The Scene

Record Store Day: McHenry County vinyl shops feel the love from patrons who camped out overnight

Records at the Woodstock Records Departments store.

McHenry County businesses celebrated Record Store Day on Saturday with music, limited-edition records and sets by bands and DJs.

Record Store Day is celebrated every April and began in 2007. It aims to encourage people to support independently owned record stores, said Bill Linquist, who co-owns Siren Records in McHenry alongside his wife, Jenny.

Saturday was “insanely busy” at The Records Department in Woodstock, owner Kelly Sacco said. “People started lining up at midnight” the night before, she said, adding that the police let people wait inside before the store opened.

The Records Department, which opened inside the newly renovated Old Courthouse in Woodstock last year, marked its first Record Store Day with a jam-packed day of festivities that began with a 7 a.m. opening and ended with an 8 p.m. concert in the store featuring Madison, Wisconsin-based artists Fangerlis and JF Zastrow.

“We’ll sleep someday,” Sacco said.

There’s a vetting process to complete before being allowed to be a Record Store Day participant, Sacco said.

“They’re trying to make sure it’s not Fred [in] his basement.”

She said the list of approved stores is sent out to distributors, who only sell limited-edition records to people on the list. She said “exclusivity makes it a big deal.”

“We made a lot of new friends,” Sacco said, adding that meeting new people “is even more valuable” than one day of increased sales.

“We were slammed again” Sunday, Sacco said.

She said the store didn’t run out of top albums for about two hours.

“They got what they were coming for,” Sacco said.

Siren Records had festivities of their own Saturday. People began lining up outside the store at about 10:15 p.m. Friday and camped out outside ahead of the store’s 7 a.m. opening Saturday, Linquist said.

The festivities at Siren Records included a live DJ. He estimated about 600 people showed up Saturday and said it was a “very successful day.”

Linquist said Record Store Day had about 3,000 stores worldwide participate this year, and part of the rules includes no holds or pre-sales. He said some of the merchandise available on Record Store Day only had 1,000 copies to be distributed amongst the 3,000 participants, and he fielded a lot of questions about why the store has or doesn’t have certain records.

He said Record Store Day is a great event, but sometimes people try to profit off the records through selling them online at higher rates.

“It’s just like ticket scalpers,” Linquist said.

For those who missed Record Store Day, Linquist urged people not to impulse-buy records and said there is an online store where people can buy Record Store Day limited edition items for the same price if they’re still available.

Linquist said Record Store Day is “a fun day to go out and support a small store.”

Claire O'Brien

Claire O'Brien is a reporter who focuses on Huntley, Lake in the Hills, Woodstock, Marengo and the McHenry County Board. Feel free to email her at