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Own fabric London’s Old Room Two Soundsystem

What a week to be a lover of techno and house: yesterday pieces of Berghain’s mural went up for sale and today you could become the proud owner of fabric London’s old Room Two soundsystem!

The Martin Audio speakers are up for auction on eBay, available following 16 years plus of use inside Room Two of the iconic Islington nightclub. They were replaced by a Pioneer Pro Audio system in August of 2016, although that was never officially unveiled until January of this year as a result of the club’s notorious closure and reopening battle with local officials.

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Witness fabric’s Reopening Weekend Through These 30 Beautiful Photos

 

This past weekend we saw the curtains of fabric London finally reopen, a rejoicing moment for nightlife supporters around the world, and more so for those in the city of London.

The Islington club was packed for both nights, with Seth Troxler b2b Craig Richards, Terry Francis, Daniel Avery, Ben Sims and Anthony Parasole all featured. Enjoy the picture galleries from both nights below courtesy of Sarah Ginn and Nick Ensing

 

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fabric Will Reopen on January 6th

fabric reopenng banner

The date has been set: fabric London has scheduled its official reopening for January 6th.

The London venue won its license back two weeks ago following a hard-fought battle with local officials. The reopening will come with a series of must-comply conditions including lifetime bans for anyone found in possession of drugs, increased CCTV cameras and covert surveillance inside the club. We voiced our opinions on the matter, stating that while the news was a positive one, the conditions set a dangerous precedent and don’t in fact properly tackle the problems that resulted in the club’s closure in the first place. fabric’s return comes after four months of closure which saw the Islington music institution create headlines around the world when it was shut down following two drug-related deaths earlier this year.

Although the lineup for January 6th will remain secret, fabric is labeling the night as “a cherished moment in our history.” The Fabriclive “friends and family” affair will be followed by a second night on January 7th which will also still has not confirmed lineup except for residents Terry Francis and Craig Richards. A Wetyourself party on Sunday, January 8th will round off the club’s reopening weekend.

The statement from the club reads:

“It’s pretty much impossible for us to put a measure on just how much gratitude we are feeling right now to be able to announce our reopening proper. We’ve said it before and we will keep on saying it—you are all to thank for this. The credit for this is shared among hundreds of thousands of petition signers, letter writers, donors, t-shirt bearers, artists, party promoters and more than we can ever recount. A community of people from the world over who came together and continued the principal of unity that was central to the foundation of our culture—to save us.”

“Now it’s about what’s ahead of us. We’re looking ahead to filling our disco with our family of artists and club heads alike, with our soundsystems including our new Pioneer Pro Audio Room Two set up pushing out mesmeric high level sound. This is what it has always been about.”

H/T: RA

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Editorial: fabric’s Reopening Conditions Don’t Solve The Problem

fabric logo

Let me put my hands forward and state that I was nothing short of ecstatic when I heard yesterday that fabric had won its latest battle against local officials and was granted permission to reopen. The news is a win for dance music and nightlife culture in London, the United Kingdom and everywhere else, as evidenced by the sheer number of people that signed the #savefabric petition of support and donated money to the #saveourculture fundraiser initially intended to be used for an official appeal by the Islington club.

The club’s license is being reinstated with 32 specific conditions that have been agreed upon by all parties involved and approved by judge Robin McPhee at Highbury Magistrates Court.

The official joint statement, which you can read here, explains the history of how the agreement was reached and delineates the conditions that will need to be enforced as part of the venue’s Zero Tolerance to Drugs policy. Early on, it states that, “Fabric repudiates the online abuse aimed at Committee members and Council staff and will permanently exclude anyone who has been found to be involved,” while going on to specify that “Fabric Life will pay Islington’s costs in these proceedings directly and not from the monies pledged by supporters.”

It then lists some specific conditions to be enforced:

– The use of a new I.D. scanning system on entry to the club
– Enhanced searching procedures and controls
– Covert surveillance within the club
– Life-time bans for anyone found in possession of drugs, whether on entry or within the club
– Life-time bans for anyone trying to buy drugs in the club
– Enhanced monitoring and external auditing for compliance against procedures
– Physical changes to the club, including improved lighting and additional CCTV provision
– A new Security Company
– Persons under 19 years of age shall not be permitted to be on the premises as a customer or guest from 2000 hours on a Friday until 0800 hours on the following Monday or on any day during the hours that the operators promote a Core Club Night.

