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Dublin Vinyl

Liquidation of Ireland's only vinyl record maker 'bit of a disaster' for local music industry

One Irish music producer described the news of the closure as a surprise, especially given the growing demand for vinyl records.

THE NEWS THAT Ireland’s only vinyl record maker went into liquidation last week has come as a blow to the Irish music industry and affected some upcoming releases from Irish artists.  

Dublin Vinyl was established in 2016 and as well as pressing records for local artists, the company had contracts with major international record labels. 

On 4 March, liquidators were appointed to deal with the company by the High Court after Dublin Vinyl experienced significant financial difficulties owing to a number of factors. 

As a result of the company going into liquidation, Irish rock band Ham Sandwich has said their order to press copies of their latest live album, released this week, has been cancelled. 

In a post on Instagram, the band said they were “devastated” by the news of Dublin Vinyl’s closure. 

The band said refunds were to be issued this week and that The Live Album would still be released on iTunes & Bandcamp. 

“It is incredibly unfortunate that this has happened and we send out our love and support to all the workers & families at the plant facing uncertainty. It’s such a loss to the music industry in Ireland,” the band said. 

Irish musician David Kitt has also lamented the news of the company’s liquidation, describing it as a “disaster” for himself personally because he had a major re-release set for production with Dublin Vinyl.  

“While this is obviously a bigger deal for full-time employees of the company who are now unemployed, it’s also a bit of a disaster for me personally with the Not Fade Away re-issue about to go into production,” he said on Instagram on Tuesday. 

Kitt also said he had not heard from Dublin Vinyl since the news of their going into liquidation broke last week. The release had been up for order on the company’s website and there had already been significant sales, he said. 

“From what I can gather, some clients’ customers have been refunded but none of mine have. It leaves a really bad taste that the most loyal part of my fanbase who’ve splashed out on merch etc are the ones affected here.”

‘A surprise’

One Irish music producer described the news of the closure as a surprise, especially given the growing demand for vinyl records. 

“Competitors in Europe are offering the same services for cheaper,” said Larry Leaba of the Irish record label Wah Wah Wino, offering one possible explanation for Dublin Vinyl’s struggles – at least when it came to getting business from independent labels. 

He added that the popularity of vinyl has been exerting pressure on independent artists, who get put to the back of the queue in favour of fulfilling contracts from major labels.  

“Until mainstream demand for pop artists on vinyl decreases, and until the major labels stop pressing Beyoncé’s Texas Hold ‘Em in the shape of the Texas flag or whatever, there will always be a longer wait, a lower quality press, and far more printing errors for all independent labels out there – which is a little frustrating for those who kept the vinyl pressing industry alive in the first place, before the trend came back.” 

Liquidation the only option

On 4 March, the High Court appointed joint provisional liquidators to the company, which the court heard employs 22 full-time employees and 4 full-time contractor workers. 

The company sustained significant losses in 2022 and 2023 due to factors including the Covid-19 pandemic, Brexit, the war in Ukraine, the loss of a major contract, and the failure of record pressing machines it had ordered to arrive on time.

As a result, the company had decided to petition the court for the appointment of two joint provisional liquidators. The court heard the company had looked at alternatives, including examinership, but were of the opinion that the best option was to liquidate.

Justice Oisin Quinn said he was satisfied to appoint the liquidators as the company was clearly insolvent.

The company’s barrister said that Dublin Vinyl was in the process of completing contracts worth €500,000, including making records for several labels with artists including “Taylor Swift, whose fans we would not want to disappoint”. 

Dublin Vinyl’s legal counsel said the company had of late come under pressure from its creditors, including its energy supplier, which had threatened to cut off its electricity over unpaid bills.

Includes reporting from Aodhain O’Faolain


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