Famed London club Fabric to reopen following drug closure


Fabled London nightclub Fabric is to reopen after the local council on Monday reversed its decision to revoke its licence following several drug-related deaths, in exchange for a strict new door policy.

Judge Robin McPhee at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court in north London ruled that the club could operate again after Islington Council said it would not oppose Fabric in its appeal, which was due to start next week.

London mayor Sadiq Khan called the ruling “fantastic news”.

“Fabric re-opening shows we can find common-sense solutions that protect both the future of clubs and the safety of all clubbers,” he wrote on Twitter.

Islington council revoked Fabric’s licence in September at the request of police, following the deaths of two teenagers from suspected drug overdoses.

Fabric is globally renowned for its drum and bass, techno and house nights, and its closure highlighted the plight of London’s clubs, which have halved in number in eight years, according to Khan.

Islington Council said it had approved the deal after Fabric “offered many new additional conditions to be added to its licence, all of which are designed to ensure a zero tolerance approach to drug possession, consumption and sale within the club.”

New measures include the use of an ID scanning system, enhanced searching procedures, covert surveillance within the club, life-time bans for anyone found in possession of drugs and a ban on those aged under 19.

The most recent death was of an 18-year-old man, who had taken Ecstasy during a visit to Fabric in August. That came six weeks after another 18 year-old died in similar circumstances.

Since 2011 there have been a further four deaths, leading the Metropolitan Police to make an application to revoke its licence.

Khan previously described Fabric as an “essential part of our cultural landscape” and said that its closure pointed “to a wider problem of how we protect London’s night-time economy, while ensuring it is safe and enjoyable for everyone”.

Fabric has attracted many of the world’s top DJs and claims six million people have stepped through its doors since its opening in a old meat-processing area of north London in 1999.

© 2016 AFP

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