As violence passed through London, and many independent shops and businesses were permanently damaged or totally destroyed, the music industry did not go unaffected. Sony’s Enfield Warehouse was made a target by the rioters, and enormous amounts of indie label stock stock was destroyed. Independent labels already sit on the edge of success and failure, and this came as a sudden, terrible blow. Some smaller labels were left only with whatever stock the higher-ups had in their own houses (God knows what that means for the career’s of the actual bands represented by the labels), and Ninja Tune don’t even know if their stock was insured. The 405 had what they claimed was a complete list of affected labels, and there were (reportedly) more than 1m records destroyed.
The AIM (association of independent music) as well as certain indie bands such as Erland and he Carnival have expressed concern for the PIAS warehouse, and recently issused a call to arms of sorts, urging music fans to download albums. HMV stores also offered help – giving warehouse space for all PIAS stock intended for the retailer (though let’s be honest – HMV is probably getting a pretty good deal there, too). LabelLove is also an incredibly worthwhile foundation set up to help affected artists.
Finally, the British Phonographic Industry recently announced they were to set up a fund of £100,000 to help labels hurt by the fire. While there’s still a lot of work to be done, this really is a big step forward in healing an industry that’s taken a terrible blow.