While fabric’s reopening is surely a victory, the wording of the joint statement sounds too eerily similar to that of plea bargain agreement, rather than one recognizing that the venue should have never been closed in the first place. Sure, while fabric may have been spared from expensive and lengthy legal proceedings, it is now being forced to use its own funds to pay Islington Council’s costs rather than those willingly donated by the club’s patrons and supporters. Further, those who stood alongside fabric and spoke up against the council’s decision to shut down the club could potentially find themselves banned from entering fabric’s doors ever again, an interesting set-back on the basic idea of free speech.

More worrying is the nature of the conditions that will now be put in place and, surely for the club’s sake, enforced vigorously. They clearly state that anyone found in possession of any drugs at point of entry or inside the club will be banned from the venue for life, as will anyone attempting to buy drugs inside fabric’s walls. Harsher searching procedures and the use of covert surveillance inside the venue will ensure that it will be incredibly hard for anyone to enter the club with drugs or to buy them once inside, least not for the huge penalty hanging over their head if caught doing so.

While the argument here is far from being pro-drugs, it leaves me to wonder if club-goers will simply find ways to work around these new rules while still consuming their drug of choice. It is not far-fetched, for example, to imagine ravers taking drugs right before entering the venue, perhaps as they get off the tube or while walking toward the club. The point being made here is the same one that has been repeated in the past when the topic of drug usage in the nightlife world comes up: the solution is not to blanket-ban drug usage or those who consume drugs, but to educate our youth on the effects of drugs and to provide safety measures whenever and wherever possible. We have so often seen illustrious and respected members of out community advocate for drug testing, and calling for solutions that do so in the name of education and safety. Judge McPhee, however, was quoted as saying, “I am satisfied that the council and Fabric pulled together to get a set of workable conditions to prevent drug use,” a statement that is frankly far too disconnected from the reality of nightlife and, as such, ultimately unrealistic.

By reaching an agreement and not going to court, fabric has foregone the chance of setting an important legal precedent which could have safeguarded not only the club’s future but that of any other venue facing similar problems in the years to come.  This isn’t a matter of condemning or condoning drug usage, it’s a matter of providing the true measures that will stop further deaths from happening in the future — the same deaths that brought about fabric’s closure in the first place. The current sanctions and conditions will not prevent club-goers from consuming drugs but will simply force them to take them earlier in the night or to get a little more clever so they do not get caught bringing them inside the club.

In fact some, including myself, argue that these conditions set a precedent that could be taking London’s nightlife a few steps back rather than forward. Very strict search procedures, covert surveillance, increased CCTV system and blanket bans will now be standard operating procedure in the biggest and most known nightclub in London. These conditions have been essentially labeled as a standard for others to follow, and that kind of statement has serious repercussions for nightlife as a whole.

For society to make progress on the subject of drug usage it needs to stop believing that Zero Tolerance policies work. They do not. We have seen it in a true large scale with America’s War On Drugs, and we see it confirmed every day on the streets of Amsterdam. Plenty of studies have supported the idea that decriminalizing drugs in the UK would result in less people consuming them, and The Times recently broke new ground declaring itself in favor of treating drug use and possession as a health issue rather than a crime. The policing at Glastonbury, UK’s biggest music festival, has often been described as “friendly”, with the Avon and Somerset force following a “policing by consent” policy. Interestingly enough, Glastonbury rarely sees drug-related deaths and reported improved crime and drug-related offenses for 2015, with a drastic fall from the year before. And how about Portugal’s excellent results following 15 years of drug decriminalization?

I could go on listing and citing evidence to this regard but I think the point is clear: fabric’s reopening is surely a win, but it’s one marred by a nonsensical Zero Tolerance approach that is unrealistic and unworkable. It’s imperative to not lose sight of why the club was shut down in the first place, a loss of life that is preventable with education and safety, rather than with the paranoia created through stricter searches, covert surveillance and blanket bans.

The battle has been won but the war to #saveourculture is far from over.

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You Saved fabric, London Club to Reopen!

fabric dj booth

It’s confirmed, fabric London will reopen!

The Islington club announced the fantastic news with a note on their Facebook page, thanking their supporters for making it happen.

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fabric Looking to Reopen With New Licensing Conditions

SaveFabric

Hopeful news coming out of London today: fabric is in advance talks with the local Islington Council and the Metropolitan Police to reopen in the near future.

