Record Store Day began in 2008 as a way to promote and celebrate independent retailers. The first year featured 10 special releases. This year saw hundreds.
The line outside Harvest Records began forming at 3 a.m. By the time the doors opened seven hours later, anxious customers wound around the building, forming a line that spanned the entire block. Inside, fans scrambled to the special release tables where a plethora of limited edition vinyl waited.
The atmosphere was a mix of Christmas morning glee and Black Friday chaos. Fans were polite and orderly for the most part, but the tension was palpable. Special releases — collaborative EPs, B-sides, classic re-pressings, live recordings and more — were highly coveted and not easy to land. The albums were pressed in extremely limited numbers, leaving each store with just a handful of each.
Many fans carried lists, checking off the scores and lamenting near misses. Within minutes, the checkout line stretched from wall to wall and wrapped around the used vinyl racks, circling back into itself. Don’t believe that people still buy music? Watch and learn.