Organizers of Record Store Day in the U.K. said that singles sales by volume were almost double that of last year's event.

The April 17 international promotional event included numerous in-store gigs and more than 100 exclusive releases in the U.K., including the first Blur material in seven years on the limited edition vinyl single "Fool's Day" (Parlophone/EMI).

Billboard.biz witnessed the crowds drawn to Rough Trade West in Ladbroke Grove, London where acts including Jesca Hoop, the Magic Numbers and I Am Arrows featuring ex-Razorlight drummer Andy Burrows performed outside the front of the store in the sunshine.

Folk-rock act Erland and the Carnival concluded the live music with three songs from their self-titled debut, released by Full Time Hobby, and played on despite the 'stage invasion' by a local woman whose wardrobe malfunction meant she exposed herself while dancing.

"Record Store Day is absolutely the best way to celebrate record store culture around the world," said Record Store Day U.K. coordinator Spencer Hickman. "It has been amazing to see the genuine public warmth and excitement created by the event."

Sales figures from the Official Charts Company show sales of singles were up 466% on the previous week and 96% on last year's Record Store Day, reflecting the vinyl exclusives made available. Album sales were up 8.9% on the previous week and 11% on last year's Record Store Day. More than 150 indie stores took part.

Hickman, the manager of the Rough Trade East store in London's Brick Lane, added: "If anything, these figures understate the huge upturn in sales. We had 800 people queuing when the store opened, and we were so busy in many cases we didn't even have time to scan the barcodes. Percentage-wise we were up [by value] 633% week on week and 340% up year on year."

The Drift Record Shop in Totnes, Devon reported an increase of 300% in sales compared to an average Saturday. "We had our second highest takings in the 13-year history of this shop," said Sandy McLean from Avalanche in Glasgow, who noted that the only bigger one-day sale was Dec. 23, 2003 for Christmas.

However, the event has been soured by the appearance of Record Store Day exclusives on Internet auction sites by profiteers.

"We are not surprised at the number of eBay pirates out there, but we are disappointed," said Kim Bayley, director general of the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA). "These exclusives were created as a thank you to genuine fans. It is a shame when people hijack collectibles like this."

Hickman confirmed that three record stores have been banned from future Record Store Days for diverting stock from regular sale.

"The whole point of Record Store Day is to highlight the close relationship between indies and music fans," he said. "Any stores which abuse that relationship have no place in Record Store Day."

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