The Mayor Of London, Sadiq Khan, has issued a statement about the closure of Fabric.
“London’s iconic clubs are an essential part of our cultural landscape.
“Clubbing needs to be safe but I’m disappointed that Fabric, Islington Council and the Metropolitan Police were unable to reach agreement on how to address concerns about public safety.
“As a result of this decision, thousands of people who enjoyed going to Fabric as an essential part of London’s nightlife will lose out.
“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.
“Over the past eight years, London has lost 50 percent of its nightclubs and 40 percent of its live music venues. This decline must stop if London is to retain its status as a 24-hour city with a world-class nightlife.”
Other industry figures have also waded into the debate. Alex Proud from the Proud Group of venues, who spoke at the licensing committee hearing in defence of Fabric, was shocked by the decision. “I’ve never seen such a one-sided summary,” he said afterwards, talking about how one of the three licensing committee members — Gary Poole — swayed opinion on the three-person committee that decided Fabric’s fate. “His influence on the other members of the committee was enormous. The summary was extraordinary - essentially, every bit of police evidence was accepted as fact, not a single shred of Fabric’s evidence was accepted.”
The Association For Electronic Music (AFEM) have issued the following statement: “The decision to revoke Fabric’s licence is a blow to the heart of electronic music. The closure of the venue will not reduce the consumption of illegal drugs in London and is likely to place those that choose to consume at a higher risk by driving clubbers to unregulated events or less well equipped venues. The inconsistency of approach from UK Police Forces towards drug policy now requires an informed national and strategic position.
“Fabric offered significant changes to their security and harm reduction policies. These were not deemed acceptable and therefore all parties that support Fabric will regroup to assess what the next steps are for the club, for London and for our scene as a whole.”
DJ Mag Managing Director Martin Carvell said the following: “In the light of the inevitable decision to revoke Fabric’s licence, I think it is important that we remember the families of the two boys who lost their lives. I believe the outcome was a forgone conclusion,. Undoubtedly the contracts have already been negotiated (and signed) to redevelop the whole of the Smithfields area into unaffordable housing and soulless, identikit chain restaurants. As a parent I cannot imagine losing a child when they are just on the cusp of starting in the world, but closing Fabric’s doors will not help protect anyone in the future.
“I hope that this is the shock that is needed for everybody to realise that problems need to be tackled headon and not forced underground, that maybe this is the rock-bottom position that we can all rebuild from, but I fear that this outcome will do little to force the debate which is already extremely overdue and necessary.”
The fabric team have also followed up with an official statement, writing: "fabric is 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."
Read fabric's statement in full here.
Copyright Thrust Publishing Ltd. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.djmag.com as the source.