though is what the industry’s artists do by bringing all of these exclusive releases to indie stores from big artist to tiny artist, in fact, we had some local artists on the official release list this year. These artists all come out to support the little mom and pop stores around the world.”