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Mayor's office: shutting fabric "would be like closing the Royal Albert Hall"

Emails reveal behind-the-scenes fight to save fabric as well as opinion of the Met Police

  • Words: Mark Wilding | Image: Nick Ensing
  • 12 January 2017
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As influential figures from the dance music world and beyond came together in support of fabric, the Mayor’s office held a series of secret meetings and phone calls in an attempt to broker a solution. They involved fabric, senior officers at the Met, Islington Council, and even the Night Mayor of Amsterdam. As we now know, the meetings – held between August 16 and September 2 – were unsuccessful.

At 1am on 7 September, as the decision to close the club was announced at the end of a gruelling meeting at Islington Town Hall, Broadhurst emailed the Deputy Mayors for Culture and Policing: “Awful outcome,” he said. “Very unexpected. Fabric have lost their licence.” Shortly afterwards, he added: “This is a big shock, and hard to explain having sat through the whole hearing. It will have major repercussions.” Responding to an email from a concerned member of the public, Simons described the decision as “so very very disappointing” and “a powerful example of why we need a new positive vision around the night time”.

Later that day, a discussion took place about whether the fabric decision could be used to push for new mayoral powers over major licensing decisions. One exchange between two individuals, whose identities have been redacted, went: “Do you want to freak out borough leaders??” prompting the reply: “Currently they have the power to make poor decisions that are shutting down venues across the city.” Simons instead suggested a “mediation service” to hold talks between clubs, councils, and the police, should a similar situation arise again.

 
 
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