The London venue had its license suspended and then ultimately revoked on September 6th following two drug-related deaths in summer and heavy pressure from local officials to shut its doors. The entire dance music community has since united to save what is considered to be one of the most iconic dance music nightclubs in the world, raising money to fund an official appeal that was originally scheduled to begin at Highbury Magistrates Court on November 28th.

The Islington Tribune has since reported that the appeal may not be necessary after all, stating that the club and police have been talking behind closed doors in an attempt to reach an out-of-court agreement on the matter that would allow the club to continue with business.

The move isn’t that surprising considering the overwhelming support received by fabric in their fight to stay in business. London’s own Mayor Sadiq Khan spoke against the closing of the club and has since appointed the city’s first Night Czar to work on developing London’s nightlife so that it’s protected and flourishing economically. Islington Council MP Emily Thornberry also stood by fabric’s side, as did the 160,000 who signed a petition to #savefabric and of course those who donated more than £320,000 for the club’s #saveculture campaign.

H/T: Resident Advisor

Why Are So Many Nightclubs in Europe Closing Down?

XOYO

It appears that European nightclubs are not benefiting from the very same rebirth and surge in popularity that we are witnessing with electronic music as a whole industry.

Based on data collected from Resident Advisor, the Economist published a study that dives into the decline in numbers of nightlife venues throughout Europe.

The accompanying map of Europe below tells a specific tale, one of a clubbing industry in the wane. Red dots delineate the European nightclubs that are listed as closed down in 2016 by Resident Advisor. The principal cause, you may have guessed, is gentrification. The term specifically refers to the transformation of an urban area caused by the purchase and renovation of houses by upper or middle-income families or individuals. While of course property value increases, this often results in displaced low-income families as well as the closure of small businesses and, as we are now seeing, businesses that cater to a lifestyle in contrast with that of the neighborhood’s new occupants.

Closing Down MapThe Economist lays out some key figures:

  • Between 2001 and 2011 the numbers of so called discotheken in the Netherlands fell by 38%.
  • In Britain there were 3,144 clubs in 2005 but only 1.733 ten years later (Source: Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers).
  • Again in Britain, in 2015 revenue were £1.2 billion ($1.7 billion), down from £1.5 billion in 2010.
  • In Berlin the number of music venues remains stable at 350 (120 clubs), although several long-established night spots have closed down.

Increased rent prices, lack of available venue space and the muffling effect of gentrification has hit the nightlife industry hard. This is no more evident than in London and, specifically, with the high-media case surrounding the revocation of fabric’s license. It takes one neighbor to complain for others to join suit, beginning a sort of power-war that sees local councils often swayed to keep “many voices” happy rather than to protect the late-night establishments in the area.

“If there’s one complaint, then the whole circus starts,” said Eelko Anceaux of De Marktkantine, one of the handful of clubs that bucked the trend and opened in Amsterdam in 2014. It is possible to build good relations with neighbors, he claims, also buying on a business strategy that sees his club double as a restaurant, thus adding a more acceptable value proposition to the eyes of families and middle-class residents. Yet, complaints about noise and drunk or stoned club-goers are hard to avoid, rendering the life of any club owner tricky to deal with.

Again, it must be understood that it’s these complaints that put local officials and politicians smack in between a rock and a hard place. We agree, of course, that the solution is never to shut down a night club just to second the whim of local yuppies who look down on the nightlife industry as a disease. The truth remains, however, that politicians get stricter about licenses, code violations, and complaints, often leading to accusations by venue owners and patrons of officials purposely targeting nightclubs as a result of pressure from commercial or residential neighbors. We have seen this happen to fabric prior to the recent closure, when the club won a year-long court battle against Islington Council, which wanted to introduce drug-sniffing dogs among other strict security measures. We have been seeing this happen with Ibiza clubs, who are being targeted with early sound curfews, fines, temporary closure for code violations or complete party shut-downs. We have seen this happen with the closure of u60311 in Frankfurt, and that of two Berlin clubs in 2015 for fire code violations. And there are plenty more such examples.

