Vinyl production worldwide just took a pretty big hit. On Thursday, February 6, one of the two main lacquer plants in the world was destroyed in a devastating fire. Lacquer is a substance used for making master vinyl disks. About 8 a.m. on Thursday a massive fire was reported at the Apollo Masters warehouse in Banning, California.
“There were multiple reports of explosions when the fire started,” Cal Fire Capt. Fernando Herrera said at the scene to the Desert Sun. "There wasn't any one spot you could say wasn't on fire."
The Apollo Masters website confirms the news and just how devastating this is.
“It is with great sadness we report the Apollo Masters manufacturing and storage facility had a devastating fire and was completely destroyed,” says the note on the site. “The best news is all of our employees are safe. We are uncertain of our future at this point and are evaluating options as we try to work through this difficult time.”
People in the business are already quite concerned about what might happen after this.
“From my understanding, this fire will present a problem for the vinyl industry worldwide,” Ben Blackwell, co-founder of Third Man Records told Pitchfork in an email. “There are only TWO companies that make lacquers in the world, and the other, MDC in Japan, already had trouble keeping up with demand BEFORE this development.”
Right now it isn’t certain what will happen in the wake of this fire. Maybe another company will step up with their own lacquer production, but that may take some time. If getting lacquer was a problem before this fire, it will only be harder after.
The Twitter account for Duplication, a Toronto-based vinyl/CD/DVD duplication, pressing, and printing company wrote, “disaster for the vinyl pressing industry. Apollo Masters has burned to the ground. There will be a lacquer shortage and possibly plants having to close or scale back operations for a while.”
The production of anything in the hands of one entity is never good, but especially so here. Prices may rise and shortages could be exacerbated. This is something that needs to be watched closely.