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I did know the arches. It too was closed by bullshit like this. In turn a cafe and world class arts venue were lost.
I loved to the arches. I can imagine many many people loved fabric.
Big fan of people enacting laws and judgements who are far removed from the world in which these decisions will impact.
Honestly feels like the decision to close it was made a long time ago and the recent deaths are just being used to nudge it over the line. Laughable that inadequate searches were given as the main reason, think I've been to airports with less thorough search procedures.
Islington Council and the Met Police's conduct through all this has been utterly appalling too, from using the drugs that Fabric confiscated and handed over as evidence against them to trying to blame the club for the death of someone who took 4 pills (3 of which he smuggled in) in 15 minutes. They also ducked the question of portable drug testing kits (something suggested by Fabric and used effectively at WHP last year) during the review hearing. One of the councillors even suggested that lowering the BPM of music played or painting the walls a lighter colour would discourage people from taking drugs at the venue, which shows just how little clue some of these people had.
The worst part is that if Fabric can't withstand a license review then nowhere can. That judge that reviewed the case last year said that Fabric was a beacon of best practice, and as recently as June the police were showing other local licensees Fabric's processes as an example of how it should be done. The last 2 years have seen Shapes, Dance Tunnel, Plastic People and now Fabric close with Coronet likely to follow too (just in time for the Night Tube, heh). None of this is going to have any impact in the war on drugs; it's just going to force rave culture back underground to places with inadequate security, no medical facilities and no free water. But then you get the feeling that safety wasn't ever really the primary concern.
The NTIA have already said they'll appeal the decision but given what they're up against I don't fancy their chances. Goes without saying but the club is (was) one of the best and by far the best I've been to in the UK. The bank holiday night last year with Ricardo Villalobos and Ben Klock will probably be the best club night I ever go to. The end of an era and probably the beginning of the end for club culture in the UK as a whole.
just a change in what it means. As you said, you just push it from safe spaces into fringe ones. People aren't going to stop taking drugs or partying anytime soon. Like it or not, it's a massive part of UK culture in general.
Bloc bloke will be pleased.
So it's already changing.
They just tend to be for awful fucking psy trance - spent many a weekend in 2007/8 going to fields / warehouses in the middle of nowhere which were fun but the music was dire.
was that the various Criminal Justice Acts made it impossible to do otherwise.
didn't know about these details, although it doesn't surprise me that the police continue to wage war on club culture.
but jfc, what the fuck? Was gobsmacked when I woke up and saw this today.
Don't know anything about how any of the processes which closed it work but it feels like those who made the decision are living in some weird dream fantasy land w/r/t drugs. Fucking hell.
but London seems like a massively different place to the city I moved to in 2010
they're fucking imbeciles, this is completely a case of 'can't be arsed with the complexity of this issue, let's just shut it down and take it off the agenda, it's only druggies and youths, they won't do shit'
it's Islington Council who made this (on the face of it, rotten) decision, would Fabric be able to relaunch in a different London Borough d'we think?
to open anywhere in London?
It was an honest question on a subject I know nothing about.
Too good at what they do to not. Whether they can find a space like that in a central location is another matter, though.
There's also Bloc's "super club" to be opened, but I'm still off the opinion that... fuck those guys.
I saw Khan said something in defence of Fabric and that he wanted to try and keep it open but not sure what power he has over this sort of thing or, even, whether or not he was being sincere etc.
Though he wants to create a "night czar' which suggests he'd quite like to have those powers.
Thing is - it's a tricky one. Support for clubs like Fabric will always inescapably come down to support for an industry which a) acts as a large conduit for illegal activity (in this instance, drugs) and b) which, in spite of its best efforts, is structurally and systematically unable to fully address. Not sure how you can ultimately get out of that when clubs like Fabric get into trouble.
Of course one of the lads who died at Fabric took 4 pills in an hour didn't he? Amazing how the future of something so significant can be fucked by just one person being a total fucking idiot. No sympathy for him.
management of point a) don't they. What are they doing so differently, I wonder.
that 6 people have died.
Compared to, say, other music festivals, football matches, pubs, prisons, or financial institutions in the city, Fabric has done much more to make the lives of people safer in relation to drugs and is much better at preventing drugs being used and sold within its premises.
