Rockford is full of music and vinyl lovers. We are lucky enough to have four amazing local record shops collaborate to meet the needs of avid music listeners around town. Those four shops are Toad Hall, CD Source, Culture Shock, and Kate’s Pie Shop Cafe and Records. On Saturday, October 21st, the 4th annual Rockford Record Crawl (RRC) had a huge turnout! According to Culture Shock’s Facebook page, 25% more people attended this year’s Record Crawl than last year’s. If you don’t know what Rockford’s Record Crawl is, let me give you a brief insight on how amazing it is.
Each record store in the Rockford area collaborated and offered amazing deals on vinyl. They provided free food, live music, prize giveaways, and a chance for two lucky winners to receive $100 in free records! This event offers an opportunity for vinyl lovers to get together in the Rockford area. I had the privilege of attending this year’s Record Crawl and spoke with some of the owners of these incredible record stores.
Nick Naruz, owner of Toad Hall, said this about RRC, “It’s grown to impact so many more people. We had limited vinyl releases from RRC (Rockford Record Company), a local label. It’s reaching out further and people are jumping on board like we haven’t seen before.”
As I approached Culture Shock, I was greeted by one of the owner’s, Lauren Davis, who gave me the overview of the day’s events. Everyone who attends the Record Crawl receive a punch card that has each record shop’s name on it. If you visit all four shops and receive a hole-punch, you have a chance for your name to be entered in the prize giveaway. The atmosphere was full of good energy, due to everyone around me being excited and happy to be there, which contributed to the success of the event.
“We believe we are adding to a community who loves and is inspired by music in Rockford. Rockford has supported their local/indie record stores and because of that we like to thank them for their support with this fun event,” said Lauren Davis, owner of Culture Shock.
Kate Sullivan, owner of Kate’s Pie Shop Cafe and Records, said, “For the past four years, we have been given the opportunity to check out these four unique shops and see how they’re all different.” I was curious to see how this event was invented and Sullivan gladly explained the process of creating RRC.
“It was Lauren’s idea, really. We mentioned it back and forth, and thought this would be a good idea to celebrate the small business, our local independent record stores. And to kind of, grow that budding building music scene,” said Kate Sullivan.
Sullivan also mentioned in a follow up conversation how great it is being able to collaborate with every record store in town, without it being a competition. It’s great to see local businesses come together and appeal so to many, in such unique ways.
Rockford’s music community has continued to grow and thrive over recent years. Rockford Record Crawl will continue into their 5th year, so be sure to check out each record shop on Record Store Day on Saturday, April 21st! They might have some exclusive record releases and awesome deals for everyone to enjoy. It’s important to support local businesses and to listen to good music. They’ve got a variety of music to choose from, and genuine, passionate owners and employees, waiting to meet your music needs.