"I feel like a year ago we did one of the best record store days out there," Rand Foster, owner at the Fingerprints record store in the East Village, said this week. "It usually feels like a convenience store right before the hurricane with lines, and people digging for their music.
"But this year we've been figuring it out, starting from scratch."
Record Store Day is an annual event — happening one day in August, September and again in October — celebrating independently-owned record stores and the culture they help create through music. Celebrations typically include new music drops, live performances and store deals.
The first Record Store Day event is happening this Saturday, Aug. 29, and Foster said that during a normal year, he would expect lines out the door.
"It’s completely different this year because we’ve always approached record store day as a celebration," he said. "We've always tried to leave a lot of room to have bands in, trying to break down that wall between the untouchable rockstar and the music fan, but with trying to keep crowds to a minimum, those kind of things are out of the window."
Without the usual events, Foster said that he had to get creative, because Record Store Day is still on and records have been pressed specifically for the event.
This year, people can head to the Fingerprints website and create a "wishlist" from the available records that include David Bowie, The Black Keys, Marlon Brown and The Cure, to name a few.
No payment is required when creating a wishlist because it's not guaranteed that all selected records will be available.
"On Thursday after people turn in their wishlist, we will mix those up and randomize them and print them as hard copies," he said. "Once those are ready, everyone who purchased will receive an email with directions on what to do next."
Items will be available for pickup at the Fingerprints store this Saturday, Aug. 29. The deadline to submit a wishlist for Saturday was yesterday, Aug. 26. But there's still two more Record Store Days scheduled for those who missed this month, happening on Saturday, Sept. 26, and Oct. 24.
Fingerprints still will be offering plenty of sales online and in the store, but social distancing and mask-wearing will be enforced. Any items still available from the Record Store Day drop will be available for purchase, too.
"We might be doing things different this year, but the spirit is still there," Foster said. "I'm really happy with what we've been able to do and I'm excited to see how it goes."
Fingerprints (420 E. Fourth St.) is open every day from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. For more information about Record Store Day, go to fingerprintsmusic.com.
Stephanie Stutzman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.