Duckworth Street usually isn’t this busy just before 9 a.m. on a Saturday.
Trying to find a parking space close to Fred’s Records is a challenge.
Stretched from the independent record store’s entrance down to Holloway Street is a line of about 100 people waiting for the door to open.
People can be heard woo-hooing as Record Store Day is about to begin.
The event started in the United States in 2008 to celebrate independently owned record stores. It caught on at Fred’s Records a couple of years later.
“It’s snowballed since then,” says manager Tony Ploughman.
Today, Fred’s Records owner Jim Brokenshire says “it’s bigger” than Black Friday.
Ploughman says it’s a great day to have this time of year.
“We’ve all come through the doldrums of winter, so it’s nice to have a big spark in the middle of April when there’s nothing going on. So, yeah, definitely one of our biggest days.”
St. John’s resident Jacob Cherwick says it’s a bit of fun to check out the special releases artists put out to celebrate the event.
“There’s always something interesting for Record Store Day,” he says as he glances at a display of vinyl records.
Another shopper, Joshua Jamieson, says he’s on the hunt for a few specific albums, including two by Prince.
“I’m a huge advocate for supporting local, independent record stores. Obviously, today goes a long way to highlight the importance of shopping local, and there’s also a whole lot of real interesting, cool rare releases that come out on Record Store Day,” Jamieson said.
“It’s become a bit of a thing for me over the last few years to check the list a few months in advance once it comes out, and make a plan of targets that I want to try and get my hands on, and then come down on the day of,” he added.
Farther downtown near the harbour, shoppers can be seen heading in and out of No Equal Records.
Co-owner Steve Wheeler says the shop is only a couple of years old, but he says with certainty that Record Store Day is “absolutely” one of the store’s biggest sales days of the year.”
“A majority of the Record Store Day titles are sought after, so it’s kind of a one-day holiday all in one for record stores to showcase what they do,” Wheeler added.
No Equal Records focuses on stocking funk, jazz and hip-hop albums. Wheeler says they brought in a few releases in each genre, including a couple of James Brown reissues.
He suggested music enthusiasts try to “make every day Record Store Day” and continue to support local, independent record stores year-round.