A Sony distribution center burned down last night in London during the third day of anti-police riots in the U.K. According to the BBC, independent record labels have been left “devastated” by the destruction. The riots broke out Sunday during the candlelight vigil for Mark Duggan, a 29-year-old man shot and killed by London police last Thursday. A video was posted on YouTube this morning of the warehouse engulfed by the massive blaze:
The warehouse housed Sony’s DADC (Digital Audio Disc Corporation) facility. Moreover, the building also acted as the headquarters for PIAS, a U.K. distributor that managed stock for more than 150 different independent record labels including XL and Domino. The facility was more than 20,000 square meters and contained not only CDs but movies, video games and more.
Most record labels held the entirety of their U.K. stock at the Enfield warehouse. Norman issued a statement saying: “Obviously this will have a massive effect on the music industry (and us). Our thoughts go out to all of those who’ve lost their jobs and livelihoods from this.” Nobody was injured in the fire, but according to MVC, black smoke was spotted this morning still rising from the charred remnants of the warehouse.
“People still buy CDs?” you might be thinking. Apparently, yes, as it has been suggested that the fire’s destruction will lead to major financial troubles for many labels relying on a CD-based revenue stream. Chemikal Underground Records stated in a somber blog post that the fire “represents a sad and frustratingly bitter blow to the music industry at a time when it can least afford it.” The extent of the damage is unknown because it’s currently impossible to enter the building and assess the situation, but Sony has suggested that the fire will lead to delivery delays.