Ultimately though, as we all know, Fabric operated essentially as a large building full of people taking illegal drugs. Everyone knows this, and it's central to the success of it as a business. The point is about how does one argue against it to ensure the survival of clubs? Is it simply a matter, as UP mentions below, of having less uptight people on council committees and the like?
My own view is that if you want to go to a club and take drugs you take that risk and that's up to you. Kind of angers me that this has all happened simply because a small number of teenagers have been fucking stupid in a short period of time.
He was 18, may have had little education in drug culture etc which is a massive part of the problem.
But we live in an age where drug education and information is more accessible than ever if you ask me. Maybe my language is a bit harsh but his decision was in his control, no-one elses.
This isnt just a decision by a council. It is essentially a kicensing board SUB committee. Always populated by the worst kind of NIMBY cunts and grandpas and people who believe in concepts such as "gateway drugs" and genuinely believe that people who elevate their serotonin using mdma to enhance a communal music experience are on some kind of "slippery slope" to shooting brown into their groins in the doorways to ncp carparks and robbing old ladies outside post offices. It is atrocious that they wield the power they do over our culture and social lives, all in the name of a misperception of a public health issue. I hope that the mayor's office are today making some trouble - these committees generally come up for retirement/ re-election / appointment (in reality) every couple of years.
Public lawyers may have some ideas a out challenge to the decision - judicial review?
I am just appalled and dismayed that this has happened for such tenuous and misrepresented "reasons".
Kahn was in favour of keeping Fabric open, but has no power at all over licencing.
The whole thing comes down to this country's increasingly authoritarian approach to drug policy - I mean, I don't understand why people want to take drugs myself, but it's pretty obvious that the current war on drugs is just sending us back into more harmful scenarios where there's zero control/knowledge over what people are selling/taking rather than at least allowing it to happen in a controlled and safer way.
of something which it is both impossible and more dangerous to police, in spite of never having taken a Class A in my life.
Fabric seems to have contributed practically zero harm in the time it's been there. There's a logical issue between these two things which I can't square off.
Over licensing, but he has power and influence over all matters relating to the city. He's probably too decent a sort to use/ abuse that power, but I wish he would
who would, if it was of benefit to him.
Sadiq seems like one of the good guys but he's a ruthless opportunist and no denyin'.
If a council wants you out, they will find a way, it seems.
from what I saw of that Madame Jojo's story, it seemed like the security was being heavily mismanaged - I don't blame them for withdrawing the licence given the fact that the bouncers were using baseball bats as weapons, particularly since they were allegedly stored somewhere there's next to no way the management shouldn't have been aware of it.
That's one where I'm sad to see the venue go, but to me responsibility lies with those running the place for fucking up.
and the bouncer story was massively exaggerated? I may have imagined that.
`the Walker's Court area` including Madame JoJos. So it was always going to be changed in some form sooner or later. As far as I'm aware there was no call from the owners to close it ahead of this but the police stepped in after the above incident.
The early demise of Madame JoJos was definitely more preventable and understandable than this Fabric decision.
There was a strong feeling among many of us within the community that it was a stitch up to get things moving along quicker.
"During the course of the trial, the court heard how Mr Noor had been aggressive, abusive and threatened to stab and kill staff providing security to the club. CCTV evidence showed him throwing glass bottles. A passer by was hit and needed hospital treatment for serious cuts. The jury was also told that Mr Noor had numerous previous convictions including for violence, possession of a knife in public, robbery and possession of drugs."
This Noor guy also hung around the charity shop located in the sex alley part of Soho that I used to volunteer in (the charity shop not the sex alley!).
I think the owners (Soho Estates) were fairly relaxed about Madame JoJos remaining but the police had had numerous problems with the venue in the preceding years. Things would have `moved along` at the pace of the owners' redevelopment of the area. So don't think it was necessarily stitch up, but I think the police/council had already taken a dim view of Madame JoJos and had no qualms about revoking its license after the final incident.
are the minutes of the licencing review. Madam Jojo's representatives didn't dispute the events as laid out by the police. They set out a series of steps they were willing to take, but given the way things had gone previously it's not entirely surprising that the council chose not to trust that those steps would be taken/resolve the problems. A far cry from Fabric going from a best-in-class example to worthy only of closure in a couple of months.
