Fabric, one of world's greatest clubs, ordered closed by Islington Council

Written by
Oliver Keens

The police win out. Fabric is shut.

At 1am, after a long and at times acrimonious meeting, Islington council's licensing committee formally revoked Fabric's licence.

In summing up, Councillor Flora Williamson held that the breaches of the club's licence, dating back to 2014, had advanced into this year.

Police representations focused intently on those breaches. They said it was a 'tragic irony' that their recommendations for ID scanners and sniffer dogs were ignored in 2014, given that the club were now proposing their use to preserve Fabric's license following the deaths of two 18 year olds this year.

The police concluded that they didn't have confidence that change will happen if Fabric's license wasn't revoked.

Despite close to 150,000 people signing a petition calling on the council to #savefabric, the petition was only mentioned once, lasting barely four seconds in over five hours of evidence.

In reply to the police's representations, Fabric co-founder Cameron Leslie was bullish in defending the club, claiming that the police were harassing Fabric as 'a smokescreen for a drugs policy that's failed for years.'

During a break, Fabric co-founder Keith Reilly had a heated discussion with members of the police who had come to petition for Fabric's closure, accusing them of 'playing political football with people's lives.'

Leslie claimed that the police had deeply misrepresented the club, in spite of having had an excellent record of working with them for the first 12 years of Fabric's existence.

He stated that 6.75 million people had come through the club since it opened in 1999, amounting to two Glastonbury festivals a year. But he hinted strongly at a change in attitude from the police in recent years, claiming: 'The police no longer want to work with us... they started from the end point, and gathered [evidence] accordingly'

Minutes after the decision was announced, many of the club's loyal staff gathered outside in a solemn silence, punctuated by quiet, shocked sobbing. It's not known yet whether Fabric will appeal the decision.

Read more:

✚ The backlash begins: London's nightlife community reacts to Fabric's closure
✚ Fabric RIP? Everything you need to know now
✚ Five Fabric fans on what they love most about the club
✚ Read our open letter to Islington Council before the decision

See what Mayor of London Sadiq Khan had to say on the future of Fabric:

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