« Previous | Main | Next »

Independent music sector reels from London riots

Post categories:

James McLaren James McLaren | 09:43 UK time, Tuesday, 9 August 2011

The London riots affected the UK music industry last night in a devastating fashion. An arson attack at Sony DADC's distribution centre in Enfield totally destroyed the building and the stock inside, including the UK's largest stock of independently-released records.

Pias Entertainment Group (formerly Vital) distributes a huge list of independent companies' releases. A large proportion of its stock was held at the Enfield centre.

Pias Entertainment's head of digital marketing Darren Hemmings tweeted: "OK: I can confirm that the Sony DADC warehouse in Enfield did burn to the ground, and Sony holds Pias stock... In terms of the impact to Pias etc., the situation remains to be clarified. Again, I will not post anything until I have confirmed info... I'm getting quoted a lot so want to reiterate: we know DADC was destroyed and are waiting to confirm exactly how badly this has affected Pias ."

A later statement on their website said: ""There was a fire last night at the SonyDADC warehouse which services the physical distribution for Pias in the UK and Ireland. Pias is working closely with SonyDADC who are implementing their emergency plans. Pias' UK offices in London and all other areas of our business are unaffected. More information will be communicated shortly to all our labels and partners."

Welsh label Turnstile is affected badly. Alun of the label told me: "A huge blow. Fatal in the cases of some labels whose whole stock and source of income has been destroyed. And for others a massive massive headache in facing weeks of uncertainty while the true cost of lost stock and temporary collapse of distribution system is calculated."

Matt Jarrett of Diverse Vinyl is devastated. "I guess we'll find out in the next few days and weeks [what effect this attack will have on the independent sector].

"To give you some idea of the impact on us, our Pias section of CDs is the same size as Warner, EMI and Sony put together. People now buy CDs by the likes of Coldplay in Tesco for seven quid so there's no point us stocking them. When it comes to buying albums, both on CD and vinyl, from bands on Domino, 4AD, Warp, XL, Xtra Mile and Loose then the independent record shop is going to be people's first port of call.

"Some of these labels are hopefully big enough to cope and it'll mean a massive headache of an insurance claim, delayed releases and cash flow issue but some simply won't cope with this.

"I have friends at Loose Music. They're a small label that is run with the heart as much as the chequebook, by people who are genuine music fans. Going by what I've heard this morning, it may [be in danger]. I'm sure there are other labels in the same boat. In an age where majors would rather bang out 'deluxe' editions of albums released 10 years ago rather than gamble on new music, these labels are the good guys. It could have a massive effect in the years to come if these labels didn't exist.

"I honestly have no idea what quantities of stock we are talking about and hopefully labels have their releases dotted about warehouses in different countries too but, on a local level, Straight Lines, Future Of The Left, Gruff Rhys to name a few, will have had the majority of physical product in existence destroyed in this fire.

"Bands will have their incomes hit as they won't have sales of back catalogue and may well have new releases delayed. It's going to have a knock-on effect right down to our customers that are waiting for the new Toddla T or Wooden Shjips albums that are supposed to be released on Monday.

"I'm just a bit numb. I have friends at labels that won't have jobs and friends in bands that will have lost the records that they're worked so hard to create. We'll lose a few quid too, as will other shops but that's irrelevant compared to what others are having to cope with."

Tom Bridgewater of Loose Records said: "All of our stock, amounting to around 10,000 CDs and Vinyl LPs, was destroyed overnight in the fire at Sony DADC. We are a small independent label and the implications for us are likely to be severe. We have new albums from bands that were due to be released in early September, all that stock has been destroyed.

"It will be very difficult for us to re-manufacture in time to hit the release dates. Suddenly everyone wants more records manufactured at the same time and not many of us can afford to pay for these records to effectively be manufactured twice.The cashflow implications are obviously very worrying. Around 150 labels at Pias find themselves in similar situations. What will happen to Pias and all who work there? All of us here at Loose Music are currently in a state of shock."

On MusicWeek.com Beggars Group chairman Martin Mills described the effect on the independent sector as "horrible, horrible".

But there are moves to mitigate the losses and clear sense of necessary actions has emerged. Ashli Todd of Cardiff's Spillers record shop said: "The determination and motivation that goes in to running an operation like Pias and the labels involved will be undoubtedly be applied to the rebuild and repair following this destruction."

The Association of Independent Music's chief executive Alison Wenham said: "We released an emergency bulletin this morning. It's terrible news, obviously it appears to be have burned to the ground. There's nothing left.

