Say Good Bye to Fabric...
Mike Kryptomedic talks openly about the recent closure of London's legendary Fabric and the war on clubbing.
Over the past decade we have seen quite a trend in London Nightlife as club after club shut down and we were forced to say goodbye to places and venues many called home. Last night there was a council meeting in Islington, London to decide the fate of yet another historic venue, Fabric, a club that was recently forced to shut down as a result of drug related deaths.
Fabric was one of the most important clubs in not only the Drum and Bass scene but also to London Underground Music itself. For many it was a Mecca and a reason to travel to London, or perhaps even on top of their “To Do” or “Before I Die” lists. Fabric was something special, and even for local Englanders a reason to celebrate when going out. It was a place to meet friends, to see amazing acts and hear incredible music, to dance and laugh, and needless to say some even had their first Skank in Fabric... and hell who can forget the elderly Polish couple who made worldwide news and became Legends by hitting Fabric earlier this year and staying all night long?
For me, as an artist, Fabric was so important that I said I won't step foot inside until I am playing. Now I will forever have to bite this bullet and face the fact that I didn't get to share in the legendary vibes I had so often heard of, but at the same time, I do respect and love the culture that much that I am ok with it. That being said, on wednesday night I was locked on to the Live Blog from DJ Mag praying, like so many around the world, for a light at the end of the tunnel, some hope in this “war on clubbing”, and the chance that I may still one day visit such a legendary club.
I caught on late to the Live Blog Feed and had to scroll backwards to read all the events from the beginning (For anyone else who wants to read it back and see how it went down the full blog can be found here http://www.djmag.com/news/fabrics-licensing-hearing-liveblog ). First thing I could see when I scrolled to the beginning was that the petition to Save Fabric had reached around 150 Thousand signatures, with so many people behind it, there must be hope I thought, right? As I continued to scroll through to catch up I saw both sides make their arguments, the Metropolitan Police opening by saying:
“This is a final review, following a summary review submitted on the 10th of August, submitted after the tragic deaths of two teenagers in six-week period after attending fabric nightclub. These are individuals that were allowed to access the venue in possession of drugs, and were also able to purchase MDMA once inside the venue. They are the three aspects I would like to focus on.”
Following this opening a number of health concerns were posed as well as security concerns, with the police citing a number of occasions where officers dealt with or were in the club. This led up to what for me and many others was one of the moments highlighting an unjust prejudice towards the music, with the following comment being noted:
“Question raised whether the BPM of music played at the venue could be used to tackle drugs deaths.”
What the hell should that even mean? It made me so mad to read, and even now as I write about it.... I would like to take a moment and address that person directly here in the article and just say this:
Who do you think you are, and how dumb can you honestly be? To raise such a question and think we would be so blind as to not notice or so naive as to let this slide is simply insulting. This question itself is a direct attack on Electronic Music, be it Drum and Bass or whatever other genre it is that you may not be comfortable with. It leads me to believe you are old and outdated and on that note I hope I am correct for time is fleeting and the sooner the world is rid of minds like yours the better off we will all be.
Ok. Sorry. Now to continue... Eventually Fabric would have their say in the matter as their side had also the chance to speak. From locals making statements like:
“Fabric is a venue with international reputation, and should be supported by Islington.”
To Fiona Masham, a professor in Criminology at the University of Durham and Co-Director of The Loop and Director of its Drug Testing saying things like;
“In all my experience of drug testing at events in the UK, fabric are one of the best at providing security, paramedics and processes for welfare.”
”My professional view is that closing fabric would not reduce ecstasy use in London. The concern that closing a club creates displacement, which would potentially increase ecstasy related problems in the city.”
I watched as it continued on but soon after this point fell asleep. Today I woke up, having a good rest and remembered feeling fairly hopeful as I was falling asleep. The meeting in my eyes was starting to have a good swing in a positive direction, I think I even remember reading Fabric Co-Founder Cameron Leslie begin his arguments and statements about the club trying to be as transparent as possible with authorities. So here we go I thought, get up, make some coffee, check out that the meeting continued that way and some middle ground was found and all is good in the world again. Right?
As it would turn out, the council meeting ended with both sides having two minutes to sum up their cases and while Fabric reached the end stating:
“Fabric has a clear and significant desire to constantly work to improve conditions,” he continues, before asking, “Have we really reached the tipping point where the venue must be closed?”
But it was the Metropolitan Police who made their final arguments saying the club had never lived up to the changes that needed to be made and therefore revocation of the license should be the first choice in this case.
After the final statements and arguments the committee was to meet behind closed doors to make the decision and come forth with a ruling which was read by a miss Flora Williamson of Islington.
“The following facts were found to have occurred, two patrons have died at the venue this year, after purchasing drugs inside the nightclub.
“People entering the club were inadequately searched, and it was abundantly obvious patrons were under the influence of drugs.
“Deaths at the club have involved people that are very young, with numerous breaches of the licensing agreement, as a culture of drugs exists at the club which management cannot control.
“The Licensing Sub Committee has considered adding more conditions, but it does not feel these would be adequate in tackling the issue.
“We therefore decided that a revocation of the license is appropriate in that regard.”
...And that was that, the license was revoked and Fabric's doors shall now remain closed. Today countless cries of outrage and displeasure fill social media from all corners of the globe. In a world where so much wickedness exists, so much negativity, and so much stress and turmoil fall upon us at times, somehow the council found that taking away a club will change the need to escape and thus curb drug use and deaths. Many however ask if that is the real driving force behind this shut down or is there something else driving it, politics maybe, gains to be had, money to be made perhaps, contracts to sign as new apartments are developed, or some speculate even a museum.
Whatever the case of what to come is, one thing is for sure. Fabric is gone. Behind, it leaves the world with its Fabric Live Mix Series found on their SoundCloud ( https://soundcloud.com/fabric ) and countless fans and patrons of the venue with memories and vibes that will surely last a life time. For the rest of us a dream of forever what could have been and perhaps the passion and motivation not to let other experiences slip through our fingers. Go out, visit where you want to, do what makes you happy, don’t wait for tomorrow, do it today...because...tomorrow, that festival, or venue, or monument you wanted to see forever, may just be shut down.