BBC Music Partners With U.K. Record Store Day

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Record Store Day at Rough Trade East on April 19, 2014 in London, United Kingdom. 

It's been credited with fueling a revival in vinyl record sales and has undoubtedly helped secure the immediate future of thousands of indie retailers. Now, the U.K. leg of Record Store Day has teamed up with BBC Music to help further promote the annual celebration of record store culture. 

In the run up to this year's April 16 event, BBC's alternative-formatted digital station 6 Music will broadcast a range of programming previewing the event, which is expected to draw audiences of more than 25,000 consumers to British retailers. 

Specific programs include DJ Steve Lamacq speaking to a range of U.K. record stores about what events they have planned. BBC 6 Music will also be the first broadcaster to announce the exclusive U.K. product list of collectables and rare vinyl releases. On the day itself, 6 Music DJ Lauren Laverne will be broadcasting from a yet-to-be-confirmed record store. 

"The BBC have an utterly unique voice and are an organization like no other on the planet," said Rupert Morrison, of The Drift Record Shop in Totnes. "Their commitment to promoting music and artists both breaking and established is hugely important and a perfect partner for all of the record shops under the Record Store Day banner," he went on to say.

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Commenting on the partnership, James Stirling, editor, BBC Music said: "BBC Music is always keen to support moments that unite people through their love of music. Record Store Day does exactly that and we are very happy to be officially involved this year."

Introduced in the U.K. in 2008, a year after making its U.S. debut, Record Store Day has become an annual fixture in the British music calendar with over 220 independent record shops participating in this year's ninth edition.

In 2015, vinyl sales hit a 21-year high in the U.K. with just over 2 million records sold. The upsurge has contributed to a gradual increase in the number of independent record shops with over 40 new shops opening in the U.K. over the past five years, according to Record Store Day coordinators Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA).