Published Aug 10, 2011Following a devastating fire that overtook a Sony/PIAS warehouse during the riots in London, a number of labels affected by the blaze are now taking stock of the damage. The Tuesday morning (August 9) blaze decimated the distribution building, which was situated in the Enfield borough of the city, wiping out thousands of CD and vinyl pieces from a number of independent labels, including Domino, Sub Pop, FatCat, Thrill Jockey and Beggars Group affiliates (Matador, XL, Rough Trade, 4AD, True Panther, Young Turks and Too Pure).
Beggars chairman Martin Mills told Pitchfork yesterday that their entire UK stock had been destroyed, 750,000 units in all. It will take ten days to reproduce CDs, but over three months before they can replenish their vinyl stock. A blog post from Beggars adds that the label network is "remanufacturing as rapidly as possible. Although we're well stocked at retail with key current titles, there will inevitably be some stock shortages in the near term, so please bear with us while we work on this."
Thrill Jockey lost roughly $300,000 worth of product, while Domino lost pretty much all of their copies of the new Arctic Monkeys single "The Hellcat Spangled Shalala." While Sony owned the warehouse, none of Sony Music's product was kept in the facility. Aside from the league of independents house there, the warehouse stored Sony electronics.
Altruistically, a new campaign called LabelLove has just been founded to help raise funds for all of the imprints and artists affected by the arson. According to an interview with the Guardian, organizer Dan Salter hopes the charity can lend a helping hand via "a series of live events to help this cause."
A statement on the LabelLove sire further sets out their mission statement: I have no doubt that if you're here you'll have heard the news that the PIAS distribution centre in Enfield has been burnt down during the London riots. What you may not be aware of is that the warehouse contained the physical stock for most of Britain's Indie records labels. The subsequent loss of income and cash flow problems that this act of mindless vandalism will bring about may well be enough to push many of the smaller operators out of business.
Our aim is to try and rally the music industry, both on the artist and the audience sides, and see if we can raise some money to see those affected through the tough times ahead.
While the loss of physical stock is heartbreaking, music fans have been encouraged to pitch in as well via digital sales.