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«We are relatively free to organise the Record Store Day within our territory»

On April 20, Record Store Day is about to go down again all across the world. We have asked Carsten Wetzl, project manager of the vinyl-celebrating day, what it's all about.

It is the one day that vinyl lovers have circled in bright red in their calendars: The Record Store Day (RSD). Every year, we see peculiar and exclusive releases—some quickly become high-value targets for collectors.

We had the chance to ask Carsten Wetzl a few questions ahead of this year's Record Store Day on April 20. The 30-year-old has been working for Record Store Day in German-speaking countries since mid-2021.

Carsten, you are the project manager for the Record Story Day in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. What does that mean exactly?

I, or rather we, primarily act as the interface between the participating record shops and the distributors. I collect and update the release lists and those of the participating shops, answer questions, provide assets, and so on.

There are also many other topics, such as initiating RSD releases with selected artists, searching and negotiating with partners and sponsors, working out the campaigns, selecting and coordinating RSD ambassadors, initiating the RSD design competition and generally looking after the website and social media channels, to name just a few areas of responsibility.

How does the international organisation and coordination of the RSD work?

It really varies from country to country. Of course, the USA has some guidelines on how certain things should be organised. However, we are relatively free to organise things within our territory and regularly coordinate with the RSD offices in the US, UK, Netherlands, France, Sweden, etc. The RSD now exists almost everywhere in the world.

This year, the RSD is entering into a partnership with Marshall. What can we expect from this?

You can expect fascinating campaigns. What's special this year is that Marshall (Headphones & Speakers division) also focuses on the shops themselves. That's why you can marvel at new Marshall headphones at the monitoring stations or Marshall speakers for sound reinforcement in many selected shops. With Coretex in Berlin and Hot Shot in Bremen, Marshall has also selected two great Marshall x RSD Ambassador Stores.

Great promotions for end consumers, such as the Marshall goodie bag with lots of exciting items that can be won in selected shops, are also available. One or two cool promotions will also follow.

However, the partnership is limited to Germany…

It is simply due to Marshall's focus and objectives. The Headphones & Speakers division hasn't been around for very long, and with 240 participating shops in all three countries, you first have to get such cooperation under one roof. You have to start at some point. But this is the first year of our collaboration, and I'm sure that the whole thing will be expanded in the coming years.

Vinyl has been celebrating a small but steady comeback for years. What reasons do you see for this?

I think there are several factors at play. We humans often have this «collector's gene», which you can recognise in the younger target group in particular. They often don't even have a record player but simply want to own certain records. That certainly plays a role.

For the people who also listen to the records, it is an entirely different listening experience to consciously put on a record, open a cool drink and get the best sound experience simultaneously.

Which release are you personally really looking forward to at this year's RSD?

I look forward to getting the 7" from Frank Turner or Milky Chance. The titles from Drangsal and Olivia Rodrigo & Noah Kahan are also up there. But as I also have to go to the shops myself to get the releases, it remains to be seen whether I'll be able to get my wishes or whether I'll have to expand my wish list again after all.

This interview was conducted in written form via email.