Hello everybody. Been a long time, right? 3 years and 6 months since my last post, to be exact. I wish I was posting about some epic tunes, or groundbreaking new acts – but sadly I’m not. The decision made by Islington Borough Council to revoke Fabric’s licence is the driving factor for bringing this blog back to life one more time.
Together with my mate Rae, we wrote an open letter to Islington Borough Council. We figured that, instead of wasting our energy bemoaning the decision on Facebook, it’s better to try doing something constructive about it.
We were inspired by Factmag, who published a post about seven things you can do to protest the club’s closure. It’s worth having a read.
Earlier today, we printed the below letter and sent to a bunch of MPs, Islington Borough Council, and Sadiq Kahn – and now we’ll spam the shit out of everyone on social platforms (apologies in advance). Please help by sharing it – or even better, writing your own.
We don’t hold out much hope, but at least we can say we tried.
Dear Islington Council,
We write to you following the news of your decision to revoke Fabric’s licence.
The writers of this letter represent a large community of people from around the world who are extremely upset to learn about this closure. This letter serves as only a tiny fraction of the support that the public are currently showing for this club.
Like you, we’re professionals in our respective fields. We’re not kids, we’re not part of the music industry; we don’t even go to Fabric as much as we used to. But we’re asking you to reconsider your position on the closure of this venue. At the very least, please hear us out, and be pragmatic and objective in your approach to reading this letter…
Feelings of anger and frustration are resonating throughout the global music community right now, with questions around the true reason behind the shutdown of Fabric now being surfaced on mainstream media outlets.
This is because closing Fabric isn’t like closing any other club in your local borough. For the past 17 years, Fabric has played a role in shaping the world’s music scene. The genres it promoted are now a global phenomenon thanks to the legacy that this club helped to build.
For British dance music, there has been no other venue as influential as Fabric in the past two decades. Countless producers, musicians and DJs forged their careers there. There is no other place as important for young, aspiring British artists.
The UK has a unique musical landscape. No one does it quite like us; from drum and bass to garage, grime to dubstep – music is one of our key exports. But the scene that we should fight to preserve is being choked by the police and councils in London. The exodus of artists, musicians and normal working folk to more liberal cities like Berlin is already underway and, sadly, London is no longer the vibrant, diverse and loud city it used to be.
And so, just like Bagleys, Turnmills, Cable and many more – Fabric was next in line for the guillotine. But what has this closure achieved? Drugs are still dangerous and unregulated. People are still at risk of overdosing. This decision doesn’t solve the actual problem; it ignores it.
It’s important to make a clear distinction here – drugs were responsible for the tragic events this summer, not Fabric. But for whatever reason, you chose to blame Fabric instead. We’re not going to postulate on the actual reason behind that – but we will say one thing:
You missed a big opportunity to do good for the community by taking this decision. You could have been brave and attempted to tackle the underlying issue of drug overdoses amongst young men and women. Instead, you made Fabric a scapegoat – and presumably, you’ll now turn your backs on the problem altogether.
If you really want to help this community, some difficult, progressive and ground-breaking decisions need to be made.
Drugs need regulating.
It will be a very challenging task – but it’s essential. People need to know what they’re consuming; they need to know it’s safe. Tester kits with potency warnings should be readily available. Medics should be on-hand to deal with emergencies. Flyers and posters should remind people of the risks of drug usage and carry warnings about specific batches of high-risk products available at the time.
Taking music away from people isn’t the right solution. You must be more forward-thinking in your approach. The Portuguese government is a prime example of a government who understands the need to be forward-thinking in today’s society. By legalising and therefore regulating drug usage, they stopped treating drug users like criminals.
Here’s a relevant statistic for you to review – the decline of drug-related deaths since 2001 (when Portugal reformed its drug laws):
Music is embedded in British culture. Don’t take that away from us. Help us enjoy music safely and responsibly; implement initiatives that drive awareness of the risks posed by drug consumption. You’ll never be able to stop people from taking drugs, no matter how many clubs you close – so instead, why don’t we work together to build the blueprint for future generations to enjoy themselves without risking their lives.
The implications of your actions go way beyond just closing a club. The lights are going out on nightclubs all over the capital but you can still do what’s right for the people of London.
Reconsider your decision. #savefabric