With the global shutdown affecting the world in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, artists and creatives are undoubtedly suffering during these difficult times. However, the humble record store is one of the most unsung victims in this worldwide crisis.
As restrictions are placed upon non-essential businesses, record stores around the globe are being forced to shut their doors. Though many music fans would take issue with the phrase “non-essential”, many of these stores have been going online in an attempt to not only provide fans with the music they couldn’t purchase otherwise, but to also ensure the bills are paid.
Now, a new initiative has been launched in order to help mobilise artist support and urge music-lovers to shop online during these difficult times.
Dubbed “Love Record Stores”, the campaign asks fans to go online to social media and share a post with the hashtag #LoveRecordStores, while explaining just what independent music stores mean to them.
Maybe you’ve got memories of buying your first vinyl at Adelaide’s Clarity Records? Maybe you recall those amazing in-store performances at Melbourne’s Oh! Jean Records or Rocksteady Records? Or maybe you’ve got fond memories of finding a hidden gem at Sydney’s Red Eye Records? Either way, now’s the time to take to social media and share what they mean to you.
— Play It Again Sam (@piasrecordings) March 25, 2020
“Independent record stores have played a key role in supporting and developing artists and their music for decades, so now it is time for music companies and the artists they represent to step up and give something back,” explains Jason Rackham, Managing Director of [PIAS], who are leading the #LoveRecordStores initiative.
“We must support these small businesses if they are to survive this crisis and at the same time we can still play a big part in helping them to continue to introduce their customers to new music. By speaking directly to their audiences about the importance of record stores and encouraging music fans to continue shopping with them online, artists can play a big part in helping secure the survival of this vital part of our industry.”
“I started life in a record store,” echoed Beggars Group Founder and Chairman Martin Mills. “Record stores are incubators for great music, and for musicians. In these incredible times they can still serve up what you need so please ‘visit’ them online, patronise them, support them and help them survive. We’ll need them on the other side.”
“I’d be lost without my favourite record shops; Rough Trade, Soul Jazz, Honest Johns and all the other independents,” added The Jam founder Paul Weller. “Let’s all keep them all going in this very strange time. Music will lift our spirits and soothe our souls.”
Officially launching at 8pm AEDT on Thursday, March 26th, music-lovers around the world are invited to participate in this campaign to ensure their beloved record stores stay afloat during these difficult times.