A huge number of independent labels are in turmoil today after a fire at their distribution warehouse destroyed much of their stock in unprecedented rioting on the streets of London this week.
Shocking footage throughout the early hours of Tuesday morning revealed that Sony DADC in Enfield, north London was set on fire and burnt to the ground, with labels such as Domino, XL and Memphis Industries confirming that they had lost vital stock as a result. The warehouse contained all stock distributed by PIAS Entertainment Group, resulting in a staggering amount of labels affected by these events.
The incident is likely to affect releases from some of the UK’s biggest pop stars such as Arctic Monkeys and Adele alongside releases from small independent DIY labels such as Track and Field and Rob Da Bank’s Sunday Best.
The full list of those caught up in the incident can be seen on the Guardian’s website.
The Association of Independent Music (AIM), issued a statement on Tuesday, with CEO Alison Wenham saying: “This is a disaster for the music community, but with the fans’ help, labels and artists will survive. Please show your support for the music community by buying a digital album from an independent label today”.
A campaign quickly sprung up online, encouraging fans to show their support and purchase digital releases from the labels affected, with the PIAS website crashing due to the amount of traffic when they released a statement.
Memphis Industries tweeted: “So all the stock we got left is sitting in our office. Devastated is the word. Thoughts go out to all other PIAS labels too”, while Drowned in Sound got behind the campaign, posting: “Let’s make today like Record Store Day cranked to eleven and support the labels who release music that has enriched our lives”…
A Domino spokeswoman said: “While relieved that no-one was injured in the incident, we’re upset about the loss and destruction of our stock, and thinking of our friends at other independent labels who were also affected by the fire.”
Discovery Records has offered a temporary distribution facility to labels and distributors who may need an interim solution.
Lets not forget- many smaller independent labels were already struggling to make ends meet because of the recession and spiralling physical sales (which are still hugely important to independent labels whose customers are generally still into physical product, collectable vinyl etc..
Irrespective of how the situation turns out with insurance, this is a senseless and significant injury to the independent sector, especially to the smaller labels whose DIY position was already tenuous in the current climate. Such labels are vital in developing new talent in the UK and for releasing music outside of the mainstream- show your support to them in troubled times.
A ‘Label Love’ campaign has now been launched to help labels affected, with the LabelLove website set up to allow music fans to donate money to the cause, with people also encouraged to email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out about other ways to help out.