Fabulous Fabric is back in business. The London superclub and nightlife icon had been shut down by Islington Council, but yesterday got its licence back.
More than 150,000 people petitioned against the decision – sparked by two drug-related deaths at the venue. They raised £300,000 to help Fabric’s owners with legal costs – and now it’s all paid off.
The reopening is great news, and I – like everyone else – am feeling celebratory.
However, we can’t get complacent about the wider London’s nightlife scene, which is constantly under threat.
In fact, the battle has only just begun to save our capital city. It is already the cse that our bars, restaurants, pubs and clubs always shut early. Much, much earlier than those in Europe.
— Charlotte Gill (@C_C_Gill) November 21, 2016
That’s not because the British have sensible bedtimes; it’s because we live in one of the most regulated countries, in terms of nightlife.
The problem is that our leaders have always been too worried about protecting people that find nightlife annoying rather than supporting those who enjoy it.
The former to move to the countryside, and let the ravers run free.
One of the most annoying bits of legislation for nightlife is the Late Night Levy, which forces late-night alcohol suppliers to pay for the policing of the night-time economy.
It’s an obvious disincentive for any business that wants to sell alcohol, and spur on the party!
Councils, too, are ruining nightlife; they can now issue Public Space Protection Orders to restrict behaviour they find annoying in public, which can be as innocuous as drinking a beer on a road.
These rules are scaring off businesses from being part of the nightlife industry, which is covered in red tape. Even Fabric will struggle with the burdensome new regulations now placed on it.
As a result, clubs in the capital are on the decline. A third of all British nightclubs closed between 2005 and 2015, and there certainly aren’t any coming to replace them.
The country is in a clubbing crisis, and it’s embarrassing. London is one of the greatest cities in the world, but it has nothing to offer anyone looking for boogie wonderland.
Fantastic news. Confirmed that Fabric has reached a new agreement with Islington Council and will reopen. Thank you Islington.
— Mayor of London (@MayorofLondon) November 21, 2016
Sadiq Khan’s effort to appoint a night czar should be applauded – though his choice of Amy Lamé, who celebrated the death of Margaret Thatcher and compared George Osborne to a cunt, doesn’t seem the wisest of choices.
Hopefully she’ll be able to do her job anyway – because if our nightclub scene continues to flop, the expansion of the Night Tube will be a massive waste of time and money.
In the interim we, the people, must fight to save our country’s nightlife, which greatly bolsters the economy. Nightlife matters; let’s battle to keep the lights on across Britain.