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Bury St Edmunds shop Vinyl Hunter prepares for Record Store Day

Music fans: If you’re reading this on Friday, then you might want to start thinking about heading over to St John’s Street and joining the queue.

Tomorrow (April 13) is Record Store Day, an annual event celebrating vinyl, the shops that sell it and the music it plays.

Since the festival’s inception in 2008, fans have been camping out before one Saturday every April to get their hands on limited edition records, some especially released in conjunction with the day.

Rob Jones, Dave Bond and Will Hunter with some rare records
Rob Jones, Dave Bond and Will Hunter with some rare records

For Bury St Edmunds’s own Vinyl Hunter, the event is bigger than Christmas and staff have been busy stocking up and getting equipment ready.

On the day, more than 500 limited edition records will be stocked and there will also be live music performances from artists including Freya Roy and The Sandinistas.

And such is the demand, manager Will Hunter said hot drinks would be served from 5am to queues of customers waiting for 8am when the doors open.

“Last time, close to 150 people were outside before we opened at 8am, it is pretty intense,” he said. “I look forward to around 1pm or 2pm when I can sit down!

“It is a punishing amount of work getting ready, and on the day I’ll be standing up taking sales for seven hours. But for anyone else, I would recommend coming to enjoy it.”

American rock band Pearl Jam have been selected as ‘ambassadors’ for the 2019 event.

Confirmed releases include a special picture disc of the soundtrack for 2018 Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, a live album of Green Day’s 1994 performance at Woodstock, a special extended edition of KT Tunstall’s latest album WAX and Live at the Borderline 1991, courtesy of R.E.M.

Will added: “For record shops, this is the most important day and we might not be able to carry on if we didn’t have this.

“It is encouraging to see people so enthusiastic about music.”

Norfolk-based Freya Roy will be releasing her debut album in-store, as well as performing, and will be on-hand to sign copies.

Vinyl Hunter also stands out, even on St John’s Street, for providing a coffee shop service as well as selling rare and popular records.

Will feels that establishing a friendly environment, providing more than one service, and making the most of events like Record
Store Day are key for independent shops.

“There is a strong community who love music and this is a place for them to come and hang out,” he added. “You do not get a day like this in any other shop, or in anything else than music.”