Esteemed London night club Fabric, which for years has been at the centre of the UK’s internationally recognised club scene, is to permanently close its doors.
The decision comes after Islington Council revoked the club’s license on Wednesday morning.
In recent months there have been a spate of high profile “drug-related” incidents in the venue – including the deaths of two teenagers in the space of nine weeks. The license review carried out by Islington Council found “Staff intervention and security was grossly inadequate in light of the overwhelming evidence that it was abundantly obvious that patrons in the club were on drugs and manifesting symptoms showing that they were… This included sweating, glazed red eyes and staring into space, and people asking for help.”
This information came from covert Police operations carried out inside the club.
The ruling also found that “People entering the club were inadequately searched.” In a statement, Scotland Yard said they “felt the need to act due to concerns about the safety of those attending the club due to the supply of class-A drugs in the venue and the recent deaths of two young men”.
In light of the ruling both artists and high profile individuals have voiced support of the club with London Mayor Sadiq Khan stating: “London’s iconic clubs are an essential part of our cultural landscape … My team have spoken to all involved in the current situation and I am urging them to find a common sense solution that ensures the club remains open while protecting the safety of those who want to enjoy London’s clubbing scene.” Popular DJ and Fabric regular MistaJam also commentated on social media: “Thank you for all the amazing memories @fabriclondon – I’ll never forget what you meant to me and many like me”.
A petition to support the club had also reached over 150,000 signatures by Wednesday morning.
In a Facebook post the club said: “We are extremely disappointed with Islington Council’s decision to revoke our license. This is an especially sad day for those who have supported us, particularly the 250 staff who will now lose their jobs. Closing fabric is not the answer to the drug-related problems clubs like ours are working to prevent, and sets a troubling precedent for the future of London’s night time economy.”
The ongoing debate concerning drug culture in UK nightclubs is as old as the drugs themselves, but with more and more high profile deaths hitting the front page, coupled with the over-bearing pressure of Police forces to crack down on clubbing drug-culture, we are seeing a growing trend of local Councils using their Licensing powers to close down venues.
As with many facets of drug-use, the answer is not black and white. One thing is for sure, if this trend continues the UK is set to lose many more of its respected nightlife institutions. Just as Glasgow lost The Arches last year, the loss of Fabric to London will leave a large hole, both in the city’s reputation as a clubbing hotspot but also in the hearts of the thousands of music fans who have graced its dancefloor.
You can sign the petition to save Fabric here.
For more information on the ruling read Islington Council’s review here.