Clubbers Share Memories Of Fabric After Closure Is Announced

Photo: Via @professorgreen.
At a hearing late on Tuesday evening, the Islington authorities decided that London nightclub fabric would lose its license and not reopen, according to The Guardian. The legendary club – one of the best known in Britain – had its license suspended on 12th August pending the investigation into the drug-related deaths of two people over the summer. At the seven hour hearing last night, evidence was heard from the Metropolitan Police, fabric's management, public health representatives, and Islington residents. After much deliberation, the council decided that drug searches by security staff had been “inadequate and in breach of the licence... People entering the club were inadequately searched." London Mayor Sadiq Khan had publicly backed the nightclub staying open saying: "London’s iconic clubs are an essential part of our cultural landscape...I am urging [the authorities] to find a common sense solution that ensures the club remains open while protecting the safety of those who want to enjoy London's clubbing scene." The nightclub played host to some of the world's biggest electronic DJs, including The Chemical Brothers, Richie Hawtin, Ricardo Villalobos, Fatboy Slim and Carl Craig, and many people in the music world have been lamenting its closure. Radio 1 DJ Nick Grimshaw told Refinery29 that he used to attend the nightclub while at university: "Even though it was a London club, if you loved music and raving, it was always a Mecca for clubbers. Even in Manchester and Liverpool people had posters and flyers on their walls of fabric and fabric alone. And everyone had their compilations. It set the tone for dance music being experimental and progressive and not just regressive dumb handbag house that the rest of the clubs banged out. It's more than going out dancing, it was a cultural institution."
Below some fans of the nightclub share their memories:
Dominic Jones, jewellery designer
I remember travelling to London when I'd just turned 17, a year before I ended up moving here, and blagging my way into fabric using a friend’s I.D. to see DJ Hype. It was so SO good. That night was a big part of my wanting to get into a London uni and the reason why I'm still here. These places – 'clubs' – are spaces where like-minded people meet each other. That sounds obvious but it needs stating, as they aren't just spaces to individually listen to music, they are where barriers come down and friendships are made. For me London has been such a successful place to build a career not just because of its education system but because the talented people across that system are able to meet each other through its night life. The friendships I've made through clubs have directly influenced and enhanced my ability to work with the most talented members of my peer group. Without the space in which to connect with new people and to build friendships outside our direct day to day pond of people, we limit our resources to create. No artist or designer becomes successful on their own, they become successful by being inspired, by being helped, by asking favours and advice of their friends. In my opinion, you are only as good as your friends, and I wouldn't have my friends if it wasn't for London's night life. The more we castrate London's night life and the space in which young people are able to become friends in a city that on the surface is hard and lonely, the shallower the pool in which people will mix, and consequently the weaker the creative output this city will produce.