Appreciate that Madam Jojo's may have had a history of unsavory instances (although this isn't mentioned in the Sub Committee minutes) which put them on more shaky ground, the fact that the bouncer involved in the incident has been cleared of all wrong doing, and the man he 'assaulted' is serving 22 months in relation to his involvement in the incident, suggests that the level of force used by the bouncer in dealing with the situation was reasonable in the circumstances. This being the case, this incident should not, as and of itself, been used as a basis to shut the venue.
As for the Fabric closure, it is quite clearly an absolute, disgraceful stitch up
There were a catalogue of failings there than have nothing to do with the level of force used. The fact that weapons were both stored and authorised. The failure to call the police, The apparent collusion with taxi operators. The lack of first aid available and administered. The complete lack of interest from the management in how day-to-day operations were being managed until their neck was on the line. Whether the level of force used passed the bar of criminal barely seems to have registered in the meeting. That's all in stark contrast to the Fabric situation.
That weapons were stored at the premises not in itself illegal, and the court obviously found that their use in this particular situation was justified.
I agree entirely that they should have called the police, but given that both the bouncers and the club's patrons were being pelted with broken glass, I think it's understandable that they took action immediately. Again, the court obviously agreed.
The lack of adequate first aid is a very significant failing. However, I wouldn't have though this instance alone was sufficient to revoke their licence, unless there were repeated failings in this regard.
The verdict in the bouncer's assault case had not been handed down at the time of the Sub Committee meeting, so wouldn't have been a point of discussion. It is clear from the minutes however that the Sub Committee revoked the licence primarily on the basis "that serious assaults with injury had taken place in the early hours of 24 October" (concluding paragraph). The point I was making was that that a Crown Court decision has subsequently confirmed that no assault in fact took place (I haven't read the decision but presumably on the basis that the bouncer was acting with reasonable force in the protection of himself and/or others). Consequently, the "serious assaults" should not have been used as a basis to revoke the licence.
All of this said, I agree with you entirely that all of this is in very stark contrast to the Fabric situation, which is the main issue
I remember the venues down there (including Madame JoJos) asking for increased police presence to deal with a small group of people who were repeatedly assaulting passers-by and customers when they were standing on the pavement.
The Met essentially told them that they wouldn't police the street, and that any violence was the responsibility of the venues to sort out - and ever since there'd been an ongoing war or words.
there was already a heavy police presence in the area to deal with the respective fallouts from people/drug traficking in Walker's Court. Unless this is a separate issue I can imagine why the police would deem the area reasonably well covered.
there is a correlation between reduction in police numbers and club closures:
it was just a wanky nightclub playing awful music for shitcunts
did anyone here
and does anyone here actually bother organising against gentrification
it's just a load of bollocks
Didn't really enjoy myself
although we won't do anything about it bd
It seems like bullshit that it's being closed down to me
do those 6 million people who've been there in the last 4 years really exist
did anyone really die
all good points bd
These plans are for a building that has been unused for decades now.
And the current Museum Of London is only a few mins down the road from Fabric.
And the bass was that intense I thought Fabric had a vibrating floor.
*as in music not drug ;)
Not intended as a pop at you, but your view that "Fabric operated essentially as a large building full of people taking illegal drugs" simply doesn't reflect the reality of the position.
Your view, I'm sure, will shared by a huge number of people, but Fabric genuinely did more than any other club in the UK to deal with the drug issue, which would be a problem for *any* club, let alone one their size.
Given the club's commendable (and widely acknowledged) track record, that the council shut them down partly on the basis that a guy died after triple dropping three pills that he didn't even purchase in there is bewildering. As people have stated on here, the search procedures they have are about as rigorous as they can be. In a lot instances the 'drugs' involved would be pills that are millimeters in diameter, or a tiny plastic bag, hidden in people's underwear. Short of strip searching, which would be illegal anyway, I'm not entirely sure what else they are meant to do. To be closed down largely on the basis that their search procedures are "inadequate" means that quite literally any club in the UK could be closed down overnight.
