Celebrating record stores’ biggest day

Record Store Day 2023 draws big crowds in Seattle

Emma Mathews, Staff Writer

Starting in 2007, each year Record Store Day has produced limited edition versions of vinyl, CD and cassette releases from some of the industry’s most beloved artists, most of which will never be massed produced after their Record Store Day release. Since its conception, Record Store Day has become a major event in the music community and serves to unite local record stores with their devoted shoppers. However, given how limited the releases are and the large demand, participation can be driven by a competitive desire to buy them before they are all gone for good. 

On April 22, 2023, thousands of people from all around the world lined the streets in preparation for the 16th National Record Store Day, including Seattle. 

Easy Street Records, a longstanding staple in the Seattle music scene, hosts thousands of Record Store Day participants each year. Greeting their guests with free bacon and coffee, supplied by their in-house diner, Easy Street begins celebrating the day with customers before they even enter the doors. Once reaching the front of what is always undoubtedly a long line, Record Store Day shoppers are welcomed by Easy Streets’ bright big disco ball and historic walls covered in the most iconic of posters. To a music lover, it feels like home. 

To many, Record Store Day creates a sense of community among music lovers. When you step in line at Record Store Day, you know you will be surrounded by people just as passionate about music as you. 

Charlie D. an Easy Street frequent, is a perfect representation of just how dedicated the Record Store Day community is. She showed up the night before the event took place to get in line. 

“I got here at 7:00 p.m. before the store closed. I had a couple of drinks, and then I waited out here at 9:00 p.m. when they locked the doors,” Charlie D. said. 

Charlie D was met by two of her friends, Megan B and Kendra V.B. a few hours later. The women were all determined to get Taylor Swift’s “Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions.”

Needless to say, they were first in line. However, it was not far into the night that the rest of the line began to form behind them. 

Kara S. who arrived early enough to be in the top half of the line like the other three women felt that this particular Record Store Day would make a lasting impression. 

“I think this is going to be my best Record Store Day memory. I have a feeling. We have high hopes for the day, and we’ve already had the best time this morning, lots of giggles, no sleep, and plenty of coffee. The whole day is about friends and music,” Kara S. said. 

In terms of the competitive nature of Record Store Day, given that there are only so many released worldwide, with this year’s top-end being capped at 11,750 copies, Megan B. felt that Record Store Day brings an interesting mix of energies. 

“I feel like in Seattle, where a lot of people are into music and vinyl, it maybe doesn’t foster the most warming sense of community. But I feel like in smaller places where record stores are neglected a lot, I think Record Store Day does its job a lot better. It’s two-sided,” Megan B. said. 

Charlie D agreed with that statement. However, she feels that Record Store Day is about more than just getting the albums or vinyl of a person’s favorite artist, it is about the atmosphere surrounding the day. 

“I feel like fans of artists may be more competitive, but fans of just vinyl as an art and medium, in general, understand that Record Store Day is about more than just getting what artist you want that day. It is about that community and waiting in line and supporting local businesses,” Charlie D. said. 

Some of the other big grabs of the day, besides Taylor Swift, included Pearl Jam, The Rockfords, who performed a show at Easy Street later that day, Stevie Nicks, The 1975 and Ol’Dirty Bastard. 

Collectively, all four women agreed that what Record Store Day does is support local businesses and prompt people to share their love of music. It is a great event for anyone in Seattle who is interested in music, in any capacity, to celebrate it in a way that fosters community amid the competitive nature of fans. 

“When I go to Record Store Day, I really like to watch what everyone else goes for and picks up. If enough people are looking at something I didn’t have my eyes on at all, I like to go look at it and listen to a couple of songs,” Megan B. said. “I might buy the same thing. I just love learning about new music through Record Store Day.”