14 things you didn't know about Fabric

As it celebrates its fourteenth birthday, here's the lowdown on the Clerkenwell rave cave

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  • Photo: Sarah Ginn

    The vast subterranean venue used to be a meat storage cellar called Metropolitan Cold Stores. It took founder Keith Reilly almost ten years to find the right location.

  • Photo: Sarah Ginn

    Fabric opened in 1999, the same year as the much trumpeted Home in Leicester Square. It was a battle of the superclubs, which Fabric won with ease. Home closed in 2001.

  • Photo: Sarah Ginn

    Room One of the club has a bodysonic dancefloor: it essentially amplifies bass signals up through the floor so that you feel the music in your head and your toes. Find the sweet spot to the left of the DJ booth and your calves will pleasantly quiver like never before.

  • Photo: Sarah Ginn

    Since its opening night, the club has always championed drum ’n’ bass – even though the number of mics destroyed by overzealous MCs along the way runs to around 70.

  • Photo: Sarah Ginn

    In contrast to the standard girl-in-bikini club flyers, Fabric’s in-house designers have always projected a leftfield edge, with nods to nature, modernism and the area’s Victorian past. Previous posters have featured a wooden reindeer head, a human totem pole and a plague doctor.

  • Given that most nights a queue runs down to nearby Farringdon station, the total queue since opening night adds up to more than 1,000 miles.

  • A cool addition to the club are its numbered mix CDs. FabricLive 72 is the latest, mixed by German techno boss Boys Noize. John Peel mixed number seven back in 2002.

  • Spare a thought for resident DJs Craig Richards and Terry Francis, who’ve been in situ pretty much every Saturday night since the club opened. Only the guy who reads the numbers on the National Lottery draw has a longer running Saturday night gig.

  • An astonishing 4.9 million people have come through the doors in its lifetime, which (the club estimates) means around 39 million toilet flushes.

  • Fabric has a life in the daytime, too. It’s sometimes used for events and even conferences. Imagine hearing a CEO admonish an entire sales department through that PA! On second thoughts, don’t.

  • Every now and again, the Fabric team heads out of the building. They took over Tate Britain earlier this year, and will be occupying a pod of the London Eye as part of Red Bull Revolutions in Sound in November.

  • You can walk into the club on Google Street View. Simply navigate off Charterhouse Street and you’re in Room One. We don’t know if any weary clubbers have ever used it to find their way out, though.

  • 26,000 hours of music have been heard in the club since it opened.

  • Their annual birthday celebrations are the stuff of legend. This year the club opens for 30 hours straight, from 11pm on Saturday to 5am on Monday, with Skream, Shed and Ricardo Villalobos just some of the DJs stepping up to the booth over the weekend.

Photo: Sarah Ginn

The vast subterranean venue used to be a meat storage cellar called Metropolitan Cold Stores. It took founder Keith Reilly almost ten years to find the right location.



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