The more you read, the more the whole thing seems utterly suspect. Hopefully they will be given a reasonable hearing at appeal, but given they've had their licence removed on the basis the most perfunctory police operation, and substantial evidence of their good practice, suggests this isn't going to happen
Fabric seemingly did as much as they could re: drugs to save their licence. I have no criticism of them. Sounds like they were as compliant as they could have been and fair play.
I think my point is being missed here - am I or am I not wrong that the majority of people who go to clubs like Fabric take some form of illegal drug. From my understanding, therefore, the club is full of people partaking in illegal activity. My point is about - what is the answer here? Given that the police, the council and everyone knows most people in there are dropping molly all over the place?
I personally see no issue with it - but what's the answer in order to stop clubs being shut down given this information? Do we legalise things like MDMA etc.? Or do we make a cultural decision to forgoe that aspect of the law for the greater good of clubland. Fabric got a bum deal - how do we stop more clubs shutting down?
particularly in a club like Fabric which was a significant tourist attraction and not necessarily full of hardcore clubbers "dropping molly all over the place" ;)
The issue of drugs is as old as the hills and there are no easy answers. The Met Police aren't stupid though. They know that shutting Fabric will not result in people stopping taking drugs. As people on here have stated, shutting clubs will simply result in more warehouse and squat parties, which will likely result in more drug casualties and an increase in public order offences when the police are resisted when trying to shut these down (you can see this happening in South London already). This is what makes their decision to go after Fabric so stupefying.
Surely from both a policing and public safety standpoint, if people are going to take drugs, it is better they do so in a space where there are St John's ambulance staff present at all times if they get into trouble, and that don't erupt into mini-riots when the police attempt to turn off the music?
In answer to your question, I personally think the Dutch/German model of essentially decriminalizing recreational drugs is the way to go - the UK consumes way more drugs/person than any other European country, so it is a massive issue - but that will obviously never, ever happen here
I've had some of the best nights of my life in fabric, and never taken drugs there (y)
During a nighttime raid on Amsterdam club Escape, police found 569 ecstacy pills, more than 60 cocaine wraps, 40 bottles containing GBH, 35 capsules with liquid cocaine and several lumps of heroin.
The Amsterdam mayor ordered the immediate closure of the club, which was lifted after 3 weeks following consultation between the owners, the police and the local council.
being a lot more chilled out about it all and co-operative with clubs etc.?
Clubbing ain't going away, drugs aren't going away, the relationship between the 2 isn't going away. Let's see some decent thinking on the matter! Yours is a fair starting point - has to be said.
only went once a few years ago but found it pretty cavernous, the doormen a bit pushy and the crowd not really into the music. Decided to avoid it after that despite the line ups.
HOWEVER, this is pretty shit. It was a complete joke that Dance Tunnel, Shapes and Passing Clouds closed within weeks of each other.
This article kinda shows how bad it is right now (Cafe OTO!):
It's kinda funny because I don't think club/dance culture has been so popular in years. There's still a massive audience out there. I know there's a new club coming in East London and Phonox opened successfully last year. If Corsica goes though, then fucking hell...
Somehow this seems potentially important and relevant. Anyone got any idea what they were?
which is slap bang in the middle of the area where they are making Farringdon Crossrail station, one of the main hubs on that line. Every single building in the vicinity has been or is in the process of being knocked down or renovated, even the buildings from 3000BC or whatever. Anything that says they were closed down for any other reason just makes me go "hmm, chinny reckon". Surprised they held out for so long really.
was always fun seeing people coming out of a club when i was going to get bread or milk or #eggs on a sunday morning.
but thoroughly unsurprising. It's a combination of the council just wanting rid of a perceived nuisance and a desire to develop the land it sits on. Nothing else. If they think that making it disappear will stop drug taking then, well, we know the rest. Fact is it just deprives those of us who want to listen to the very best DJs in the very best atmosphere and dance without chemicals, which is majority.
I once got so pissed in there it took me and a mate 30 minutes to find the exit. We wound up back where we started three times, so eventually just gave up and got another drink.
Have also never done illegal drugs in there.