THE music community is launching a high-profile, global initiative on Thursday of this week (26th March), to help independent record stores during the current coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.
With many of these stores now experiencing a catastrophic drop-off in footfall or having already closed their doors there are fears that some may not survive if something is not done urgently to stimulate sales.
With that in mind, many music companies have already pledged their support for this new campaign – which has been named #loverecordstores.
Companies are co-ordinating ideas, resources and mobilising the artists they represent to record messages of support for record stores that can be used across all forms of social media.
Musicians, artists, actors and celebrity music fans around the world are being asked to film short video clips of themselves talking about, for example: what independent record stores mean to them, where their favourite store is, what records and artists those stores have helped them discover and most importantly to encourage their fans to continue to shop online with their favourite stores wherever possible.
All music lovers are invited to participate. All they need to do is share a post on Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #LoveRecordStores and say what independent record stores have meant to them.
Jason Rackham, managing director of PIAS, who is leading the #loverecordstores initiative, said: “Independent record stores have played a key role in supporting and developing artists and their music for decades, so now it is time for music companies and the artists they represent to step up and give something back. We must support these small businesses if they are to survive this crisis and at the same time we can still play a big part in helping them to continue to introduce their customers to new music.
“By speaking directly to their audiences about the importance of record stores and encouraging music fans to continue shopping with them online, artists can play a big part in helping secure the survival of this vital part of our industry.”
Beggars Group founder and chair, Martin Mills, said: “I started life in a record store. Record stores are incubators for great music, and for musicians. In these incredible times they can still serve up what you need so please ‘visit’ them online, patronise them, support them and help them survive. We’ll need them on the
Laura Kennedy, co-owner of Piccadilly Records in Manchester (UK), said: “Piccadilly Records has been around since the late 1970s and over the years we have faced lots of challenges, but nothing on the scale of what we face at the moment. It’s with a heavy heart therefore that we have closed our doors this weekend and it’s going to be tough. Our website and mail order department are going to keep going as normal while the shop is closed and there are still plenty of records being released. We’ve all got difficult times ahead but if we all stick together I’m sure we’ll get through. Be kind to each other and stay healthy.”
Musician, Paul Weller, said: “I’d be lost without my favourite record shops – Rough Trade, Soul Jazz, Honest Johns and all the other independents. Let’s all keep them all going in this very strange time. Music will lift our spirits and soothe our souls. Love to everyone.”
The #loverecordstores campaign will officially launch at 9am (UK) on Thursday 26th March.
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