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Fabric is closed – so what does this mean for UK nightlife?

This is a watershed moment that proves that UK nightlife needs to be protected, not prosecuted

  • WORDS: SEB WHEELER & PATRICK HINTON | ILLUSTRATION: PATCH KEYES
  • 7 September 2016
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It’s also imperative that night clubs, and wider electronic music culture, are viewed with the cultural importance that they deserve. Clubs are incubators for new artists, genres and scenes that impact and influence culture on a worldwide scale. The sparks for this creativity begins in DJ booths and on dance floors. A venue like Fabric is more deserving of a Blue Plaque than a banning order.

In its 17 years of operation, the club has welcomed over six million dancers through its doors and hosted sets from over 5,000 artists. The impact it has had in inspiring a new generation of music makers and giving a platform for fledgling artists to excel to heights is incalculable. Beyond the realms of the physical location, the 178 Fabric and FABRICLIVE mix CDs it has released through its in-house Fabric Records labels have equally inspired millions of people worldwide. Similarly, its Houndstooth artist-led offshoot has been responsible for promoting new artists to become renowned figures, handing the likes of Call Super and Second Storey their debut releases. The loss of Fabric and all its linked offshoots will be felt far and wide, and no consideration of its cultural importance has been accounted for.

Key to lobbying for drugs education and the legitimacy of Night Time culture and economy – which is worth £66bn to the UK – are groups like the Night Time Industries Association, which campaigns on behalf of the sector and is responsible for the movement as well as a potential Fund For Fabric. So too will be Mayor of London Sadiq Khan’s Night Czar, who when chosen, will be a much-needed mediator between clubs, the police and government. Such a figure would have been beneficial during the discussion around Fabric’s licence and is inspired by the effectiveness of Amsterdam’s Night Mayor. A Czar could also be installed in other UK cities, meaning clubbing scenes across the country are made safe and secure.

And that’s the whole point. These scenes and the clubs that populate them are the gateway into electronic music and the culture that we live, breath and contribute to every day. They should be cherished, not prosecuted. The closure of Fabric is a watershed moment: in no way should something like this be allowed to happen again.

Seb Wheeler is Mixmag's Digital Editor. Patrick Hinton is Mixmag's Digital Intern

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