Sunday 8 January 2017

Fabric Finally Reopens


In the cavernous space below Farringdon, it was almost a night like any other. Blue, green, red and orange strobes flashed and bounced off the club’s rugged walls, every molecule in the air pulsed with the bassline and the crowds moved in a frenzy across the dancefloor. But there was one difference: smiling down upon them all in Room 1 was a banner bearing a happy face and the words: “You Saved Fabric”.

After a tense five months, this was Fabric’s first time reopening to the public, and the crowds who queued outside from 11pm were in high spirits.

Paramedic Jimmy, 25, hadn’t been to Fabric for a few years but threw his weight behind the Save Fabric campaign and said he wanted to be at the “historical moment” of its reopening.

“We wanted to come and support it on its opening night,” he said. “After all the club closures that London has had, this is the one that has finally fought back and won the battle to stay open.

“It’s a nice middle finger up to the gentrification of the area. I’m a paramedic and so I’ve seen how people take drugs everywhere, at festivals it’s way worse, so it feels like Fabric was just used as a scapegoat.”

He was accompanied by Jenny, 23, who donated £30 towards the Save Fabric campaign. She too felt like Fabric had been made an example of. “I’ve been here before it closed and it’s absolutely insane and I hope it will stay that way,” she said. “People love it for what it is. London nightlife is under attack and drugs are just being used as an excuse.

“Ironically I think Fabric already had the most stringent checks in London, it was like coming through an airport. Last time I was here, when I came out they made me type my password into my phone to make sure it wasn’t stolen. So it was already extreme.”

The future of the famed London club had been called into question after two 18-year-olds died after taking drugs on the premises last year. The police accused the venue of having a “culture of drug use” and temporarily took away its licence, which was perceived by many as an outright declaration of war on London’s already diminishing nightlife.

The Save Fabric campaign got backing from clubbers and famous DJs from around the world: £320,000 was raised in support and eventually in December Islington council agreed to let the club reopen with a new set of even stricter regulations. They include no entry for those under 19 and a lifetime ban for anyone found asking for drugs.

On Friday night, club-goers were searched and patted down thoroughly as they entered and signs reminding patrons of the zero-tolerance to drugs were placed along the queue barriers. Inside the club a new welfare area was set up for those who had lost their friends or needed assistance.


The new security regulations had support among many of the clubbers. JJ, 30, bought tickets for the reopening night a month ago. “I love the atmosphere, it stands out compared to all other London venues but I think the new restrictions are a good thing,” he said. “I was approached by drug dealers a few times in the club before and saw people openly taking drugs, so I think them trying to make things safer and stop this is a positive move.”

Sophie, 24, who travelled from Kent for the night, said: “I’ve been to Fabric a lot of times and I did lose interest in it. It got a bit boring and a place people went to take drugs, so now I’m hoping its reopening will draw a new crowd. Obviously because it’s open late people use it for the wrong reasons, I’m not going to lie, I’ve used it for the wrong reasons, but I’m hoping now it will be a bit different.”

The line-up had been kept a secret but was revealed to include drum and bass acts such as Chase and Status, Dillinja and Metrik; grime DJ Sir Spyro; and Manchester DJ Chimpo. Tickets for the night sold o

The hype generated by the Save Fabric campaign drew many people to the reopening who had never been to Fabric before and had worried they might never get the chance.

Shakice Hay, 23, from east London, said: “I never really came to Fabric before but heard it got shut down and so thought I’d come and see it for myself on my night off. I think them being stricter about drugs is how it should be, particularly if people don’t know how to control themselves when they take them and don’t know their limits. I don’t see why everyone can’t have a great night on a bit of alcohol.”

Connor, 20, had travelled all the way from Corby, Northamptonshire, for the night. “I was worried for a while that I had missed my chance to see Fabric,” he said. “After everything that happened with it closing, and all the drum and bass and grime acts who have played here, it holds such an important place in British music. I wanted to see it for myself.”



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