Record Store Day is a celebration of the independent record store and its cultural impact, from the shop clerk showcasing the best local releases to hardcore collectors digging for rarities to the vinyl newbie just starting their journey.
When is Record Store Day?
Record Store Day 2021 will occur on two Saturdays this summer: June 12 and July 17. Historically, Record Store Day fell in April. However, in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, RSD organizers planned separate socially distanced events in 2021 to accommodate smaller crowds (and keep you coming back for more).
How does Record Store Day work?
Since 2008, artists and labels schedule the release of exclusive new content or coveted reissues, which is coordinated by the Record Store Day organizers. Inventory will vary depending on where you live or shop. Your favorite record store will request items through the RSD team, but that doesn’t guarantee that the store will get enough for everyone who wants one.
For the first 13 years, the limited nature of the event often created lines outside of local stores. In the midst of the pandemic, however, RSD organizers and shop owners are going to great lengths to ensure social distancing and safe shopping. If you plan on visiting a store in person, check their website and social media channels to make sure you’re prepared for COVID-19 rules. As always, wear a mask, keep your distance, and be considerate to your local store clerks and fellow shoppers.
Record Store Day has several local teams that organize drops in countries across the globe, not just the United States and the United Kingdom. Shopping online makes it easy to explore RSD titles from different regions.
Where can I buy RSD releases online?
Finding Record Store Day releases online will be easier than in previous years. Starting in 2020, record stores were allowed to list their RSD inventory online on the afternoon of the physical drop.
The following suggestions will help you navigate RSD virtually:
- Check your favorite record store’s website for an online shop and reach out to confirm when they will be listing RSD titles online.
- If you are searching for a specific RSD release, the easiest way to find it online the day of the drop will be to search for it by name.
- The per of searching for your coveted title is that you can discover a new record store selling online and still support the RSD mission even if you’re not physically in-store.
- Marketplaces like Discogs support independent sellers around the world, including record stores. As the information on RSD 2021 titles is submitted by the Discogs Community to the Database, the items will appear on the list of RSD releases. Independent sellers are also active on eBay.
How much are RSD releases?
Great question. The short answer? It depends. The long answer: The very nature of Record Store Day creates exclusivity. Since every item is limited-edition, naturally, the demand is going to be a lot higher than the supply. Depending on the release, the value will appreciate over time. However, the initial drop price is typically standard for what you would pay for a special format (like a picture disc), a box set (especially those collector’s versions), color vinyl, or a coveted reissue. The cost tends to be more expensive for titles that have fewer copies or more goodies.
Where can I find record stores near me?
Discogs run VinylHub, an online database of record stores around the world. Use VinylHub to find record stores near you and take a look at the list of record stores selling on Discogs. The interactive VinylHub map on Discogs makes it easy to locate nearby stores, see their Discogs inventory, and follow them on social media for updates.
Check out Record Store Day for more information about the drops on June 12 and July 17 this year. Discogs is not affiliated with the RSD organization but we agree with their mission of bringing more people into record stores.