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Brexit: The impact on dance music so far

Article 50 has yet to be triggered, but the scene has already felt repercussions because of the leave vote

  • Words: Sirin Kale | Illustration: Patch Keyes
  • 30 January 2017
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“The price increases are directly related to the exchange rate,” Monk confirms. “Anything imported to the UK will be at least 15 per cent more expensive.” I ask about the impact on consumers. “I think people will just readjust their levels of what they can afford,” he replies. “We may see them moving away from the high end stuff. Something that’s just come out, like the Roland DJ808 for example, will come out at the higher price, whereas a synth that’s been available for a couple of years might still be knocking around at the same price.”

As Britain imports the majority of its DJ equipment, any variation in exchange rates will hit the pockets of professional and bedroom DJs everywhere. And if that didn’t sting enough, Apple’s MacBook Pro — the DJ laptop of choice — has risen in price, with some models up £300, from £1,599 to £1,899. Sadly, as equipment costs spike upwards, only aspiring DJs with the deepest pockets will be able to shoulder the cost.

No one has ever got into collecting vinyl for economic reasons. Like smoking or a weekend coke habit, it’s a pastime easily acquired, ruinously expensive, and difficult to shake. “I’d say prices have gone up by at least 10 per cent,” says Neil Gibbons of London-based vinyl pressers Key Production. He warns that material costs — imported from Europe and pressed in the UK — may further increase over time. Richard Dron of vinyl pressers Mobineko is more forthcoming.

“It’s important to understand that almost all vinyl suppliers in the UK are brokers,” he explains, “with stock coming from plants in France, Germany and the Czech Republic.” Mobineko’s own vinyl supply comes from Taiwan and France. “It doesn’t take a financial genius to realise that the first hit is going to be from exchange rates,” Dron explains brightly, before warning that many smaller players may go out of business. “There’s a fair amount of competition in vinyl pressing right now, so nobody wants to be the first to increase prices. But the more than 20 per cent drop in the pound versus the Euro in such a short period of time means most brokers won’t be able to bear that long term. I feel bad for the majority of vinyl companies relying purely on UK sales and buying in Euros — these must be worrying times.”

 
 
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