The London club returns tonight with a stricter entry policy and age restrictions.
Fabric will open its doors tonight (January 6) for the first time since police forced its closure last September – but club director Cameron Leslie has said he will get no “pleasure or relief” from the reopening.
“We’re obviously delighted we’re going to be re-opening but I don’t think we’re going to be looking over this particular chapter with any kind of fond memories,” he told BBC Newsbeat. “I don’t think there’s any kind of pleasure or relief that we’ve reached this point.”
“There was definitely a belief amongst us that we would be able to get the project back open again,” he said. “But there’s been moments when we’ve been deeply concerned. It would be wrong of me to say otherwise.”
Fabric won back its licence in November after agreeing to introduce tougher security, including lifetime bans for drug possession and a strict entry policy banning under-19s.
Leslie said he doesn’t think the rules will change the experience of clubbing at Fabric much, but added that the “intense” 10 days of negotiations with police and Islington Council took a toll.
“I can’t look into a crystal ball, but it’s not been enjoyable for any of us so I just hope we can get on with what we enjoy and do best.”
Police Superintendent Nick Davis also said there was no “pleasure” on their part in the situation, saying their department had no desire to have the “iconic” club shut down.
“We appreciate what a big club this is and what it means to people, there was no pleasure-taking in any of this,” he said. “But what we needed to see was a cultural change and I think we’ve really started to see that.”
DJ and Fabric resident Seth Troxler called into question the claim that clubs were to blame for drug abuse in an interview with BBC.
“This isn’t only a club problem. If you look at pop culture today, drugs are littered throughout the culture,” he said. “So the idea that dance music culture is to blame for drug use is completely ridiculous.”
He used Berghain’s recent recognition by German authorities as a destination for “high art” to make his case.
“[Berghain] was just given the court’s approval of “high culture”,” he said, “so in Germany they consider this the number one source of culture — and yes, there are drug deaths there, there are drug deaths on the streets in London because of the heroin epidemic, but no one’s talking about that. I think this is more of a story where the council was really trying to gentrify the neighborhood and are using Fabric as an example for their greater will.”
Fabric also returns with a change in its programming, with the weekly Fabriclive – which typically books DJs from the drum and bass, garage and grime end of the spectrum – now limited to a monthly slot.