The music community is launching a high-profile, global initiative to help independent record stores during the coronavirus crisis.
With many stores 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, leading to the launch of the #Loverecordstores campaign.
The campaign already has the support of a number of music companies, which have been coordinating ideas, resources and mobilising their artists to record messages of support 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.
Backing the initiative, Paul Weller (pictured) said: “I’d be lost without my favourite recordshops; Rough Trade, Sounds Of The Universe, Honest Jon’s 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.”
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
All music lovers are invited to participate by sharing a post on Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #LoveRecordStores and say what independent record stores have meant to them.
Jason Rackham, MD of PIAS, who is leading the 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 chairman 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 other side.”
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.”