Some holidays are just better than others. Those who love getting dressed up and being creative probably give Halloween their top spot. Those who love being around family, eating and passing out as they watch the Detroit Lions lose will lean toward Thanksgiving.
But for music lovers, for people who love the sound of a needle dropping into a groove on a record, Record Store Day is a treasured holiday. Those in Oxford can attend Record Store Day at The End of All Music record store, starting Saturday at 10 a.m.
Record Store Day was conceived in 2007 by a group of independent record store owners.
“It’s meant to celebrate the community surrounding independent record stores and the fact that communities have independent record stores,” said David Swider, owner of Oxford’s own independent record store The End of All Music. “The founders of Record Store Day decided that the best way to do that was to put out a bunch of records and have them only be available at independent record stores.”
“I’m definitely looking forward to Record Store Day,” said Alice McKelvey, a journalism student who writes about and produces a running local music playlist. “I’m a big supporter of buying local, and as a fan of music, it just makes sense to combine the two.”
The concept benefits both sides of the record store business. Customers get the chance to purchase super-limited releases unavailable anywhere else, and independent record stores are able to draw large crowds to their store to celebrate a strong music culture.
“It’s kind of a cool way to remind people, ‘Hey, we’re here. We have something you can’t get anywhere else and we’re proud to be a part of this community and to celebrate,’” Swider said.
The End of All Music treats the holiday as more of a block party than a day with limited releases.
The store will feature live music from local artists Bonus and Talbot Adams. Local artist and shop-neighbor to End of All Music Len Clark will be featuring music-related artwork and having an open house just next door. Raffles will be held throughout the day in “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” fashion, with golden tickets being hidden throughout the store. Those who are lucky enough to find a golden ticket could walk away with brand new powered speakers, headphones or tickets to upcoming concerts at The Lyric . Not to mention that there will also be free food and beer from Yalobusha Brewing Company for those of age.
Although End of All Music treats Record Store Day as an excuse to throw a great party, if you’re there to get one specific record, Swider recommends showing up early.
“It’s first come first serve,” Swider said in regard to the limited releases.
Once a record is out, it’s out. When asked how early some people show up to be sure they can walk out with their favorite record, Swider said he showed up last year at 8 a.m. to people in tents out front who had camped out the night before.
“I don’t know if that will happen this year or not, but you never know. I didn’t think it would last year, and yet there were people in tents,” Swider said.
The store will open at 10 a.m.; Swider said that last year at 8 a.m. there were about 50 people lined up outside the door. This year, the first five lined up outside will be allowed to enter the store five minutes before everyone else, giving a little incentive to those who want to ensure they leave with their favorite record.
“It’s gotten better every year,” Swider said. “I’ve made tons of new friends and they all come by on Record Store Day. Even if they don’t buy anything, it’s just nice to see people and have a beer with them, talking about records.”