The music industry has launched a campaign to help independent record stores survive amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Footfall in local stores has been dropping since the virus began to spread, and with governments around the world putting measures in place restricting the movement of citizens, there are real fears that many indies will go to the wall as a result.
The Love Record Stores initiative will officially get under way tomorrow (March 25), and it’ll see music companies and their artists recording video messages of support for independent stores. These will then be broadcast across social media with the hashtag #LoveRecordStores.
Musicians and artists will be joined in the campaign by actors and celebrity music fans, who will talk about what independent record stores mean to them and encourage fans to keep shopping online.
You can get involved, too, by flooding Twitter and Instagram with pictures and videos of your favourite indies and letting everyone know about the important part they play in your life. And remember to use the #LoveRecordStores.
Managing Director of PIAS Recordings Jason Rackham, who is leading the campaign says: “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 chairman Martin Mills adds: “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 other side.”
Co-owner of Piccadilly Records in Manchester Laura Kennedy says that while the store has been in business since the late 70s, they’ve never faced a challenge like this before.
She adds: “It’s with a heavy heart 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.”
The campaign will officially kick off on Thursday morning at 9am, so keep your eye on social media and get involved and help support your local indie.