fabric made a statement today which said the venue wants to “lead the industry” and create a new gold standard in approaches to drugs and security, whilst calling on the police and licensing authorities to support their efforts.
fabric was forced to close its doors indefinitely earlier this month (15th August) while Islington Council reviews the famous London nightclub’s license, following reports that two teenagers died of drug-related causes there in recent weeks.
The closure was met with wide condemnation, including that by Howie B, who slammed the Police for the way they have dealt with fabric, which as recently as December last year was reportedly referred to as a “beacon of best practice” in a court judgement.
A final decision on whether the club will be able to re-open – and if so, what conditions will apply – will take place on the 6th September.
Ahead of that fabric co-founder and director Cameron Leslie has stated that closing the iconic super-club would be the first step towards the demise of clubbing in London, whilst arguing that venues like it are established operators willing to invest, and so are the key to pioneering new approaches to drugs that will keep clubbers safe and prevent crime.
In the lengthy statement, Leslie said, “Closing fabric will be the beginning of the end for clubbing in London, which is already under threat. In light of recent tragic events, we’re independently reviewing all our processes and have already proposed substantial changes to the police and to Islington Council – our aim is to set a new industry gold standard for safe clubbing.
“The safety of our customers has always been our number one priority. Any suggestion that we are not 100% committed to tackling drugs on the premises is completely false.
“We were pioneering in the way in which we worked hand in hand with the council and police when we opened 17 years ago. We established honest and transparent procedures never before seen, something we are incredibly proud of.
“Venues like fabric face huge challenges in tackling drugs but as an experienced operator, with a strong track record and which is willing to invest, we are best placed to pioneer new ways of working that will keep people safer. We hope the council and the police will support these efforts on the 6th and allow us to remain open.”
The club is currently working with the police and licensing authority to agree what changes should be made, but early signs from the club are that it is offering substantial changes to operations.
These include a new industry standard search policy on entry, developing training for staff to identify and tackle drug-taking and drug dealing in clubs, and working with the police and drugs awareness charity The Loop to establish best practice whilst also continually reviewing operations.
You can sign the #savefabric petition here, and once you have, don't forget to spread the word on social media!
Rob McCallum is DJ Mag’s deputy digital editor. Follow him on Twitter here.