"We're a strong community though; other independent distributors are rallying round to help. Labels who have stock can be distributed, and other labels whose stock has gone may be able to access the distributors once a clearer picture has emerged."

She is also urging fans to buy digital copies of the affected labels' albums to provide a short-term cashflow benefit to allow many to stay afloat. "What music fans can do to show their support for the indie label community, and help them survive this disaster is to buy a digital download of an album from any one of the digital retailers in the UK, as well as going to their local record store while their stock lasts.

"This way, the labels will be able to re-manufacture their CDs and vinyl more quickly, to resupply the record shops who are also affected by the riots. 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".

And on Twitter, an idea has sprung up for a fund-raising event to help the labels affected. More information and offers of support can be made to piasfundraiser@gmail.com

Here is a list of the independent labels distributed by Pias. We don't know which of these have been affected by the fire, however.

  • 1234
  • 2020 Vision
  • Accidental
  • Ad Altiora
  • Adventures Close to home
  • Alberts
  • All City
  • Alt Delete
  • Ambush Reality
  • Angular
  • Ark
  • ATC
  • Atic
  • Atlantic Jaxx
  • Azuli
  • B Unique
  • Backyard
  • Bad Sneakers
  • Bandstock
  • Banquet
  • Beggars
  • Big Chill
  • Big Dada
  • Big Life / Nul / Sindy Stroker
  • Boombox
  • Border Community
  • Boysnoize
  • Brille
  • Bronzerat
  • Brownswood
  • Buzzin Fly
  • Can You Feel It
  • Catskills
  • ChannelFly
  • Chemikal Underground
  • City Rockers
  • Counter
  • D Cypher
  • Dance To The Radio
  • Deceptive
  • Def Jux
  • Dirtee Stank
  • Divine Comedy
  • Domino
  • Drag City
  • Drive Thru
  • Drowned in Sound
  • Duophonic
  • Eat Sleep / Sorepoint
  • Electric Toaster
  • Emfire
  • F. Comm
  • Fabric
  • Faith And Hope
  • Fantastic Plastic
  • Fargo
  • FatCat
  • Feraltone
  • Finders Keepers / Twisted Nerve
  • Fingerlickin'
  • Flock
  • Free Range
  • From The Basement
  • Full Time Hobby
  • Goldsoul
  • Gronland
  • Groove Attack
  • Halftime
  • Hassle
  • Heron
  • Hum&Haw
  • Independiente
  • Info UK
  • Join Us
  • Kartel
  • Kensaltown
  • Kitsune
  • Kompakt
  • Laughing Stock
  • Leftroom
  • Lex
  • Lo Max
  • Loose
  • Love Box
  • Lowlife
  • Lucky Number
  • Marquis Cha Cha
  • Memphis Industry
  • Merok
  • Metroline
  • Mute
  • Naïve
  • Nation
  • Navigator
  • New World
  • Ninja Tune
  • Nuclear Blast
  • One Little Indian
  • Output / People in the Sky / Process
  • Pale Blue
  • Palm
  • Peacefrog
  • PIAS Recordings
  • PIP 555 Productions
  • Play To Work
  • Powerhouse (T2)
  • Propaganda / Ho Hum
  • Raw Canvas
  • Red Grape
  • Red Telephone Box
  • Rekids
  • Renaissance
  • Respect Productions (PES digital)
  • Reveal Records
  • RMG
  • Rock Action
  • Roots
  • Rough Trade
  • Rough Trade Comps
  • Rubyworks
  • Ruffa Lane
  • Search And Destroy
  • Secret Sundaze
  • Secretly Canadian / Jagjaguwar / Dead Oceans
  • Sell Yourself
  • Setanta
  • Shatterproof
  • Sideone Dummy
  • Slam Dunk
  • Smalltown
  • Soma
  • Something In Construction
  • Sonar Kollectiv
  • Soul Jazz
  • Southern Fried
  • Stranded Soldier
  • Subliminal
  • Sunday Best
  • Taste
  • Ten Worlds
  • Thrill Jockey
  • Total Fitness
  • Touch And Go
  • Track And Field
  • TriTone
  • Trouble
  • Try Harder
  • Turk
  • Turnstile
  • Twenty 20
  • Underworld
  • Union Square
  • Urban Torque
  • Vagrant
  • Vice
  • Victory
  • Wagram
  • Wall Of Sound
  • Warp
  • Wi45
  • Wonky Atlas
  • Word And Sound
  • Xtra Mile
  • You Are Here


  • No comments to display yet.

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.