The independent retail community gathered together last week to celebrate the annual event the physical business created ten years ago, Record Store Day. Over two hundred store owners and staffers met in New Orleans to network, socialize and party at RSD Summer Camp. Along for the ride were supplier attendees from record labels, audio and video distribution companies, turntable manufacturers and apparel and toy merchandisers to converge and share ideas on preserving this tangible shopping experience.
The Orchard was well represented with physical sales attendees including myself, Kevin Hopper, Mary Ashley Johnson, Alex Brody, Mike Heyliger and Terry McGibbons. Many of our distributed labels participated including Dangerbird, Nacional, PIAS, Thirty Tigers, Virtual Label, Dine Alone, Rainmaker, Blue Engine, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Righteous Babe, Brookvale and Friday Music.
Wednesday morning the team introduced The Orchard’s bigger and better physical sales department during a presentation highlighting the merging of RED Distribution with The Orchard’s sales staff and infrastructure. The retail response was positive and enthusiastic as The Orchard continues to support this very crucial piece of of brick and mortar regional stores.
The day continued with panels and presentations relating to the indie store community on how the industry can translate the hype of RSD into a continually exciting experience throughout the year. One of the afternoon highlights came from a guest appearance by Darryl McDaniels of one of the greatest music acts of all time, Run DMC. Darryl has a new release dropping on the next RSD event day, Black Friday, November 25, through The Orchard distributed label Brookvale Records.
The festivities continued on Wednesday evening at the House of Blues for a live music showcase from some new and established names including John Waite, Zuli, Morgan Saint and The Orchard distributed, Ani DiFranco and *repeat repeat.
Thursday was the main event, the vendor/label fair, where suppliers provide samples to the store attendees. The Orchard table was fully stocked to share loads of LPs and CDs with countless indie retailers. Included in our stockpile was our own exclusive ten song promotional sampler album featuring music from various labels. Our crew interfaced with SO many stores, talking new music and catalog releases all afternoon.
Overall the conference was a great success, helping the indie store community evolve and continue on as an essential part of music distribution throughout the world.