There is no point in denying the inevitable: despite the action by some cities to prevent the decline from continuing further, we are likely to keep seeing this trend in the near future. Amsterdam has had a Night Mayor since 2002, a position that lobbies on behalf of night-time club and entertainment venue owners. Recently the City of London announced that it is recruiting for the position of Night Czar, charged with transforming the city into a true 24-hour destination. In Germany, Mr. Lutz Leichsenring of the Club Commission sits on a working group for the Berlin chamber of commerce, while Berghain/Panorama Bar was recently bestowed the honor of being recognized as a “high-culture venue“. The idea is for these night-time positions to increase and improve relations between governments, neighborhoods and of course clubs and other type of late-night music venues.

Despite the above, there are other factors responsible for the slump of the nightlife industry in Europe: the decline of 24-hour party people. There are social changes that are in themselves changing the way the current youth generation thinks and behaves. Firstly, the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and and Drug Addictions is reporting a marked decline in MDMA consumption with 15-34 year olds in Germany, Britain, Denmark and Spain. While trends in the use of other drugs less closely linked to clubbing, such as cannabis and cocaine, vary by country, the statistics relating to ecstasy indicate that the European youth of today may surprisingly me more abstemious than that of 10-20 years ago. This idea is further strengthened by statistics that point to a fall of heavy alcohol consumption among young people. In Britain alone, between 2005 and 2013 the proportion of 16-24-year-olds who were frequent drinkers (defined as drinking alcohol on five days in the previous week) fell from 7% to 2%. The price of drinking has also increased, which, coupled with 2008’s economic crisis and resultant years of austerity, is having a say on how much young people leave their house to party at nightclubs.

Drug Closing Down GraphThe second factor to impact on club prosperity is the surge in popularity of music festivals. In 2014 around 130 festivals took place in Amsterdam alone, while in Britain around 250 take place annually, up from 80 in 2004. Croatia is another country that has seen tens of festivals spring up out of nowhere in the last 5-8 years. Dance music fans are finding themselves saving up to attend these big-scale expensive weekend affairs, thus choosing not to visit nightclubs at home. Further, festivals can often drive up the price of booking big-name talent, making it hard for competing local venues to feature them on their weekend lineups.

This year the global nightlife scene has woken up to the aforementioned changes, launching initiatives to combat the problems causing this downward trend. The Opening Debate at this year’s Amsterdam Dance Event will featuring some of the brightest, highly passionate and most dedicated people the dance music industry has to offer giving their hotly sought opinions on important topics including the direction of nightlife in the UK and Europe in general.

While the movers and shakers in the scene keep working to ensure that nightlife remains protected, we encourage every single dance music fan in the world to support their local scene, venues, promoters, artists and record stores. Only united can we truly show local governments and communities that nightlife does matter.

Not All Heroes Wear Capes: Man Danced 24 Hours to Raise Funds for fabric London

Fabric Griffith

When you love something, you will go to any length to protect it.

That was exactly the case for a London fabric fan by the name of Tim Griffith, who decided to dance for 24 hours straight outside of the closed club in an attempt to raise £2,000 for its legal battle to re-open.

Griffith’s gofundme page clearly explains how music is his number one passion, a love that translates to a job as an audiovisual technician and a DJ/music production career which he continues in his spare time.  When talking about his planned exploit, Griffith explained, “A few weeks back I made the decision to organise a 24 hour, non-stop dance outside the doors of fabric, in order to raise money to contribute towards fabric’s legal fees, which the club needs to raise in order to appeal the revocation of their licence.”

#savefabric

A video posted by Charlie Hunter (@chas00000) on



The Islington club has officially appeared against the local council’s decision to revoke its license, with a formal court date set for Monday, November 28th. Dance music fans all over the world are raising funds online to assist with the legal fees and to ensure that the club staff are able to survive through this period. Thus far a total of £282,918 has been raised, with a series of dedicated benefit nights featuring top-tier acts such as Ricardo Villalobos, Nina Kraviz and Seth Troxler all scheduled for October and December. Griffith began the 24 hour dance marathon at noon GMT of Friday and terminated it successfully today.

 

Fight With fabric: Join the Fundraising Campaign to Save the Club

Fabric Campaign

London’s fabric is acting on their promise to fight to re-open the venue, launching an official campaign to raise money for its appeal against Islington Council’s decision to revoke their license.

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Remembering fabric: 10 of Our Favorite Live Set Recordings from fabric London

Sasha playing Room 1 at fabric in on the 21st of June 2003

Sasha playing Room 1 at fabric in on the 21st of June 2003

Less than 24 hours after the dance music community learned of fabric London’s forced closure, I choose to begin remembering the greatness of the iconic London venue through what it did best: its music.

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