London riots: Arrests over Sony warehouse fire as music labels mull future

10:37 11 August 2011

Damage caused by huge fire at Sony warehouse will hit music firms Pic: PA

Damage caused by huge fire at Sony warehouse will hit music firms Pic: PA

Three arrests have been made over the fire at a Sony music warehouse which threatens to devastate many independent labels in the UK.

All those detained were teenagers, including two 17-year-olds and an 18-year-old.

They were held in connection with violent disorder and arson.

One 17-year-old was bailed. The remaining two suspects remain in police cells.

More than 150 independent music labels lost stock in the fire, which gutted the distribution centre, in Solar Way, Enfield.

Beggars Group lost 750,000 CDs alone.

An uncertain few weeks faces music groups without any stock to sell. Radio 1 DJ and music shop owner Rob Da Bank said the independent industry was “on a knife-edge.”

“Some labels and shops are going to be really affected by it. It just shows how precarious the indie thing is,” he told NME.

Replacing lost vinyl, which is prized by collectors, may take up to three months. Replacing CDs will take around 10 days.

Labelling the blaze “a disaster for the music community,” the Association of Independent Music said fans can help out.

“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 in the UK, as well as going to their local record store while stocks last,” said AIM chairmen, Alison Wenham.

“This way, the labels will be able to remanufacture their CDs and vinyl more quickly, to resupply the record shops which are also affected by the riots”.

“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.”

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