The central UK warehouse for SonyDADC, used by independent UK distributor PIAS, went up in flames last night. PIAS distributes stock on behalf of over 100 independent labels including Big Dada, Border Community, Domino, Drag City, FatCat, Kompakt, Ninja Tune, Mute, Soul Jazz, Touch And Go, Warp and supplies record shops like Norman Records.
The Enfield warehouse was shown ablaze across news channels last night (video below). As yet the extent of the damage is not clear, but the size of the fire has left labels affected without much hope that stock will have survived. For a full list of labels distributed by PIAS, head here.
PIAS released a statement, which says: "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‘s 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."
That statement has since been updated (as of Tuesday evening, 9 August). PIAS now state: "SonyDADC have actioned their Business Continuity Plan and are back up and running from a new control room in Enfield... SonyDADC have identified a temporary distribution partner and it is envisaged that they will be in a position to pick, pack and ship orders in the course of next week." Kenny Gates, CEO and founder of PIAS, has made a statement here.
Also affected was legendary independent record shop Dub Vendor in Clapham. The shop next door to Dub Vendor was set on fire on Monday night, but Dub Vendor appears to have survived intact. The record shop has tweeted that all staff are safe, but that the area around the shop is cordoned off so they don't know how bad the damage is yet. UPDATE: Dub Vendor reporting via Twitter that all is well, and online services have resumed.
Andy Votel has said via Twitter that Finders Keepers, Twisted Nerve and Bird have lost an estimated 90% of their stock. Beggars Group chairman Martin Mills has told Music Week that his group had stock at the warehouse, but larger labels would be able to weather the loss better than smaller labels as they held stock in other places.
Boomkat has created a page bringing together downloads available from all the labels affected, and are encouraging people to support those that have lost stock by buying a digital album through them or preferably, direct from the labels. See Boomkat's page here.
Merok Records said Wednesday morning: "We've been told that the warehouse is still on fire and likely will destroy 100% of stock. Besides a limited number of copies at the office we do not have stock elsewhere, so all our physical stock will be destroyed."
Merok said that smaller labels could suffer the most, as they
could lose all their stock. They said: "Remanufacturing vinyl would
take at least a month, maybe longer considering the number of
labels looking to quickly remanufacture. CDs will take three weeks
or so under normal circumstances, but again, with the volume of
remanufacturing likely to need to take place urgently, this could
take longer too.
"We've lost a lot of stock, and have to get it back. It's still unclear if through Sony we can claim insurance back for the sale price or just the cost price of records. If it's sale price, we would financially be okay... if it's cost, we would lose potentially two to three months of sales."
Beggars Group have said that while they have lost 750,000 units in the fire they have stock elsewhere. Forthcoming Throwing Muses and This Mortal Coil box sets were in transit and are unaffected.
As of Wednesday 10 August, a campaign has been set up to support labels affected. Label Love plan to hold fundraisers in the coming months. Holding page here, with more info coming in the next few days.
Kompakt has stated that it has come out relatively unscathed, and said in a statement: "Kompakt distributes over 100 different labels worldwide. We worked with PIAS in the UK until about 18 months ago with a number of these labels. We have stock from a number of our exclusive labels still with PIAS that we can assume was lost in this horrendous fire. Compared to what so many labels are going through at this time, it's a minor setback."
A campaign has been launched to offer support to labels affected, called Label Love, and activities being coordinated here. Adrian Mules is planning to release a compilation of artists and labels affected by the fire. Full story here.
Reports Thursday morning state that three teenagers (aged 17 and 18) have been arrested over the fire at the Sony distribution centre. One is out on bail, with the other two suspects still detained.
We'll be updating this story as we receive more information. If you're a label or artist affected by the riots or the PIAS fire, contact jennifer [at] thewire.co.uk.