As people have been saying home due to the pandemic without attending live shows, they’ve instead been spending their hard-earned cash supporting musicians via vinyl records.
If one keeps up with current trends; whether it be music, fashion, art (the list goes on) – they may notice that often specific trends don’t tend to drastically evolve, but rather “rebrand”.
Before we know it, aspects of culture we originally left behind 30 years ago became all the rage again. Retro clothing and styles outsell modern designs, musicians return to older techniques of music creation (ranging from genre to vintage equipment) and advertisers / marketing teams play on our nostalgia to sell us products.
This isn’t a new phenomenon – or necessarily a bad one at that, as it allows us to appreciate what once was, and incorporate it into a completely different era of culture. One of the most obvious examples of the return of something that, not too long ago was considered obsolete in the modern day for the majority of people, is that of vinyl records, which have made one of the most incredible comebacks in recent years and for good reason.
While the rise of vinyl record purchasing has been well documented throughout the past few years, the industry seems to be booming as CD sales drop, and the collection of physical vinyls once again becomes the norm.
In an in-depth report by The Guardian, the outlet states that in lieu of live events due to the coronavirus pandemic, vinyl record sales in the UK (and even cassette tapes!) have skyrocketed as people have been staying home due to public health and safety guidelines, finding themselves drawn to the wonderful world of physically collecting vinyl records instead of spending their money on attending live shows: with the sales set to break a 30 year record high.
While streaming has, of course, been on the rise; there is much controversy revolving around the lack of real payment to artists – we have almost lost count at this point regarding the amount of times streaming services such as Spotify have been called out for exploiting the musicians on their platform.
As many musicians tend to earn the majority of their income through touring, they’ve been required to adapt their incomes as travelling has come to a halt and live shows have been banned in most cities across the world.
However, the music community has continuously shown itself to be one of the most supportive and understanding of all; instead of paying to attend live shows, we have instead been turning to buying our favourite artists merchandise, special / limited edition box sets, paying for online streaming shows and of course, supporting the artists through the sale of stunning vinyl records on their personal stores.
The sadness that has been invoked at the loss of our live music industry for such a long period of time (and possibly even longer, as we cannot predict the future) and the severe financial hardships musicians and those in the industry have been facing has been horrendous, to say the least; however, seeing the rise of vinyl sales which are a fantastic source of income for musicians and a wonderful collectors hobby on top of it all has been uplifting in the face of the difficulties creatives have faced due to the pandemic.
If you are able to afford it, we highly recommend tuning in to your favourite artists’ merch stores and picking up copies of their vinyl records; not only does one receive a beautiful edition of their favourite album – with even the records themselves physically shimmering as artworks – but one can support the music industry and those who have been severely affected by COVID-19.
Happy listening everyone! Stay safe out there, keep online if you can and be sure to wear a mask in public places if you are unable to stay home.
Feature Image: Unsplash – Kobu Agency, Portugal