Iconic London Nightclub Fabric to Reopen
The party isn’t over, after all.
Fabric, the fabled London nightclub whose closure in September jolted the global electronic music scene, will reopen after agreeing to tough new measures to prevent drug abuse at the club, the club and officials from the borough that hosts it said on Monday.
The 2,500-person-capacity venue, whose freewheeling spirit helped draw a generation of clubbers, was stripped of its license and forced to close its doors after the deaths of two 18-year-olds, both of whom had taken MDMA, better known as Ecstasy. In 2014, the club had come under scrutiny after the deaths of four others in the previous three years, which police had blamed on drug use.
But in a hearing on Monday at Highbury magistrates court in North London, the Borough of Islington, home to the club, said it would allow Fabric to reopen after its owners had agreed to tough new antidrug measures, including preventing anyone under the age of 19 from entering, scanning identifications, and banning for life anyone caught dealing drugs or possessing them.
The shuttering of Fabric had spawned a loud outcry, with denizens of London’s night life, including promoters, D.J.’s and music fans bemoaning that its closure heralded the demise of the London music scene and was a heavy blow for the city’s role as a global cultural center. Electronic music fans voiced their discontent on Twitter, and more than 160,000 signed a petition against its closure. At the same time, the shutdown pointed an uncomfortable spotlight on what some called a culture of drug-fueled hedonism at clubs, from London to Paris to New York, that critics said had gone too far.
Fabric thanked its supporters, saying in a statement on Facebook that they had “saved Fabric.” It said: “So many different people stepped up to put their voices to our cause, artists from all corners of the music community, fellow promoters who have put on huge events from us and clubbers from around the world who all united behind us.”
Judy Griffith, promotions manager at Fabric, said by phone from Saint Philip, Barbados, that she was ecstatic about the news, which she said would give a big lift to London’s night life and help secure an important sphere in British culture. “I am over the moon, and very grateful for everyone that supported us. The reopening is a powerful sign that London is open at last,” Ms. Griffith said, adding: “I’m looking forward to planning an epic reopening.”
Dozens of London clubs have closed their doors in recent years, pushed out by creeping gentrification and a crackdown on late-night licenses. London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, is so determined to rejuvenate the nighttime economy that he recently appointed a night czar, charged with injecting new life into the city’s night life.
Mr. Khan, who has been pressing to make the capital a 24-hour city by offering all-night service on subways on weekends, welcomed Fabric’s reopening, noting that over the last eight years, London had lost half of its nightclubs and 40 percent of its live music venues.
“This decline must stop if London is to retain its status as a 24-hour city with a world-class night life,” Mr. Khan said.