Written by Jay Platt

April 21st sees the return of Record Store Day and after 4 years of the annual event it's incredible to see how much it's grown, from just ten special releases in 2008 to around 300 this year. As well as all the releases there are of course the events in store and we've pulled together writers from all over the UK to bring you previews of what's going on across the country with Jay Platt kicking things off in Worcestershire.

Until recently, music fans in Worcestershire have been forced to acquire their sacred records from the Internet or HMV. In June 2011 Rise Worcester opened in Crowngate Shopping Centre, The City's music community rejoiced in happiness. No longer would they be forced into the dark, miserable realms of HMV. There was a new kid on the block. After a successful Christmas run, Rise is now the go-to place for new music in Worcestershire. Rise is a relatively small shop with just four employees (Emily, Lewis, Kev and Mark). Each one of them is extremely friendly, knowledgeable and can always help you find the music you want. This makes for a wonderful browsing experience.

This year is the first time ever the people of Worcestershire will see an Independent Record Store Day, and what a day they are in for. Opening earlier than usual (8:00am) on Saturday 21st April, Rise will be selling hundreds of limited edition records, hosting six in-store performances from Poetry in Numbers, The May Dolls, The One Two's, Sam Eden, Our Mutual Friend, Lewisspeltbackwards (who works for Rise) and Miles Hunt as well as giving away hundreds cupcakes and custom-made mix-CDs! Music lovers of Worcester really are getting excited. The staff at Rise speak to people on a daily basis who are counting down the days to this sacred holiday. One vinyl fan said “Retail is tough for many businesses at the moment so it's good to see an organisation taking a positive, inclusive stance. I, for one, welcome our new retail overlords. Saturday 21st April. A day for people who love music.”

From the store's point of view, this is the best day of the year. Emily described it as being like Christmas. Today they received their first delivery in preparation for the day, and she assures me that “From now onwards it will be a race between staff to see who can open the parcels first!” For her, Record Store Day is one of the major perks of working in an indie record shop. “The fact that so many people get so excited about it is, to me, what a record shop is all about. People coming together because they love the same things.”

Record Store Day 2012 is going to be magical, not just in London, but in smaller cities and towns too. Rise and similar shops all over the country will be hosting instore performances from your favourite artists. On Saturday 21st April make sure you get to your local indie record shop for a day that really is for music-lovers.

For more information on Record Store Day head to www.recordstoreday.co.uk/