Suspects Arrested in SONY/PIAS Warehouse Fire

August 11th, 2011
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A Sony/PIAS distribution warehouse in London was burned down Tuesday morning, destroying 2.5 million CDs in the fire. Today three teenagers were arrested in connection with violent disorder and arson.

The CD stock is being replenished in other parts of the UK as well as Austria. Label Warp Records has stated that there are certain releases that may never be available physically again as a result of this fire. A statement has been issued by PIAS in conjunction with the UK’s Association of Independent Music to announce that a fund will be established in order to help the labels affected by the fire. Read it below.

[PIAS] have been overwhelmed by the response and incredible support offered to both ourselves and the labels that we represent here in the UK.

Labels and artists affected by the destruction of the Sony DADC warehouse are faced with incredible pressures on their businesses in respect to the re-manufacture, re-supply and marketing required as a result of the fire. Whilst it is expected that insurance will cover the lost stock, the reality for many labels is that they will not be compensated or insured for an interruption of trade or the additional capital to reproduce the stock that they have lost and the promotion in which they have invested.

[PIAS] have been working around the clock to ensure that the wheels of supply continue to turn as soon as possible. [PIAS] and AIM (Association of Independent Music) have been in dialogue with MCPS, PPL and other companies and organisations to discuss ways in which these additional and un-insured costs can be mitigated.

Additional efforts from [PIAS] range from securing preferential rates with suppliers for affected labels; encouraging digital retail initiatives to drive and promote digital sales whilst physical stocks replenish; conducting negotiations to reduce fees that might be charged to labels in the normal course of business.

The last 48 hours has seen a genuine outpouring of support for the principle of independent labels, artists and repertoire. [PIAS] and our labels have received offers of support from both some of the largest names in the business to individuals, all of which simply want to do all they can to support the continued vibrancy and creativity associated with independent music.

In addition to the efforts to reduce actual costs through negotiation, and in response to the numerous offers of support, benefits, fundraising initiatives etc, [PIAS] have worked in conjunction with AIM to create a fund that companies and organisers of initiatives can contribute to. In this way, we have created a vehicle for enabling those involved to do so safe in the knowledge that such monies will be distributed fairly amongst the most needy labels with the sanction of both [PIAS] and AIM.

Kenny Gates, Co-Founder and CEO, [PIAS] “The fund that is being put together in a matter of hours by [PIAS] and AIM demonstrates once again the strength and solidarity in the independent music community. [PIAS] will carry on engaging, helping and supporting its labels and artists in every way possible. I am very confident that our combined efforts will result in the smallest interruption to our collective business. Again the compassion of our recording artists, our labels and the industry wide support is amazing.”

Whilst the specific details of distribution are yet to be determined and our current priority is to support the immediate needs of the labels and artists that we work with, we are also keen to establish a vehicle for the incredible generosity that has been shown towards our labels and associated artists.

Details regarding how to contribute and who to contact:
Anyone wishing to contact [PIAS] and AIM in respect to this fund should email
labelsupportfund@musicindie.com

Warp Records issued the following statement:

All of Warp’s UK stock appears to have been lost in the fire. The Sony DADC warehouse also acted as our international distribution hub and so this has affected our ability to supply our overseas partners.

Forthcoming albums – CANT’s ‘Dreams Come True’ (Sep 12th), Plaid’s ‘Scintilli’ (Sept 26th) and Rustie’s ‘Glass Swords’(Oct 10th) – are currently being manufactured. We know PIAS are working hard to get alternative distribution in place and we are hopeful that the release dates of these albums will not be affected. Most UK copies of Battles’ new single ‘My Machines’ have been destroyed, although the single will still be released digitally on Monday – with some limited 12inch stock available at Bleep.

The biggest challenge for us is replacing Warp’s extensive back catalogue spanning the last 21 years. We will replace as much of this as we can by creating new stock and replenishing where possible with stock from outside the UK. Unfortunately some releases may never be available physically again.

Two 18-year-olds are currently in custody, while a 17-year-old has been bailed out.

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By Michelle Rick Posted in News


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