With Record Store Day (usually the third weekend of April) becoming more and more of a broad church, with majors and remaining chainstores buying in, a move for a more community-focused alternative was inevitable. And so, Indie Label Day, arranged by an array of record-slingers, takes place on Saturday October 14th at Whelan’s in Dublin. A day-long fair celebrating DIY music on the island of Ireland, Indie Label Day will be the first event of its kind in Ireland focusing purely on record label culture, shining a light on independent tunes, zines and books in Ireland in a social environment.
The event has been led off by two regularly collaborating labels in Sligo-based Art for Blind, headed up by Dany Guest & Edel Doherty; and Cork-based Penske Recordings, run by PLUGD Records hassle-merchant Albert Twomey. Taking place across two rooms, the goal of the event is to showcase the strengths of independent music in Ireland via a marketplace, DJ sets and live bands. The market will run in the afternoon between 2-6pm with the gig following in the evening from 8pm til late. Entry to the market is free, while there is a door charge of just €5 for the gig.
Says Twomey: “With the ongoing resurgence of vinyl and popularity in reporting increased sales for the medium, there’s possibly a myth that it’s easy to sell records. For many labels operating at the micro level, out of their bedrooms or shared studio spaces the reality is much different. With long waiting times at pressing plants, ever decreasing windows for launches and the convenience of streaming; the environment for selling music from emerging and underground musicians is challenging. But the labour of love that it is for many a label head is what drives them on, finding new music, fostering relationships with bands and artists and bringing real tangible music artefacts into the world for public consumption.”
Labels confirmed to attend are: Little Gem (Dublin), Touch Sensitive (Belfast), Deserted Village (Galway), Lunar Disko (Dublin), Distro-y (Sligo), Box Emissions (Cork), Sofia (Leitrim), Bluestack (Sligo), Rusted Rail (Galway), Rudimentary (Belfast), Penske (Cork) and Art For Blind (Sligo). Meanwhile, shoring up the afterparty are punk trio Alien She, Northern experimental solo project Gross Net and newcomers Girlfriend.
The inaugural event takes place upstairs in Whelan’s on Saturday 14 October.