IT is bigger than Christmas for the small businesses selling music on vinyl.

Record Store Day – taking place this Saturday, April 13 – regularly sees some fans camp out overnight to get their hands on a slew of collectable releases.

Hundreds of special singles and LPs are ready for release, including titles from Queen, David Bowie, U2 and Madonna, as well as a host of independent artists.

The Vault in Bournemouth and Christchurch and Square Records in Wimborne are among the 200 independent shops taking part in an event that accounts for a big chunk of their turnover.

They are not allowed to sell before 8am and there is a seven-day embargo before anyone is allowed to sell the releases online. The local stores taking part limit customers to one copy of anything.

Alan Rowett of the Vault said: “It’s better than Christmas.”

Wife Chrissie said Record Store Day accounted for a “pretty big chunk” of the two shops’ income. “This day should see us through to the end of summer,” she said.

“The event was originally to encourage people to go into independent shops. You can’t reserve or pre-order. You have to come in on the day and walk into a shop.”

Customers at the Vault include a U2 fan who has camped outside the Christchurch shop on Castle Street the night before Record Store Day for the past six years.

“He’s a U2 completist, which means he can’t possibly miss any release. He has to be first in the queue to make sure he gets it,” said Chrissie.

This year’s U2 release is a 12-inch EP, The Europa.

David Bowie fans are offered a seven-inch single of Revolutionary Song with Marlene Dietrich; a picture disc of the Pin Ups album; and the LP The World of David Bowie.

Madness have a picture disc of One Step Beyond, Pink Floyd have a remastered mono release of the second album Saucerful of Secrets, and Madonna has a 12-inch ‘super mix’ of the single La Isla Bonita and a 12-inch ‘super club mix’ of True Blue.

Square Records in Wimborne, expects the most sought-after releases to include two Queen records – a coloured vinyl single of Bohemian Rhapsody and a double album based on the soundtrack of the film of the same name.

Manager Rob Hoare said of the event: “It’s the craziest day of the year without any shadow of a doubt.”

He said the shop on the High Street would open at 8am. “If it’s like previous years, there will be a big queue outside,” he added.

“Last year, we had one chap already outside on Friday morning – that’s 24 hours before it started. There were probably about 15 things he wanted.”