Among all the sorry carnage and sad tales left by London’s looting fraternity over the last three days, perhaps the most devastating for music lovers was the huge fire that destroyed a Sony warehouse primarily used by independent distribution company PIAS.
A three-story, 20,000 square meter storage home for music from a number of independent labels from the UK and the US including 4AD, Beggars Group, Dead Oceans, Def Jux, Domino, Jagjaguwar, Matador, Ninja Tune, Polyvinyl, Rough Trade, Secretly Canadian, Side One Dummy, Silva Screen, Sub Pop, Too Pure, True Panther, Vagrant, Warp, XL among others. (A full list from PIAS’s website is here). The warehouse was a temporary home for releases from all manner of indie labels and offshoots, and the extent of its destruction is starting to become tragically apparent. While the full impact of last night’s events is still emerging, numerous indies have confirmed massive losses. Beggars Chairman Martin Mills called it a “horrible” setback for the indie sector.
What music fans can do to show their support for the indie label community, and help them survive this disaster is to buy a digital download of an album from any one of the digital retailers going to their local record store while stocks last.
This way, the labels will be able to remanufacture their CD’s and vinyl more quickly, to resupply the record shops who are also affected by the riots.
Alison Wenham, Chairman and CEO of AIM, the UK’s Trade Association for the Independent Music Industry commented: “This is a disaster for the music community, but with the fans’ help, labels and artists will survive. Please show your support for the music community by buying a digital album from an independent label today”.
UPDATE – “In Wake of London Fire, Organizers Answers Questions About Supporting Indie Labels” – by Peter Kirn on Create Digital Music. Includes news on PIAS’ fund to help labels and an interview with the organizers of “Label Love”