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Dublin: 5 °C Friday 15 November, 2019
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Blow to music industry after Sony warehouse burns

Dublin-based [PIAS] Ireland was one of the businesses affected. It is encouraging people to support independent labels who lost stock in the fire by downloading music from their websites.

The Sony warehouse on fire in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
The Sony warehouse on fire in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
Image: Karel Prinsloo/AP/Press Association Images

THE MUSIC INDUSTRY is facing more troubles after a fire during the London riots led to the loss of thousands of records owned by independent labels.

On Tuesday at 4am, the Sony DADC distributing warehouse was apparently set on fire during a night of rioting in London.

The centre housed the entire stock belonging to 150 labels whose albums are distributed by [PIAS] UK and [PIAS] Ireland.

Irish label Rubyworks and its subsidiary Model Citizen were affected by the fire, along with bigger labels such as 4AD, Warp, Rough Trade, Sub Pop, Secretly Canadian, Jagjaguwar, Drag City,  Soul Jazz, and Domino.

[PIAS] Ireland released a statement saying that Sony DADC have actioned their business continuity plan and are back up and running from a new control room in Enfield.

PIAS continue to work with them to minimise the impact on the business, a number one priority for all labels and clients. 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.
We wish to thank everyone for the overwhelming messages of support.

Staff from their Dublin-based office encouraged people to support independent labels that have been affected, saying:

Please buy music from as many affected labels as you can, whether from your local music store, digitally from iTunes or other Irish digital music sellers, or directly from the artist website. Shops still have some stock so support your local store as much as you can.
We need to sustain these fantastic indie labels while they attempt to repress stock. [PIAS] would like to thank everyone for their support so far, we are overwhelmed by the positive response we’ve received.

Roger Quail, label manager at Rubyworks, told TheJournal.ie that the label had lost 10,000 units of stock, including releases from Rodrigo y Gabriela, The Minutes and Ryan Sheridan.

It’s an extraordinay thing that we are literally coming to terms with.

The label is currently dealing with its suppliers to get stock which was lost repressed.

Quail noted that they were lucky that the Rodrigo y Gabriela album was released last week, so the album has been distributed to shops.

Speaking about the support shown to the label online, he said: “It’s always nice to realise that there are people out there who are empathising with what you’re going through.”

Rubyworks is currently putting together a lower-priced complete catalogue campaign on iTunes where people can purchase albums and support the label.

Michael Roe of Irish label Richter Collective was shocked to hear the news – while his band’s albums are not distributed by [PIAS], he knows how much this would impact on independent labels and bands.

“I don’t think a lot of other people realised for a while what it meant, but for me if our stock in the warehouse burned we’d be out of a job,” he said, explaining that labels will have to apply for insurance but might only get the manufacturing price back for the records.

“Stuff like back catalogues, that’s the stuff that you’d question whether repressing is gong to be worth their while,” he said of some labels.

Roe believes that the “knock-on effect isn’t going to be felt for a couple of months” and that independent record stores will feel the pinch.

If someone goes into the independent record store and says I want ‘X’ and they don’t have it, that person may go home to order it from Amazon or HMV who might have bigger stock piles. Then those sales could be lost.

Roe encourages people to visit the labels’ official websites – you can see a full list of labels here – and download the tracks from there if possible.

Online store Boomkat has set up a page where people can view and download music from [PIAS] labels only, but is encouraging people to buy directly from the labels if possible.

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