Posted by: brad – Apr 12, 2016
While the rest of RVA's record shops will be celebrating National Record Store Day this Saturday, one Oregon Hill mainstay will continue a tradition started last year that stands in opposition to the event.
“We found that the rule book wasn’t really working for us, so we tried to take a step back," said Bobby Egger, owner of Vinyl Conflict where his Customer Appreciation Day aims to emulate RSD without some of the financial burden. "[It's the] same idea, it's just something that works for us. We didn’t want to buy into the product… last year was more of a revolt, this year we’re trying not to do that as much.”
In order for shops to get in on the rare releases and specials RSD is known for, they have to meet a number of requirements, like buying chunks of records in order to get some of the more rare or unique releases. The items are also non refundable, something Egger said his store couldn’t really handle.
It also doesn't help that Vinyl Conflict specializes in metal and punk music, something Egger says isn't the focus of the RSD distributors.
“Out of the catalog of hundreds of titles there’s 10 [we’d be into], if we were even able to get them,” he said.
Sure enough, the anti-RSD experiment last year turned into the biggest day of business the shop has done since it opened in 2008.
“We were able to reach out customers and remind them why we were doing and what we were doing. We weren’t trying to provide them a product that they were hoping to find," Egger said. "It was more so like ‘hey, we’re able to exist in a city like this selling what we’re able to sell' and I think people were pretty receptive to that.”
Getting past last year's "revolt" mentality, Egger said this year's event started with a
Field of Dreams-attitude, to see if they build out a crazy big event, will people come. There will be a dunk tank, moon-bounce, snow-cone machine, and arcade machines with possible competitions.
Local taxidermists Rest In Pieces will set up a portable shop and offer carnival-like games, and the folks at Hold it Down Tattoo will do a flash-sheet tattoo special with punk/shop related tattoos. Egger also said 821 Cafe will offer a pun-filed/punk-inspired menu, one of his favorite parts of the event.
And don't be confused, there will still be rare releases available at Vinyl Conflict - labels like A389 Records, Ebullition Records, To Live a Lie Records, Boss Tuneage, and a few others will be providing something special; “Some of the most limited things you can get” bobby promised.
But beyond the records, the live music and the dunk tank, Egger is most excited to give O-Hill locals a reason to come hang out on a (hopefully) beautiful Spring Saturday in April.
"I’m looking forward to seeing everybody," he said. "My favorite thing about it is taking off some of the financial stress where everybody can come out and hang out for a day on a Saturday in springtime… there’s stuff to do, reasons to stay active here.”
And despite the event's anti-RSD history, Egger wants folks to understand they are in a unique position and people should continue to support the many other local record shops in town.
"Overall we have created an event which works out for us and our customers," he said. "Obviously all the shops have some sort of overlap, and for anyone who might be disappointed that we will not have the titles they are looking for we encourage them to try out one of the many other shops in town such as Steady Sounds, Deep Groove, Plan 9 and BK Music."
Vinyl Conflicts Customer Appreciation Day happens this Saturday, 10AM-7PM. Find out more info here via facebook.
Words by Brad Kutner