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Save Fabric: The campaign that united clubland

Dance music found its voice and stood behind the London venue

  • Words: Funster | Illustration: Eliot Wyatt
  • 22 November 2016

At 1.05am on September 7, Mixmag tweeted three words that would reverberate around the world.

“Fabric will close.”

The dance music community fell to its knees as news that one of the most revered nightclubs and institutions that we’ve ever known would no longer operate. I was sat in Islington Town Hall for seven hours as the review took place to determine whether fabric was to lose or retain its licence following its suspension three weeks earlier.

It was one of the most draining experiences of my journalistic career. The police, the licensing authority and Cameron Leslie, fabric’s co-founder, presented their cases to a full room that housed DJs, journalists, members of the NTIA and a large amount of fabric’s staff, all of whose jobs were on the line.

At 1.05am when the decision was passed for the licence to be revoked, there weren’t gasps, there weren’t groans, there weren’t shouts of anger or dismay. There was silence. Complete and utter silence.

The reality that a venue, working at the pinnacle of professionalism for 17 years, a venue that provided over 250 jobs and one that’s welcomed millions of ravers over nearly two decades, would no longer open its doors, was too much for words.

The campaign to Save Fabric started on the steps of Islington town hall just minutes after the verdict was made. It was time to fight. It was time for fabric, the dance music media and the club community to rally together to battle this.

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