Is Record Store Day worth it?

Record Store Day is once again upon us, with its candy-colored vinyl and improbably in-store performances and endless lines. Like anything that becomes popular, the holiday is starting to develop detractors among music fans who see it as everything from a pain in the ass to a gimmicky, patronizing tourist trap.

We admit we have doubts of our own, so we asked Paul Epstein from Twist and Shout and Brian Rooney from Angelo's to tell us what they think of the holiday. Is Record Store Day a way to "celebrate and spread the unique culture surrounding independently owned record stores" like it says in the press kit?

Shawn White: Does Record Store Day really help business in the long term?

Brian Rooney, Angelo's Records: Financially, it is pretty much just the one day. But people are excited about it pretty much the whole year. We love the crowds and the excitement, them getting the experience of shopping in a record store. We work hard with our midnight sales and other events to keep people coming in on a regular basis.

Paul Epstein, Twist and Shout: Maybe if we were a regular record store, this would be a gigantic bump in traffic, and as it is it's still a big day for us. It's great and it gets bigger every year. The scope of this day has grown, there seems to be an increased public and media awareness, and after that, there are more people who become interested in the store and collecting records.

Does Record Store Day reward regular patrons or just newcomers?

PE: It's impossible to really say, because I'm not in the store all the time. We do get new Denver people in, and I know we get people from Wyoming, Kansas and Nebraska who drive in for the occasion. It's complicated, but these people are definitely fans.

BR: We see a little of both. (new people and regulars) We definitely see people interested months ahead of time. People will start talking about the next one as soon as this one is over. It gives people an excuse to talk about record stores which is always good. Some people go to Twist and Shout or some other store and don't know about us, and they find out about us that day, because another store is sold out of what they are looking for.

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Shawn White

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