No sooner had the dust settled on DJ Mag’s Best Of British Awards than we heard about the threat of closure to Fabric — London’s premier underground dance music nitespot.
Fabric had just scooped Best Large British Club at our Best Of British Awards again, and in the past has also been voted No.1 club in the world in DJ Mag’s Top 100 Clubs poll. We’ve held our Top 100 DJs party at Fabric, as well as the Best Of British, and our tenth anniversary party in 2001 — DJ Mag has had a long association with the cavernous venue since Fabric opened in Farringdon fifteen years ago.
The last thing we wanted to hear after waking up with hangovers after the Best Of British awards was that Fabric was threatened with closure. At a meeting on Thursday 18th December, police were possibly going to recommend its closure on account of there having been four drug-related deaths over the past couple of years.
Thankfully, Fabric has been given a reprieve, but the Islington Council licensing meeting has reportedly insisted on new security measures, some of which may be introduced, pending an appeals process. According to the Evening Standard newspaper, these include:
* Police-trained sniffer dogs at the club
* ID checks on all clubbers
* Improved CCTV
* Increased drug searches at the door
However, DJ Mag understands that Fabric has no intention of introducing sniffer dogs into the club — a situation that sounds unworkable in practice anyway. And none of these proposed measures are set to be introduced ahead of any appeals process.
Before the council meeting Fabric issued a statement saying that it has always operated a zero tolerance approach to drug-taking in the club. Joint owner Keith Reilly pointed out that in 15 years, Fabric has had six million people through the door — with only four deaths in all that time.
In the run-up to the council meeting, a Save Fabric Facebook group sprung up, quickly attracting 40,000 supporters, and a petition started to renew fabric’s license had been signed by 35,000 people. Dance acts such as Annie Mac, the Chemical Brothers and Groove Armada had spoken out against its closure — as well as many other DJs and clubbers who have played at or visited Fabric over the years.
Fabric intend to appeal the council’s decision, saying that they fundamentally disagreed with a number of key points on the police report into Fabric.
What this all means is that Fabric has been saved from closure, but may have to introduce some new measures. However, none of these conditions will come in until after the outcome of an appeal process.
In a statement today, Fabric said: "None of the measures listed in the outcome of the review will come into affect until after we have seen the council's written report and we have decided how we intend to appeal certain points."
Fabric will be open as normal at Christmas and New Year. You can read the official statement on the fabric blog.