PictureMill Valley Music owner Gary Scheuenstuhl outside his shop at 320 Miller Ave.

Like just about every business owner on the planet, Mill Valley Music shop owner Gary Scheuenstuhl’s past six months have been about adaptation to conditions beyond his control. 

For Scheuenstuhl and record shop owners all over the country, the August 29th arrival of Record Store Day – the world’s largest single-day music event to support independent record stores in an increasingly digital streaming-driven music business – provides a massive respite from the economic tumult of 2020. But it brings with it an oddity of the COVID-19 era: RSD will occur over three days over the next three months, designed to allow for social distancing by reducing the usual volume of music-obsessed customers crowding the shop.

“In 2020, that world is different, so Record Store Day will be too,” organizers said in announcing the shift away from the traditional April and Black Friday in November RSD dates. “RSD will be celebrated with special, properly distanced release dates on August 29, September 26 and October 24.”

You can view the list of the all of the 2020 RSD records on sale, along with which of the three drop dates records will be on sale, here

“We will open early and will practice social distancing by moving RSD product to different parts of the store and will limit the number of people allowed in the store to 4 or 5 with a time limit if there are people waiting,” Scheuenstuhl wrote to customers this week. “Masks will be mandatory and if you don’t have one we have masks supplied by the Mill Valley Chamber should you need one. Hope to see you here!”

Thirteen years ago, on the heels of John Goddard’s decision to close his legendary Village Music shop downtown, longtime Village employee Scheuenstuhl decided to venture out on his own, opening his Mill Valley Music shop at 320 Miller Avenue. Through never-ending changes in the music industry, the 18-month Miller Avenue Streetscape Project and the COVID-19 crisis, Scheuenstuhl has persisted. 

Record Store Day started as a grassroots campaign in 2007 to support independent record stores that were facing extinction in an increasingly digital music business. The event features hundreds of musicians appearing and performing at independent stores across the country, and issuing special vinyl and CD releases to mark the occasion.

The 411: Record Store Day 2020 spans three days over three months with special, properly distanced release dates on August 29, September 26 and October 24. MORE INFO ON MILL VALLEY MUSIC.

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