Mayor bemoans closure of London superclub Fabric, after drug-related deaths

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 08 September, 2016, 1:41pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 08 September, 2016, 9:47pm

London’s mayor threw his support behind DJs and ravers on Wednesday by criticising the closure of the city’s famed Fabric nightclub, after its licence was revoked following several drug-related deaths.

The local council permanently revoked Fabric’s licence after an initial suspension last month at the request of police, following the deaths of two teenagers from suspected drug overdoses at the nightspot in the borough of Islington.

Khan described Fabric as an “essential part of our cultural landscape” and expressed his disappointment that the club owners, local authorities and the police were unable to reach an agreement.

Fabric, renowned for its drum and bass, techno and house nights, built up a reputation to rival fellow British clubbing institution Ministry of Sound over the last decade and a half.

“The issues faced by Fabric point to a wider problem of how we protect London’s night-time economy, while ensuring it is safe and enjoyable for everyone,” he said in a statement.

A clubber at Fabric in his younger years, the mayor has promoted London as a 24-hour city underpinned by the opening last month of all-night metro lines.

Fabric has attracted many of the world’s top DJs and behind regular branded music releases, the nightclub claims six million people have stepped through its doors since its opening in a old meat-processing area of north London in 1999.

But in a late-night meeting on Tuesday the local council concluded that the club had a “culture of drug use” which staff were “incapable of controlling”.

London’s Metropolitan Police said in a statement: “Police 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 linked to the club.”

An online petition launched by Fabric DJ Jacob Husley aimed at stopping the closure garnered 150,000 signatures on Change.org.

“We are in shock. I am feeling a mixture of disbelief and anger and sadness,” he said of the decision, which Fabric has the right to appeal.

Husley’s sentiment was echoed by the broader music world, with electronic duo Chase & Status writing on Twitter: “Our culture has been torn apart with the closing of Fabric London.”

DJ Hype said for 15 years he had been part of a “unique family” at Fabric.

“The world has lost the most important and inspiring truly underground nightclub... It’s a huge loss to the global music scene and London clubbing in general,” he wrote on Facebook.

Leading DJs Carl Cox and Fatboy Slim, as well as the Chemical Brothers and Groove Armada joined a bid to overturn the council’s decision, which was also criticised by music magazines Clash and Mixmag.

The mayor of London said the city has lost 50 per cent of its nightclubs and 40 perc ent of its live music venues over the past eight years. Fabric said the closure would cause 250 job losses.