BBC announce National Album Day to revive format 70 years on

All sectors of the British music community have come together with BBC Music to announce a new annual event – the first-ever National Album Day on Saturday October 13 2018.

National Album Day will mark the culmination of a week-long series of events and activity around the country that will celebrate all aspects of the UK’s love of the album. It will also pay tribute to the sleeve artwork that contributes to the album’s iconic appeal. This inaugural event comes in a year that coincides with the 70th anniversary of the album.

Planned activity will include dedicated BBC Music programming and editorial support; retail events and artist personal appearances; Classic Album Sundays LP playbacks and artist interviews/fan Q&As; and online listening parties.

A social media campaign (@AlbumDayUK / #NationalAlbumDay) will invite people to nominate and share the album that has most inspired them; and at 3.33pm on 13th October – National Album Day – fans, stores, radio stations and public spaces will be invited to play their favourite album in full.

James Stirling, head of content commissioning, BBC Music, saud: “BBC Music is proud to support the first National Album Day. The role of the album has evolved over 70 years – through vinyl and beautiful artwork to current streaming consumption – yet the story behind a great album remains an important part of British culture. We look forward to exploring the album in all its glory and telling these stories across the BBC.”The event’s official broadcast partner is BBC Music, which is supporting the initiative through programming and editorial support on BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 1Xtra, BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio 4, and BBC Radio 6 Music stations plus on BBC iPlayer and BBC Four – which will be re-screening some of its celebrated music documentaries.

National Album Day is announced at a time when demand for albums remains strong (2), underlining the format’s cultural and commercial significance and its enduring appeal at the heart of British recorded music (3). In 2017 135m albums, or their equivalent, were either purchased, downloaded or streamed, a rise of 9.5 per cent on the previous year. 4.1m of these were on vinyl – the highest level since the start of the 1990’s. The BPI estimates (4) that a staggering 5 billion albums have been sold in the UK since the format’s advent in 1948.

National Album Day is being organised jointly by ERA (Entertainment Retailers Association), representing the nation’s music retailers and digital/streaming platforms, in partnership with record labels body, the BPI (British Phonographic Industry). It also has the backing and input of the wider music community, including AIM (Association of Independent Music), Classic Album Sundays, BBC Music, FAC (Featured Artist Coalition), MMF (Music Managers Forum), MPG (Music Producers Guild), Official Charts Company, PPL (Phonographic Performance Limited), United Talent Agency, and industry umbrella body UK Music.

One of the originators of National Album Day, whose vision is helping to provide impetus for the event, is Iain McNay, chairman of Cherry Red Records, a label which was launched 40 years ago and is still very much Independent. He said: “The format of the album is so important. Even in this era of the growing popularity of streaming, the majority of artists still think in terms of writing and recording albums rather than just tracks. National Album Day is a great reminder of the creative thought and brilliance that goes into the making of an album, and it is a way that we can all participate by listening to and remembering our favourite albums. The album is the King of music formats; long live the King!”

The organisers plan to grow National Album Day organically into an annual event so that becomes a keenly anticipated part of the music industry calendar, in much the same way as Record Store Day.

For more details on National Album Day, and how to participate, visit