THEY have come to Newport from far and wide, and have queued for hours, in search of Record Store Day rarities.

Dedicated fans of vinyl began queuing outside Diverse Records, on Newport's Charles Street, from 4am this morning, to make sure they were among the first in when the store opened its doors at 9am.

By 9am, the queue snaking up Charles Street was 70-80 strong.

Hundreds of exclusive releases will be available at independent music stores around the country today.

At the front of the Diverse queue were Stephen Allen, from Pontypridd and Steven Price, from Newport, who arrived at 4am.

They were joined at 4.10am by Craig Judd, all the way from Bournemouth, and Matt Saunders, from Evesham in Worcestershire, and at 4.30am by Gary Tarling, from Nuneaton in Warwickshire.

As well as exclusive records, there will also be exclusive performances for music fans to enjoy in Newport today.

Diverse is also involved with organising a free festival, in conjunction with the city’s Business Improvement District.

Newport Now, the business-led body which supports and promotes the city centre, has funded the free live music and spoken word festival across six venues from late this afternoon into the night.

The Murenger, Tiny Rebel, Newport Market’s Gallery Space, Le Public Space, McCann’s Rock ‘n’ Ale Bar, and Slipping Jimmy’s will host 30 bands, solo artists and spoken word performers, including the Yawpers, Ming City Rockers, Fresh, White Trash, Apple Tree Theory, Bryony Sier and Sarah McCreadie.

Newport Now chairman Alan Edwards said: "We hope the crowds will come out in force.

“Newport is fortunate to have our own independent record store in Diverse Vinyl in the very heart of the city, and we’re pleased to be working with them to deliver this event.”

Diverse Vinyl’s co-owner Matt Jarrett said: “Record Store Day is now a firm fixture in every music fan’s calendar.

“We’ve put all of our energy into creating a free event in Newport city centre that hopefully appeals to both our customers and music fans of all ages in South Wales.

For more information on the Record Store Day festival, see 

@DiverseMusic on Twitter or visit