Record Store Day organizers are changing up their plans for the 2020 celebration in light of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. After moving the holiday in celebration of vinyl and independent record shops from April to June, the RSD crew is turning the event into three "properly distanced release dates" this year.

Since 2008, Record Store Day has taken place each April, with fans gathering at their local record stores to snag RSD-exclusive and first-time releases, and many participating shops throwing day-long parties for the occasion. However, shutdowns in response to the coronavirus pandemic thwarted those plans this year, and states' varying reopening plans likely mean that not everyone will be able to celebrate on the rescheduled date in June.

Therefore, on Wednesday (April 29), Record Store Day organizers announced plans for three days of special releases. The original list of special releases for the year will be divvied up, with titles dropping on Aug. 29, Sept. 26 and Oct. 24. Fans can check the Record Store Day website on June 1 to see which albums will arrive on which dates.

"Record Store Day will look very different this year, but supporting indie record stores may be more important than ever," a statement explains. Indeed, record stores are among the small businesses that have been forced to close due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. While some shops have begun offering contactless pickup or selling their stock online, disposable income for many music fans is tight because of COVID-related layoffs and furloughs, meaning that even if a store has found a way to continue sales, it is still likely not making as much money as before.

"We don't know what sort of rules will be in place, or what sort of gatherings people will be in the mood for this year," RSD organizers' statement continues, "so we're focusing on the music and getting the really great titles on the RSD Official List this year into the stores and into your hands, in the most financially and socially responsible way."

Some artists have stepped up to help record stores during the pandemic: Jason Isbell is releasing his new album, Reunions, one week early through local stores, while Taylor Swift gave money to the staff at the beloved Nashville record store Grimey's.

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