3 Teenagers Arrested After CD Warehouse Burns in London Riots

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Sony Warehouse Fire

Sony Warehouse Fire

Three teenagers have been arrested in connection with a fire that gutted a warehouse full of recordings during the London riots, destroying millions of compact discs and crippling distribution for about 150 independent labels, the BBC reported.

Two of the suspects, aged 17 and 18, remained in custody, while a second 17-year-old was released on bail. They were among more than 922 people arrested during the riots.

The blaze left Sony Corporations’s 215,000-square-foot warehouse in the Enfield district of London a smoldering heap on Monday morning. The fire destroyed about 25 million discs, including CDs, DVDS and video games, a Sony official told Billboard. The warehouse was also the hub for PIAS Entertainment, a major distributor of independent labels in Britain and Ireland.

More than 150 of the labels lost massive amounts stock, among them XL, Domino, Warp, Sub Pop, Ninja Tune and Soul Jazz. Beggars Group alone lost 750,000 CDs. Recent releases by major artists like Adele, Artic Monkeys and Anna Calvi were affected.

The fire also hurt a host of small and independent film distributors, among them BFI, Artificial Eye, Metrodome and Dogwoof. Some companies said their stock was insured and could be replaced, but the disruption was costly. “It’s a huge dent in our business,” said Tom Abell, director of Pecadillo Pictures, which lost about 50,000 units, in an interview with The Guardian. “The stock can be replaced but there is nothing there to sell right now. It’s basically a cash-flow problem.”

Officials at Sony and at PIAS are struggling to replace the lost stock. Sony put out a statement saying it hoped to have a temporary distribution center up and running within a week. Nick Hartley, the chief operating officer of PIAS, told Billboard he was urging labels to begin manufacturing again and trying to shift stock from Europe to Britain to keep orders flowing.

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