Decatur store owners say Record Store Day's exclusive releases are problematic

Ella Guru Record Shop on Lavista Road in Decatur, Georgia. (Jacob Blaisdell)

Record Store Day is Saturday, April 20. For the unfamiliar, the retro retail jubilee was first held in 2008 to celebrate and support independent record stores. On this day, participating stores around the world offer exclusive releases, live performances and other special events.

While Record Store Day has been widely appreciated by many in the music community, it also faces criticisms and challenges, specifically surrounding the exclusive limited pressings that mark the day. These special releases can lead to long lines, disappointment for fans who miss out, and increased prices on the secondary market.

“City Lights” managing producer Kim Drobes spoke with the new owners of Decatur’s Ella Guru Record Shop, Jacob Blaisdell and Shannon Mulvaney. Ella Guru is a used record store, so the exclusive releases of Record Store Day are not a current issue for Blaisdell and Mulvaney. However, the two have 47 years of combined industry experience, and they’ve participated in most Record Store Days since the celebration’s inception.

Blaisdell and Mulvaney shared their insight into the strain that these limited pressings can put on smaller, independent stores.