Around 4 AM GMT this morning in Enfield, a three-story building owned by Sony/PIAS that housed music and DVD stock for over 150 independent labels was destroyed in a fire during the ongoing riots. PIAS is the largest distribution company in the UK, and the North London warehouse was the main hub for physical distribution throughout the UK and Ireland. The exact figures on what was lost in the fire are as-yet unknown, but reports coming in throughout the day have been making it sound like very little would be recovered.
Some of the affected labels include Domino, Beggars Group, Big Dada, Def Jux, Drag City, FatCat, Kompakt, Ninja Tune, One Little Indian, Secretly Canadian/Jagjaguwar/Dead Oceans, Soul Jazz, Thrill Jockey, Vagrant, and Warp, but really it’s the smaller labels that are hurting the most from this, as they simply can’t afford to lose so much physical product and have their release schedules destroyed in the process.
With that said, it seems important to repeat a sentiment expressed by Radio 1 DJ (and indie record label owner) Rob da Bank when asked for a response by The Guardian:
I’m furious that people are doing this, and I’m devastated for Pias and all the labels that have lost stock. But at the moment I’m more concerned with stopping this stupid behaviour from happening — at the end of the day it’s just physical product that’s gone, not lives or houses, so I’m trying not to get too hung up on it.