“We have denied the kids of today of a safe haven, a place to express themselves through movement and human connection, a creative space that many of us have had the privilege and pleasure to call a second home.”
Fabric is one of London’s most iconic nightclubs. Since 1999, it has attracted people of all ages and backgrounds, and most of the world’s greatest DJs have played there. Recently, Fabric’s licence was revoked by Islington Council, who said the famous nightclub had a “culture of drugs” that staff were “incapable of controlling”.
Many people have criticised the decision, including Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, who said he was “disappointed”. Young people from London and other parts of the United Kingdom have also expressed their disapproval, both via social media using the hashtag #SaveFabric, as well as by leaving messages outside Fabric’s front door.
The IPF reached out to young people to find out more about their views on Fabric’s closure and what it means for London’s nightlife.
Prudence Malinki, 34
The recent closure of Fabric has led to a wash and wave of nostalgic stories. Tales of meeting your future wife in Room One, or when Villabobos smashed it in 2014.
From queuing for hours on end only to get a search so thorough and intimate that you feel like you should have married the security staff afterwards, to the first time you try to get the taps to work in the unisex toilets and fail miserably, Fabric has been a firm favourite to every techno-head, drum and bass fiend, student, man, woman and teenager wanting somewhere to cut loose and to otherwise mix with every strata of society in our diverse and colourful capital.
The closure of the electronic music institution will lead to a bleak future, where we leave a legacy of the bland and banal, of homogenised wine bars playing generic pop music.
We have denied the kids of today of a safe haven, a place to express themselves through movement and human connection, a creative space that many of us have had the privilege and pleasure to call a second home.
Sam Lodge, 23
Fabric was the first time in my life that I felt present. Not looking forwards or backwards. That given the hypothetical to be anywhere else in the world at that moment, would I? Regardless of your troubles, faults and being, here you could be yourself. You didn’t have to pretend.
And yet in light of this, Fabric gave me perspective. The energy in those rooms washed over me and as the night developed I started to let go. This place and its people guided me to emotions I never knew existed.
But they were all once in my position. When they went out, their brothers and sisters inspired them at clashes and garage nights. And the people who lived acid house inspired them. Through Fabric I learned that culture is a torch that is passed.
As I went for the last time, through the resonance of the crowd in this celestial place, someone witnessed me.
The torch passed.
Violetta Lynch, 26
I’m not going to go into the complexities of drug culture in the UK, or the wider issues such as central Government budget cuts, Islington council’s or the Metropolitan Police’s struggles in the wake of these cuts, the wider attack on the night time industry in London over the past 8 years, with half of clubs and 40% of live music venues shut down during this time.
I want to explain what clubbing means to me and how nightlife and music have brought colour, meaning and joy to my life.
Over the past ten years, I’ve discovered grime, blues, hip hop, deep house, dubstep, drum and bass, rock n roll, jazz – all have their time and place; what I really love though is deep and progressive house, psytrance and techno.
Two years ago, a year after I moved to London, I talked myself into going to a techno meet up. That night changed my life. Since then I’ve made an amazing group of friends.
Clubbing is diversity, creativity, open-ness, community, acceptance – it’s wonder, magic.
Check out Violetta’s blog post about Fabric’s closure.
Kriss Baird, 34
Fabric is a cultural institution that Britain’s music industry and the broader, worldwide electronic music movement should remain proud of and more importantly, fervently support through these difficult times.
Simply put, Fabric is an education in how to do it not just well, but world-class. The culture of Fabric is a rich tapestry of musical influences and experiences, experimenting with art and creativity and sewn together with an unbridled love for community and family.
Kriss left this broken heart outside Fabric:
A broken heart left on the front door of Fabric.
“UK nightlife needs to be protected, not prosecuted.” pic.twitter.com/Aix3hAEyaR
— theCUT (@theCUTnewcastle) September 8, 2016
I’ve introduced countless people to the club who return time and time again. As regular patrons, Fabric has helped open doors for friends’ lives, many who have gone on to build professional careers, making records envisioned for playing to fabric’s undulated, swaying dance floors. My first experience of going to Fabric with friends is vivid.
The night marked a flash event in our development as a musicians, producers, promoters and players.
A Change.org petition urging Mayor Sadiq Khan to #SaveFabric has now received more than 150,000 signatures.
NB: The IPF’s Comment section is a place for thought-provoking views and debate. These views are not necessarily endorsed by the IPF.