Legendary Fabric club doors
Legendary Fabric club doors, London. 2016

Why Fabric london definitive closure was inevitable

Alexandre Trochut

Today, After the announcement of Fabric London definitive closure, the english newspaper The Independent reveals informations & documents highlighting new perspectives & a planned political operation suggesting that Fabric closure was a long term plan orchestrated by Islington Council, with drug legislation as main – but so convenient – reason.

As we write before, last night, after that Islington Town Hall proceeded to a licensing review meeting, the decision to not renew London’s iconic Fabric licence has been taken – with for immediate effect – its definitive closure. Contrary to what the authorities were advancing as a reasons, the real reasons behind the closure might be very different than those related to drugs.

Indeed, in England, a law called “Freedom Of Information” allows anyone to  to access recorded information held by public sector organisations – and therefore – sometimes to discover information shedding new light on events. This is exactly what The Independent did & obtained informations that suggest that Fabric’s closure is actually part of a long pre-planned & orchestrated plan by the Islington Council in lack of liquidity with a police force instrumentalised amid the false debate around drug abuse and user safety.

The indépendant explained that Islington Council’s official statement regarding the closure lists 11 bullet points (below) justifying the decision and that 2 of these directly relate to the deaths of the two individuals. A further eight relate to an undercover police operation that took place in the venue in July 2016.

Undercover police “Lenor” operation and contradictions


However the undercover police operation found no hard evidence of drug taking inside the venue, relying instead on vague observations. These observations found their way into the council decision, including that individuals were “manifesting symptoms showing that they were (on drugs). This included sweating, glazed red eyes and staring into space,” and also that “people in the smoking area enquiring about the purchase of drugs…I believe within earshot of the security officer”.

Islington Council’s statement. 2016 – Credits : The Independent


In fact, the original undercover police report itself also reported that “the general atmosphere of the club was friendly and non-threatening” and that “there was a diverse demographic in regards to race, [with people speaking] French, Italian and Chinese”. These findings did not make it into the Islington statement. The independent explained that undercover police in nightclubs is nothing new, but operations targeting the venue itself – as opposed to dealers – is.

Police rapport on “Operation Lenor”. 2016 – Credits : The Independent


The undercover police report that was used as evidence for Islington Council’s decision was made all the more unusual by the fact it was named “Operation Lenor“. And if this whole operation had nothing to do with the fight against drug traffic, but a totally different objective that uses this reason to hide its real purpose?!

Government cuts


The independent highlight that Islington council has lost half its funding since 2010, £70 million over the next four years. In 2016 alone it stands to lose £17 million. The Islington police, who are partly funded by the council, face similar cuts: anything up to 44% of the staff numbers – or 252 officers.

A paradox exists. Fabric, and the secondary economy around it: the bars, restaurants and late night takeaways that operate in the area, all pay a substantial amount of tax. Likely more than, say, a replacement block of flats or a boutique hotel would. Then there’s the fact that the nighttime economy in the area – including police, employs thousands of people. Why shut it down?

The english government’s austerity measures have created cost-cutting across the board. Councils, police forces and other public services are being shunted off as overheads, whilst all the time new building projects and corporate investment appear. Fabric may have made money locally, yet that money never made it’s way back to the council and police in the area.

Follow the documents, follow the money trail


Look what happened to Manchester’s legendary Hacienda club, which is now 130 apartments. Fabric was always going to close, drugs deaths notwithstanding. It’s not the police. It’s not drug laws. For The Independent, It’s the UK government that continues to roll back public services and institutions in an ever more calculating attempt to attract foreign money. And this is so obvious for many people that this sad story is all about money that an Islington Council spokesperson feel the need to state:

“ The decision of Islington Council’s licensing committee on Fabric’s licence was based solely on the evidence, submissions, and representations put before the committee. To suggest anything else is simply wrong. For the avoidance of doubt, Islington Council is not the owner of the building and has no financial interest in the site. ” – Islington Council spokesperson

Electronic music and clubbing have to consider new developments protecting this type of offensive operations


Despite official statements, the closure Fabric, like many clubs in the English capital, is more related to the attraction of new funding opportunities, construction projects and foreign investment for local authorities. The economy of the night, it was also vital and important, failed to make weight.

With a market that has exceeded 7 billion dollard this year, up more than 30% over the last three years, the problem is not electronic music’ money, that’s the way it is – sadly – still perceived by some people. Like many fights in this world, we have to change mindsets to change actions. If Electronic music can create money, we must start thinking how it might be promoted to the eyes of people.

Source : The Independent.