Friday August 12: London’s Fabric nightclub confirmed it would close over the weekend to help police and other agencies investigate two deaths that have occurred in the last nine weeks.
It now transpires that this closure will now be indefinite until Islington council meets to re-assess its licence and police continue their investigations into the two deaths. Both of which are 18 year old men and linked to suspected drug overdoses, occurred on June 25 and August 6.
“Officers felt the need to act due to concerns about the safety of those attending the club because of the supply of class A drugs in the venue and the recent deaths of two young men linked to the club,” the Metropolitan Police stated to the Islington Gazzette.
Fabric’s instant cooperation with the authorities is indicative of how seriously it takes this matter. Less than a year ago the venue successfully won a legal battle with Islington Council when they attempted to impose stringent checks that would invade the privacy of its patrons and harm the venue’s experience (which, it has to be noted, is reputed globally and has attracted thousands of tourists from all over the world every weekend). Anyone who has attended the venue in recent years will agree that their security and checking process is strict, fair and carried out at the highest professional level. It is clear they are prepared to work with authorities and the police in the same way to contest this recent licence suspension.
Any drug-related death is tragic, our thoughts and love are with the families who have been affected in either of the events that have been associated with Fabric’s closure and any others that have happened this year.
MDMA has been in the headlines a lot in 2016 as ecstasy pills have become a lot stronger (up to five times in some instances) in recent times. However, the closure of a venue will not prevent any further deaths. It simply moves the problem along. Education and awareness are critical. We need to accept that drug taking happens and, rather than ignoring it or attempting to quash it, safe spaces and processes need to be approved and provided to test drugs without fear of retribution.
For further statistics on this need for progression, Mixmag’s recently launched campaign for safe and aware drug use is worth reading.
Fabric has been a progressive venue and bastion of innovative music since opening in 1999. Through its events and albums it has played a major role in electronic music and helped to create careers of some of our favourite artists. We’re hugely saddened by these recent events but have faith that the venue did, and will continue to do, everything in its capacity to ensure this doesn’t happen again. We hope Islington Council recognise this, too.
(Image: Wiki Commons)