Record Store Day is going down in Melbourne tomorrow, so how’s it going to work?

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Record Store Day is going down in Melbourne tomorrow, so how’s it going to work?

Image by DJ Paine via Unsplash
Words by Jakeb Smith

The iconic celebration of indie vinyl vendors is happening over two ‘lite’ instalments.

Record Store Day has traditionally brought like-minded music fans to their favourite record stores to shop, socialise, and party. After last year’s lockdowns forced a rethink of the format, however, organisers have unveiled a program that maintains the spirit of the event while keeping everyone as safe as possible.

This year’s event will take place on both Saturday June 12 and Saturday July 17 at over 70 independent record stores across Victoria. Social distancing rules will mean QR codes, hand sanitiser, and a limit of one person per four square metres inside. Larger stores are being encouraged to have one-way browsing (like a much cooler IKEA), while some stores have booking systems in place for slots starting as early as 9am.

What you need to know

  • Record Store Day is split across two days in 2021, with the first of the two instalments going down on Saturday June 12
  • Over 70 independent record stores across Victoria will become involved in the event
  • June 12 was slated to be the main event, a day of live music, DJs, food and drink, but given Melbourne’s current restrictions, it’s looking that will now be the July 17 date

Keep up with all the latest music interviews, news and reviews here.

For all retailers, the restrictions mean customers will likely have to wait their turn outside. And yet, this is one area where the spirit and practicalities of the day happen to intersect. It’s a chance for music lovers to connect and share in the excitement of the event.

“One of the things I find particularly amazing is the queue to get in. You’d think people would be cross from having to queue, but far from it, people are always happy. They chat in the queue; they talk to each other. I think people enjoy the queueing just as much as they enjoy being in the store.”

Once inside, there will be plenty of vinyl to pick through, with special deals and discounts, and the much-coveted, limited-edition releases. There are literally hundreds of rare reprints, first pressings, and special imports to be hunted and collected.

Highlights include The Vines’ Melodia in yellow and green marbled vinyl, a 12″ picture disc of AC/DC’s Through The Mists Of Time/Witch’s Spell, and Ocean Alley’s Lonely Diamond (Live In Studio) on clear with blue and green splatter double vinyl.

Of course, the recent lockdown in Victoria has meant that even the cautious plans of the Australian Music Retailer Association have been left up in the air. June 12 was supposed to be the main event, a day of live music, DJs, food and drink designed to rock well into the evening. With so little certainty over the lockdown until a few days ago, it’s looking like those celebrations will be put on hold.

“I think many stores have already postponed their party plans until July 17,” Hood says. “[We’re] thrilled that we can be open but recognise that the restrictions will quite severely limit what we can do on the 12th.”

How each store navigates Melbourne’s eased restrictions will vary, so it’s worth contacting your local store to find out what they have planned. One thing is certain though: two thirds of the limited editions are dropping this Saturday, so pack your mask, sanitiser, and tote bag, and get ready to secure some exotic wax.

The first instalment of Record Store Day goes down on Saturday June 12. Find out what’s happening via the Record Store Day website.

Find a Melbourne record store you can support on Record Store Day here.