A major decision for London nightlife.
London’s iconic Fabric will close after after a licensing review meeting at Islington Town Hall. The club had the support of Islington South and Finsbury MP Emily Thornberry, who said Fabric is a “huge cultural significance to an entire generation – a generation too often ignored and overlooked by politicians and policy makers.” Unfortunately, they were not heard.
Fabric temporarily closed their doors in early August after the deaths of two teenagers earlier this year. The club’s license was suspended for 28 days almost immediately following the club’s own regulatory measures so that the Metropolitan Police could investigate the deaths themselves.
DJs and musicians like Daniel Avery, Plastician and Butterz’s Elijah urged London mayor Sadiq Khan to take action to keep the club open. Kahn stood in solidarity with Fabric, asking them to work with Islington Council and the Met to find a solution that was safe for the patrons while keeping Fabric in business. “Clubbing needs to be safe. There have been two tragic deaths at Fabric over recent months and there are clearly issues that need addressing,” he wrote on the change.org petition that was started in support of keeping Fabric open.
“I don’t want young and creative Londoners abandoning our city to head to Amsterdam, to Berlin, to Prague where clubs are supported and allowed to flourish,” Khan told Dazed in April, when he was still only a mayoral hopeful. “I want them to be able to celebrate what they love in the city that they love, rather than punish them or force their activities underground or abroad.”
Khan is now seeking someone to fill the position of Night Czar, a member of government who will “shape London’s future as a 24-hour city.”
Late last year, Fabric won an appeal with Islington Council which prevented the mandatory ID checks and the use of sniffer dogs, two systems which were going to be put in place after Fabric was threatened with closure in 2014 following a different drug-related incident. A Fabric rep promised the club would now try out detection dogs at tonight’s hearing.
But as MP Thornberry noted in her recent statement of support, drug use is “unfortunately, part of nightclub culture” and that Fabric is “clearly not alone in facing these challenges, and for many years now it has led the way for other nightclubs in terms of drug prevention measures.”
On site reporting by April Clare Welsh.