The closure of the superclub amplifies the sense of peril surrounding London’s nightlife – but it will be remembered for a refusal to underestimate its audience.
In recent weeks, a list of 26 celebrated London nightclubs that have closed their doors has circulated the internet and social media, to much wailing and gnashing of teeth. “Completely unacceptable,” thundered Metro.
The list is actually slightly misleading. Some of the clubs on it closed decades ago – evidence not of a vast conspiracy to denude London of its edgy nightlife for the benefit of chain restaurants and luxury-flat developers, but of the fact that the natural, healthy state for dance music and club culture is constant forward motion: like the music and its audience, venues shift and change over time.
Indeed, perhaps the most striking thing about the list is that none of clubs on it attracted as much attention for their closure as Fabric has. The celebrated Clerkenwell venue Turnmills certainly went out with a suitably hedonistic bang when the lease on the building that housed it expired in 2008 – the final night of legendary Saturday gay club Trade went on until 6pm on Sunday evening – but there were no global campaigns to halt its closure, no angry articles in broadsheet newspapers; the London mayor was untroubled by pressing questions regarding his thoughts on the matter. Fabric’s closure has occasioned all these things and more, up to and including a website live-blogging the Islington Council review of its licence.