Intentions were to make some form of an announcement once the current release schedule is completed. A combination of recent events has brought this forward: RTR will be going on an indefinite hiatus from early 2023. This decision was made months ago and has become a weight that doesn’t need to be carried.
The post-Brexit environment has been a nightmare for independent UK labels. Since the latest restrictions came into effect, EU sales for RTR dropped from 40-50% to around 5%. 10% if lucky. The reduced run sizes and switch to quarterly batch releases rather than monthly individuals aimed to lessen the impact.
RTR had grown to be able to produce runs of 100 and planning live events. Now, it’s struggling to break even. Add the amount of returned and lost items that need replacing, refunding or re-sent, often multiple times, the label is at a significant loss.
The reason this is being announced now is because I personally do not have the capacity to run the label the way I feel it should run. I’m exhausted, definitely overworked, and it’s having a noticeable impact. I’m struggling to keep up with admin and to get items shipped on time. This is not fair on everyone involved.
All the artists who will be releasing music via RTR between now and 2023 are aware of what is happening and have been incredibly supportive. The label turns 5 in January – an achievement I’m incredibly proud of – and will celebrate with a very special release.
Until then, we still have lots to look forward to. Albums by Requiem, Sullivan Johns, and Quiet Clapping will be released in full tomorrow (30/05). The rest of 2022 will deliver albums by Pangolins, Yggdrasil, Demetrio Cecchitelli, Heavy Cloud, Bananafish, and Rusted Drones Vol. 2.
It’s not all doom and gloom,