Record Store Day brings together hundreds of the UK’s independent record shops to celebrate their unique culture and the art of music – with Manchester’s Piccadilly Records and Eastern Bloc at the forefront of the day’s activities.
Exclusive vinyl releases this year include a previously-unheard demo of The Smiths’ The Boy With The Thorn In His Side, as well as limited editions from Elbow, Blossoms and Cabbage. Participating shops often host live music and in-store events to celebrate the day.
Here are our top 6 picks
The most visible sign that Record Store Day has returned is the queue that forms along Oldham Street for Piccadilly Records. Music fans happily brave the elements (and Friday-night-out crowds) in order to bag that ultra limited edition vinyl before it sells out – with Piccadilly Records booking guest DJs throughout the day to keep the RSD buzz going.
Around the corner on Stevenson Square, the city’s mecca for dance music fans throws an epic 19-hour-long party – featuring over 20 DJs from Manchester and farther afield. You can also purchase special RSD releases while you party right through to 4am.
The ‘original’ Record Store Day all-dayer takes place across the square at Soup Kitchen. While record shoppers inspect their prized purchases upstairs, the basement venue hosts some of the hottest bands around – including Ill, Peaness and Kyotoya. Well worth the £3 entry fee.
Head to Edge Street from 5pm to try out a limited edition Record Store Day beer – brewed by Cloudwater in collaboration with Common and Piccadilly Records – and to enjoy live music from the likes of Former Bullies and Wedding, as well as Piccadilly Records DJs throughout the evening.
While not specifically Record Store Day-themed, this 12-hour takeover of one of the city centre’s hidden gems features a record fair and a great selection of live music from the likes of Matthew Whitaker, Hey Bulldog and OLA – as well as Cracking Good Food and Seven Bro7hers Brewery stalls. Handily, Hallé St Peter’s is located just a few minutes from Manchester’s RSD hub, Oldham Street.
With its inaugural outing last year selling out in advance, Manchester Punk Festival is already becoming a firm fixture on the city’s music calendar. Beginning on Thursday 20 April, the three-day festival culminates on Record Store Day with the likes of Martha, Belvedere, Braindead and Paint It Black playing at six venues including Gorilla, Sound Control, Retro Bar and more.