London’s fabric Faces Uncertain Future
Underground nightlife institution fabric is being forced to introduce ID scanning systems, sniffer dogs and total CCTV coverage inside the venue, after cops urged councillors to close the club following a series of drug related overdoses and deaths.
Ch Supt Steve Deehan blamed the ‘immaturity of lifestyle of the patrons’ for taking drugs and told local newspaper the Islington Gazette ‘Stripping fabric of its licence is being “seriously considered to prevent further deaths”.
Details of the police plans to try and shut down the club, prompted thousands to sign an online petition urging the council to ‘Renew Fabric’s License;.
As news emerged of the police plans to shut down the club, thousands signed
“It’s one of the few clubs left in London and it’s a brand that’s recognised and renowned the world over for its forward thinking booking policy, lineups and love of sound,” the petition pointed out.
“To lose Fabric has serious cultural and societal implications – not to mention economic (given it attracts a global clientele) – for both London and the UK.” (Change.org)
Also on the petition page, Chris Young analysed the specifics of the police case outlined within the License Review Application document and noted that hardly any of the drug overdoses had any connection with the club.
“Only one of the 8 medical incidents (including the four deaths) has been linked to drugs supplied inside fabric,” he reported.
“The rest seem to have found them outside the club and taken them prior to entering, with the first incident having sourced their MDMA as far away as Bedfordshire.” (Democracy.islington.gov )
Berlin based publicist Melissa Taylor, who worked at the club for its first seven years, echoed the petition’s assessment.
“I’m a former employee of fabric and know quite well how much the staff there care about music and their customers. Revoking fabric’s license would be an act of gross stupidity by the police and council,” she wrote on Facebook.
“It’s an extremely safe club, with friendly dedicated security and very professional staff. Drugs are everywhere and closing fabric would just force more consumption underground and into ever more unsafe environments with no security or medical teams.
It is a hugely important club for our scene, one that generates taxes for the government and council, as well as thousands of jobs for club staff, record label staff, artists, bookers, managers, agents, artists, graphic designers, sound & light, pressing plants etc etc. Fabric is an important part of Britain’s cultural heritage and must be kept open,” she urged.
“Regardless of the outcome of tonight’s decision we will be open this weekend and in the immediate future,” they promised.
Following the last minute Save Fabric campaign police and councillors backed down, on the proviso that fabric pay for seven police approved sniffer dogs to monitor their queues from now on.
“We do everything we can to stop people taking drugs in the club. What’s happened recently is this country is awash with drugs,” Fabric owner Keith Reilly
told the Standard following the club’s last minute reprieve.
“There’s been a large batch of MDMA that’s got more powerful and has caught the kids out,” he said. http://bit.ly/1uZnEZD
And in another development late on Friday, fabric issued a statement declaring they were ‘disappointed with the outcome of last night’s review and the fact that our points weren’t taken on board.’
“Please note: none of the measures listed in the outcome of the review will come in to affect until after we have seen the Council’s written report and we have decided how we intend to appeal certain points,” they added (presumably meaning sniffer dogs won’t be there over Xmas).
“We genuinely look forward to getting on with what we do best, putting on forward thinking events, starting tonight and all throughout the busy festive and New Year period.”