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DJs and fans on what made Fabric great

As the London superclub is forced to shut its doors, fans recall their epic Fabric moments

By Time Out London Nightlife
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Last week, the world lost one of its best nightclubs. Fabric’s licence was revoked following the drug-related deaths of two teenagers there over the summer. Despite nearly 150,000 people signing a petition to save the club, the decision came down to a panel of three Islington councillors and a six-hour debate. The result is one these Fabric superfans are feeling angry about... 

101 Things To Do in London: Fabric
101 Things To Do in London: Fabric
© Danny Seaton

Seth Troxler, DJ

'Fabric was quite literally the fabric of our community; woven by the many sub genres that together make up underground electronic music. It was the one of the first clubs I made my way in and it’s through the club’s support that I’ve become the DJ I am today. Although I will miss the booth, the real loss is the family who built and believed in the transformative power of music and life, week in and week out. Fabric will be missed, but the memories we made and the friendships we created, four stories below ground against those sweaty brick walls, will last forever. Thank you Judy, Andy and Craig – it was you who brought me into this amazing family and changed my life forever and I'm so, so, so very thankful.’

Fabric
Fabric
Sarah Ginn

Jonathan Cook, journalist

'I've been writing about dance music for over a decade. It's impossible to count the number of times Fabric didn't just inspire and nourishmy creativity, but financially supported it, too. When I helped launch dance music magazine Trap in 2010, most people turned their noses up. But from our very first issue, Fabric offered to advertise with us regularly so that we could afford to operate. Over the years they poured in thousands of pounds, and we weren't the only ones their generosity extended to. They took out adverts in dance websites, magazines - at one point they even bankrolled a student fanzine. That's why Fabric was so special: they weren't just about putting on club nights. They selflessly sponsored an entire generation of creatives, too.'

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Erol Alkan, Fabric memories
Erol Alkan, Fabric memories

Erol Alkan, DJ

‘My memories of Fabric begin with its opening night. One of my best friends was actually an electrician there, and he had an invitation. A lot of the clubs I was used to were the kind being used for indie nights, so being somewhere that had an incredible soundsystem and amazing lights was such a sensory overload. And then I got my break: David Holmes missed his flight, and I got a call asking if I’d fill in. That first gig meant a lot to me and my friends; we had romantic ideas about what it must be like to be in that booth. Then all of a sudden it was us. I got a break playing in the club I was in awe of. It was a bit of a fairytale and it was the beginning of my career in dance clubs.’

Sarah Ginn

India-Jazmine Saax, Fabric superfan

'Fabric just felt quite homely for me. Everyone there - the bouncers and the staff - cared about you having a good time. You weren't treated like cattle. I remember once taking bags of apples along - I lived in Wales at the time and had an abundance of really nice ones from our orchard. I just felt like Fabric had given me so much, I needed to give something back. I offered them to the bouncers - some of them were like, "No, are you mad?", but a few of them said: "That's amazing, thank you so much!". I do occasionally take chocolate brownies or cookies as well. I just feel that Fabric is always giving me good parties, so when I can and when it's practical, I take some baked goods along with some good vibes. Years ago, my housemate and her friend were employed by Fabric to hand out cups of tea in the queue outside, to keep people warm in winter, which was a really friendly thing for the club to do. Thank you such a lot for the good times, Fabric!'

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Chase & Status, Fabric memories
Chase & Status, Fabric memories

Saul Milton, Chase & Status

‘I first went to Fabric in 2001 and over the years, it became a mecca throughout our career. We launched our first album there in 2008, and I just remember feeling like: “Wow. We’ve arrived.” It was a really, really special place. So many people will have had that moment where they looked up at the DJ booth and thought: “This is what I want to do with the rest of my life! I want to be up in that booth some day!” I feel sick, knowing it’s closed. To say that it has a lenient door policy – they were KNOWN for being over-the-top! There are moments I’ve had in there that I’ll remember for the rest of my life. I’m so fortunate to have been able to go to Fabric and clubs like it. Kids growing up today – they might not be able to do that.’

Fabric
Fabric
Sarah Ginn

Gareth Potter, Fabric superfan

'I started going to Fabric around 1999 and by 2004, my best mate James and I were regulars. We were part of the furniture. Someone once asked how much time I'd spent at the club; I did some rough maths and it came to about six-and-a-half months. I brought my dad once. He got quite confused - he didn't understand why we managed to jump the queue, get in free and then get bought a bottle of champagne by someone who worked there. He even asked if I was a drug dealer. He kept saying: "This isn't normal. You don't walk into clubs and have all these things happen." I said: "I've been coming here for over ten years, these people are just family!"'

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Grandmixxer, Fabric memories
Grandmixxer, Fabric memories

Grandmixxer, Grime artist, regular Rinse FM DJ and Novelist's tour DJ

‘For years, Fabric was the only place booking the core grime musicians. Before the resurgence – back when it was basically just Lethal Bizzle getting gigs – they stuck with us. For a lot of artists, Fabric let us carry on being able to perform. They did what they could to keep the culture going, and that has to be respected – they’re a superclub, they didn’t have to do that! Nowhere else in London was doing that. There’s no other big venue like that for our culture.’

Fabric
Fabric
Sarah Ginn

DJ Barely Legal

'I remember getting my first booking in Room One just over a year into my career - pretty much a dream come true for any DJ. They gave people like myself who were only just starting out a chance, and they never stopped believing in me. I began to play there every few months and that club really felt like home. The overwhelming feeling of playing at one of the greatest venues in the world never seemed to wear off either. That place will always go down as one of my favourite venues of all time: a committed crowd, a supportive team and safe security. It will be missed so much.'

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