'It made such an impression on so many people': San Marcos record store Sundance Records & Tapes to return under new name

Sundance Records & Tapes will open under the name Sundance Record Lagoon in San Marcos on June 1. (Courtesy Nancy Barnard)
Sundance Records & Tapes will open under the name Sundance Record Lagoon in San Marcos on June 1. (Courtesy Nancy Barnard)

Sundance Records & Tapes will open under the name Sundance Record Lagoon in San Marcos on June 1. (Courtesy Nancy Barnard)

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Thomas Escalante, owner of Houston-based Sig's Lagoon Record Shop, announced the reopening of Sundance Records & Tapes under a new name. (Screen shot courtesy YouTube)
A former community music hub and local cultural hot spot for more than three decades until it closed nine years ago, Sundance Records & Tapes will reopen under a new name in June at 241 N. LBJ St., San Marcos.

Tomas Escalante, owner of Sig’s Lagoon Record Shop in Houston, will revive the San Marcos record shop under the new name: Sundance Record Lagoon. Escalante made the announcement via YouTube on March 8.

Sundance Records & Tapes originally closed in 2012, but after the closure owner Bobby Barnard, who died in August 2020, kept supplying Escalante's Houston shop with posters and other inventory over the years, according to Barnard's wife, Nancy.

To kick off a promotional campaign centered on the opening of the new location, Nancy said Zelick's Icehouse, located at 336 W. Hopkins St. in San Marcos, is hosting a three-night event during which she will be selling merchandise from the original Sundance Records store, including T-shirts and a treasure trove of old posters.

"I've never counted ... but I think there is between 1,500 and 2,000 posters that [Bobby] collected over the years that are promotional items from the record companies," Nancy said. "They were used to do window displays when an album was released or to promote a live touring show of the artist in the area."

The event kicks off March 9 from 5-9 p.m. and will also occur during the same hours March 11 and March 13 at Zelick's.

Nancy said March 9 was a particularly fitting day to host the event because that was Barnard's birthday.

Barnard opened the first Sundance Records in 1977 at 120 N. LBJ Drive in San Marcos and then moved a few doors down to 138 N. LBJ Drive in 1985, according to Parker Wright, who will help manage the new Sundance Record Lagoon and was a former employee of Sundance Records & Tapes.

"I remember the first time I walked in there [in 1988] and just being completely mesmerized. It was eye candy," Wright said. "I was just like, 'What is this place?'"

The third location of Sundance Records was situated at 202 University Drive in San Marcos until the business closed for good in 2012. Merchandise sold at the shop included records, tapes, CDs, posters, incense and concert tickets.

Regardless of its location, Nancy said Barnard had a way of decorating the shop that made it a destination spot.

"Bobby had his own way—when he decorated his first store like he did with all of the posters and the picture discs hanging from the ceiling, he created something people had never seen before," she said. "It was like a museum of music and current events combined. It made such an impression on so many people."

Wright said one of the main goals for Sundance Record Lagoon will be to keep the same aesthetic that Barnard had created over the three decades he and Nancy ran the original shop.

The plans are still fluid at the moment, but Wright said it will remain a vinyl-focused store.

"It will be a continuation of the [Sundance] vibe, if we can recreate it," Wright said. "Customer service will be paramount, and we will just do our best to ... make it as cool as we can."
By Brian Rash
Brian has been a reporter and editor since 2012. He wrote about the music scene in Dallas-Fort Worth before becoming managing editor for the Graham Leader in Graham, Texas, in 2013. He relocated to Austin, Texas, in 2015 to work for Gatehouse Media's large design hub. He became the editor for the Lake Travis-Westlake publication of Community Impact in August 2018.


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