Local record stores celebrated Record Store Day on Saturday with exclusive new vinyl releases and musical performances.
Record Store Day is a celebration of the people who make up a record store's unique culture, including staff, consumers and artists.
Cities across the U.S. have also declared Record Store Day as an official holiday.
The annual event was first held in 2008 to celebrate independently-owned record stores and the culture surrounding them. Some stores celebrate the holiday with new vinyl releases, giveaways and sales, while others go all out with musical performances, parades and meet-and-greets.
Schoolkids Records in Chapel Hill and All Day Records in Carrboro both took part in the celebration.
This year, Schoolkids Records sold over 250 new records and reissues that were exclusively released for Record Store Day, including releases by Taylor Swift, Paul McCartney, the Rolling Stones, the 1975 and Jason Isbell & Amanda Shires.
According to Gabriel Garrity, an employee at Schoolkids Records since 2019, Saturday may have been the busiest day the store has seen in decades.
“I think it broke every record, at least since the resurgence of vinyl,” he said. “We had the best day business-wise probably that we've had since maybe ever, but at least since the '90s.”
Gabriel also said that the overwhelming best-seller was Taylor Swift’s “Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions,” which was released on vinyl for the first time in honor of the day.
“We're still getting a phone call every 15 minutes about it," he said. "That piece alone might be the best-selling piece that we've ever had in this store since around the older era when vinyl hadn't come back yet."
Schoolkids Records also hosted two musical performances by M.B. Mulkey, an indie-folk artist from Raleigh, and Adeem the Artist, a country artist also from North Carolina.
Mulkey said they grew up collecting records and had been to several Record Store Days. Though they had played in record stores before, they said they were excited by the prospect of performing for the event.
“It's always awesome supporting independent record stores,” they said. “Buy at places like Schoolkids before you buy at Target and everything, just so that the money is going to the right places.”
Adeem Maria, who performs as Adeem the Artist, said during their performance that they were unfamiliar with the more quiet and intimate setting of the store but were excited to support a local record business.
At All Day Records in Carrboro, about a dozen customers trickled in and out of the store on Saturday afternoon, browsing, testing records and sorting through their finds.
There was a steady stream of visitors since the local business opened its doors to a long line on Saturday morning, according to employee Nathan Taylor.
Taylor said All Day Records has been open since 2010 and is generally well-supported by a customer base ranging from students to DJs and local collectors.
The business continued its celebration of Record Store Day through Sunday with sales and three performances by local musicians.
Mike Schooff, a Hillsborough resident who has been collecting records since he was 10 years old, said that he enjoys All Day Records because original records are available for good prices.
Schooff said that he feels lucky to live in an area with so many great record stores. He also frequents Bull City Records in Durham and Volume in Hillsborough.
“They always have a real eclectic variety here, that’s why I like coming here,” he said.
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