That sick gut feeling that got to us the morning of the Brexit referendum results has resurfaced again late yesterday, as the news of Fabric’s closure came down.
After a 6-hour long hearing in Islington, the club has indefinitely been denied its right to renew its lease. This decision emanates from a police investigation that was open after two 18 year olds died due to drug overdoses.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan has expressed in a press release how unfortunate it was that Metro Police, Islington officials and Fabric owners did not reach an agreement that would allow the club to keep running. The mayor faced major criticism this morning as he decided to attend the GQ Awards ceremony yesterday rather than the hearing, which undermined the credibility of his project to reactivate the London nightlife.
This debate shook the Internet sphere as emotional reactions emerged. The 130.000-strong petition was not enough to influence the decision in any way, which led supporters to voice their frustration. Several arguments came to light, the main one being that Fabric was being penalised for drug-related issues while being a flagship for nightlife good practice and drug control. Pat-downs on the door at Fabric were famous for being thorough (to say the least), and the venue has complied and cooperated with authorities on many occasions.
The Fabric case is just one small element of the whole crisis, as 50% of London clubs have been forced to close down in the past 10 years – Fabric, Passing Clouds, Dance Tunnel and Shapes being the most recent examples. Linking closures to drugs is also a tricky argument to put forward, as penalising the established club scene is also risking drugs to be massively disseminated in private parties and illegal raves – which have begun to resurface recently (see VICE’s ‘Britain Illegal Rave Renaissance” Documentary).
Other theories have linked the closure of Fabric with the expansion of Farringdon station for the Crossrail project, set to be implemented in 2019 and aiming at a passenger traffic reaching 27m a day. Real estate value in the neighbourhood is ready to explode, and a new business improvement development program is being discussed between stakeholders to redefine the brand image of the neighbourhood. Conspiracy theories aside, needless to say Fabric’s closure comes at a very convenient moment…
While we are waiting on the next developments of the procedure, FACT Magazine has come up with a brilliant article listing seven things to do to protest Fabric’s closure.
As electronic music enthusiasts and as passionate people, we owe it to ourselves and to fight this ridiculous conclusion to the best of our abilities. Let the wonderful story Fabric has been writing for the past 17 years not end on an insulting note to London’s culture.