A California Warehouse Fire Threatens the World's Vinyl Record Supply

"This fire will present a problem for the vinyl industry worldwide"
A California Warehouse Fire Threatens the World's Vinyl Record Supply
Apollo Masters — one of two manufacturing plants in the world that produces lacquer important to the process of making vinyl records — is closing indefinitely after a fire destroyed its facility in Banning, CA, yesterday (February 6).

"It is with great sadness we report the apollo masters manufacturing and storage facility had a devastating fire and was completely destroyed," the company wrote in a statement. "The best news is all of our employees are safe. We are uncertain of our future at this point and are evaluating options as we try to work through this difficult time."

Industry figures close to the production of vinyl records have expressed concern following the blaze. Canadian manufacturer Duplication called the news a "disaster for the vinyl pressing industry" on Twitter, writing that "there will be a lacquer shortage and possibly plants having to close or scale back operations for a while." Duplication production and sales coordinator David Read told Pitchfork that the fire "will directly affect all vinyl plants, bands/labels, mastering engineers, plating facilities etc., anyone who used lacquers as part of their vinyl production."

Read added, "In my almost 40 years experience the vinyl industry as a whole is incredibly resilient, and filled with talented professionals who will, and already are, teaming together to find a way out of this current problem."

In an email to Pitchfork, Third Man Records co-founder Ben Blackwell wrote that the fire "will present a problem for the vinyl industry worldwide," noting with emphasis, "There are only TWO companies that make lacquers in the world, and the other, MDC in Japan, already had trouble keeping up with demand BEFORE this development."