On the third Saturday in April each year a revival of sorts takes place; for one day is dedicated to the record store and the importance of the physical format of music, in particular that retro chestnut vinyl.

With the hard times falling on megastores such as HMV, the rise of music download giants such as iTunes (or other unorthodox methods of downloading) and the emergence and enthusiasm for the music streaming site, like Spotify, it has never been more important to promote and cherish the vinyl and the independent stores which provide us with them.

So tomorrow, for the sixth year running, selected independent record shops across the UK will participate in Record Store Day 2013 (it’s the seventh consecutive year for the US).

What does ‘participating in Record Store Day’ actually mean?

For starters it’s a celebration of the art of music. Expect a buzzing atmosphere! Various artists from all genres release special vinyl and CDs in conjunction with the day, so fans can take home limited edition tracks from some of their favourite artists. Those releasing Record Store Day singles this year include Paul Weller, Pulp, Moby & Mark Lanegan, Edwyn Collins & The Heartbreaks, Little Boots and The Joy Formidable, to name but a few.

As well as limited edition vinyls or CDs, artists tend to get involved by popping into local record stores for a performance or impromptu jam. A list of local events is available on the Record Store Day website.

Other festivities include meet and greets, in-store quizzes, freebies, competitions and promotional events, so there’s really no excuse not to get down and have a look around.

How did the wonder that is Record Store Day come about then?

The idea was conceived in the USA in 2007 when over 700 independent stores across the country came together to celebrate their unique culture. Their ideology spread and grew, with the UK following suit in 2008. With fewer and fewer stores dedicated to selling records these days (I can think of about two here in Glasgow who are truly independent), it is important to focus on a format and culture that seems to be going out of fashion.

Without seeming too political, there is a chance that independent record stores in the UK may go out of business altogether for one reason or another (mostly economic reasons) so embrace the opportunity to celebrate and participate while you still can!

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