FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Vinyl records are making their way back to turntables and record players across the country, and helping locally-owned businesses along the way. A big part of the success is due to Record Store Day, a national event that promotes the culture of independent record and music stores.
Saturday was the seventh annual Record Store Day, which has grown since it began in 2008. That year, there were less than 50 releases for the event. This year, there were 400.
“They come out on this day, for this day,” Morrison Agen, the owner of Neat Neat Neat on South Calhoun Street, said. “The records are meant to be one-day pieces. They’re exclusive to this day and to independent record stores. You’re not going to find these in a Best Buy, Walmart or Target.”
Record Store Day has music of every genre and for all ages.
“There’s everything from One Direction to Idle Race,” Agen said. “And from Joy Division to Opeth.”
All the extra business does come with some drawbacks. These one-day releases are on high demand, and stores find it challenging to keep their shelves stocked.
In fact, music companies can’t meet every order. At Neat Neat Neat, Agen ordered for 20 Nirvana albums, and only received three. He also wanted 15 Cake albums, and once again, only got three.
Those results were better than others. This year’s Record Store Day included a Ghostbusters album, but Neat Neat Neat didn’t get a single one, despite an attempt to order some.
“This is the industry’s Black Friday, 100 percent,” Agen said. “There are stores out there that do more business on this one day then they would in another month.”
More than a hundred people waited outside Saturday morning for Neat Neat Neat to open. Another large crowd was waiting outside the three Wooden Nickels in town.
“All the record companies and all the bands want to be involved with this,” Bob Roets, the owner of Wooden Nickel said. “It’s just blowing up into a major event now which is just wonderful for us.”
Both local record stores make a big event out of the day-long event. Each held concerts throughout the day with area bands, and also found ways to help members of the community.
Wooden Nickel gave $5 for each t-shirt it sold Saturday to the Community Harvest Food Bank.
Neat Neat Neat, which arranged to have Bravas outside for part of the day, gave a donation to NeighborLink Fort Wayne. For every Record Store Day hotdog sold, both Bravas and Neat Neat Neat would donate $1. The goal was $400 to help a neighboring senior citizen replace his water heater, which he had been without for four months.