This year’s Record Store Day, which was originally set to return earlier this month on April 18th as led by honorary ambassador Brandi Carlile, will now (hopefully) take place as an amended three-part initiative on August 29th, September 26th, and October 24th, organizers revealed on Wednesday.
The annual nationwide small business-focused event which celebrates physical formats of recorded music and independent record stores announced last month that it would be pushed back to June 20th due to the severe limitations of mass gatherings due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, although it now appears that a summertime event will no longer happen.
“RSD is now scheduled to be celebrated with special, properly distanced release dates on Saturdays in August, September and October,” the organization announced in a statement posted to its website. “We don’t know what sort of rules will be in place, or what sort of gatherings people will be in the mood for this year, so we’re focusing on the music and getting the really great titles on the RSD Official List this year into the stores and into your hands, in the most financially and socially responsible way … The titles on the RSD 2020 Official List, launched on March 5th, will be released at participating record stores on one of these three RSD Drops: August 29th, September 26th, and October 24th. The new version of The List, with newly assigned RSD Drops dates will launch on June 1 so check back here for a look at when you’ll be able to pick up the titles on your RSD 2020 wishlist at your local record store.”
In years past, Record Store Day has included in-store performances, artist meet & greets, promotional giveaways, and more. At the moment, it’s unclear what realistic opportunities record store owners will have in terms of bringing people into their physical locations without the assurance of a coronavirus vaccine. Record Store Day organizers are likely looking at this strategy similar to how grocery stores and food markets are handling the constant flow of foot traffic allowed inside their locations at any given time. Earlier this month it was reported that Los Angeles’ Amoeba Music, one of the last major independent big-box music retailers in the country, announced it will not reopen its home in Hollywood for the last two decades when the city-wide Stay-At-Home order is lifted.
Since 2008, Record Store Day has been a united coalition of some 1,400 independent record stores from across the country, and thousands more around the world. This year’s special RSD releases ranged from a Wu-Tang Clan lullaby album to a David Bowie live album.
Head to the Record Store Day website for more info.