Metallica helped kick off the first Record Store Day, in 2008, with a signing at a Rasputin in Mountain View. Since then it has become a globally observed celebration, with more stores, artists, and labels participating than ever. RSD aims to shine the spotlight on the stores, rather than on the products, with in-store events ranging from performances and signings to giveaways and contests. And Carrie Colliton, one of the co-founders of Record Store Day, said special releases are key to event’s success. “If the pieces were mass produced and available everywhere they wouldn’t have the same draw,” said Colliton. “It’s this limited, special nature that creates the buzz.” There are more than 350 releases this year, up about 100 from 2012, and just ten in 2008.
One of the most significant results of that growth: When it comes to the availability of specific releases, there are no promises. The eleven-page list of RSD releases doesn’t guarantee that any one item will be in any specific store. And even if the record you want is in the store, the limited number of copies available make securing it a challenge in itself. The die-hard fans lined up outside before the stores open might be there for nothing. (See our complete guide to what’s happening at Bay Area stores here)