James Hutchins, DJ
There have been so many times when I've walked out of fabric at the end of the night, completely in awe of the musical journey that I've been on and equally stunned by the sunlight in my eyes after emerging from seven or eight hours of my eyes being exposed to little more than club lights and lasers. I will, of course, never forget the first time I went, hearing LTJ Bukem in Room 2 with DJ Hype's Playaz in Room 1 was like nothing I've ever experienced before. The different styles of the music bringing all different kinds of people together and seeing the faces of the DJs absolutely having it is something that will continue to amaze me. Hopefully the decision to close fabric is something that the club can appeal and fight against as the venue is very much a key part of London’s cultural landscape.
Sarah Raphael, editor
Seth Troxler was playing on a Saturday night at 5am. I was 23, and with three friends, two of whom had come down from Bristol to see him. We didn’t have tickets, so decided to get there late, naively thinking it would be fine. Rocking up at 2am, giddy with excitement, we were greeted by the world's longest queue. We stood in it for 40 minutes, hardly moving, then decided to just go back to one of our houses and hang out, planning to return later when the queue had died down. We came back at 4.30am, sure that the queue would be gone by now. It was still the same size, even bigger, and we were bumming out hard. We joined the end of it. Then Seth Troxler walked up wheeling his record trolley, arriving fashionably late and cool AF for his 5am set and my friend Luke stuck his neck out of the queue and shouted “SETH, CAN YOU GET US IN MATE?” To our shock and elation, Seth went, “Yeah, alright. Let’s go.” So the four of us jumped out the queue. The hundreds of people in front of us looked furious. We went to the front, Seth got us in, gave us VIP wristbands and wished us a happy night. We couldn’t believe our luck. Another time, I woke up at 6am on a Sunday morning and went straight to fabric for one of their infamous, all-weekend-long birthday parties. Fabric is quite a sight when you’re sober on a Sunday morning – it looks like Danté’s Inferno. I went with my friend, who’s a bit of a wallflower, and never dances, (but she loves dance music and knows every thing about every DJ.) About four hours in, I looked over to see her moving her arms up from her side, as if in slow motion, right above her head, in a straight line. It doesn’t sound like much, but it was this amazing expression of freedom. I always remember her doing that.
Anneka Buckle, travel consultant and former fabric employee
Every time you descend the stairs and catch your first glimpse of Room 1, it just grabs you. That soundsystem, meticulous lighting and silhouette of happy clubbers in the moment makes you feel like you are part of something very special. The fabric birthdays will always stand out to me – 36 hours of unbeatable musical programming. You leave feeling educated and inspired – having had a fantastic workout! Everyone needs to experience this once in their life and it's a tragedy that now they might not get the chance. Laura Hinson, British Fashion Council
The best days and nights I had in fabric were always at the fabric birthday when the club is open all weekend. We always used to raid the fancy dress box, dress up and eat pizza sprawled on the floor in the smoking area; I remember getting chatted up by one of the DJs who was dressed up in a banana suit! The club always had such a special, jubilant, atmosphere on those birthday weekends…
Tom, writer
I was seventeen and had come down to London with a friend of mine from Manchester, to see Britney Spears in concert. We had both read about the cavernous world of fabric, and post Britney mime-fest we decided our first night at Fabric would be the perfect time to drop our first pill. It just so happened that Jaguar Skills were playing the club that night, and after sneaking in a medium sized plastic bottle of Rioja in my friend Hannah’s vagina, we spent the night on the best trip of our lives desperately trying to scramble on stage with Jaguar Skills. It was possibly the most euphoric night I had ever had, and I remember connecting with a man so intensely that we talked and danced and made out for five hours and decided we would take our children to Glastonbury and live in a treehouse. That was certainly the ecstasy talking, but the euphoria was definitely fabric. Fiona Monkey, marketing manager
Fabric was the first ever 'real' nightclub I went to. I was 19 and had grown up in a town where you were lucky to find anywhere open past normal pub hours. During my introduction to London nightlife, I'd started going to Plastic People in Shoreditch (now also defunct) and fabric was next on the hit list. It was the one venue I'd heard people speak about long before I'd even reached London, the big daddy of the clubs, London's answer to the Hacienda. I wasn't even a huge fan of dance music but it felt like some sort of London nightlife initiation, something everyone had to experience for themselves, at least once. My friends and I took the night bus to Farringdon and queued for over an hour to get in. I was young enough and hungry enough for the long wait not to agitate me. I'm not entirely sure what I was expecting; probably scenes from Kevin and Perry Go Large, green lasers blinding my eyes, podiums, semi-naked people, 'big fish little fish cardboard box' dance moves, Judge Jules wraparound blue sunglasses, flat beer and sweat. My suspicions were not far off. It's somewhat impossible for me to recall the exact details of what happened inside those four walls but I remember it as an experience like no other. I lost my passport, my keys, my wallet, most of my friends etc but discovered a place that managed to sum up what London meant to a newcomer: a place for everyone. It wasn't for rich people, it wasn't for poor people, it wasn't for one race or another. A cyclops with a horse's tail could have busted through those huge steel doors and felt at one with with the crowd. Fabric was for people who enjoyed music and dancing until the sun came up. Which I did, and continued to do. Drug fuelled or not (probably drug fuelled), there was a lot of love in that room.
Julia, band manager
Whenever I had bands over from America, they'd want to go to fabric. I've had brilliant nights there literally crowd-surfing with the DJs. When my friends from New York were over recently, they were desperate to go. They set their alarms for 3am to get up and go see Kölsch. It was still so relevant.

Tristan, editor
A night at fabric was always an excuse to have it large. Drugs were a big part of the experience, but I'll always remember walking into Room 1 for the first time as a teen, well before I'd touched the stuff, and being genuinely exhilarated by the scene of jokes people dancing to incredible music on the best sound system. I never left without making at least one new friend. Having said that my favourite memory is playing Mario Cart on a massive projected screen in Room 2, mashed on pills. Tom Wiltshire, Boiler Room New Business Director
My best best best memory of fabric was the time they opened up the shutters in the main room and let the light shine in. It felt so free and friendly in there for hours – if only that feeling could have been maintained throughout every night. Sadly, I think that comes with the maturity of the crowd, because for a lot of teenagers, going out culture is still geared towards getting wrecked.

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