On Wednesday morning it was announced that Fabric, one of the UK’s best known nightclubs had been closed due to a decision by Islington Council’s Licensing Committee to revoke their licence after the drug-related deaths of two 18-year olds in June and August.
This was despite support for the club’s future from London Mayor Sadiq Khan, local MP Emily Thornberry, a host of DJs, musicians and artists including Fatboy Slim, Chase & Status and the Chemical Brothers, as well as a petition with over 155,000 supporters.
Since opening in 1999 the club had played host to some of the world’s best known DJs and was known to have an excellent reputation for tackling drug-taking on its premises. Its closure follows a trend which has seen the number of nightclubs half in the UK in the last decade.
But it isn’t only DJs who are affected as the number of live music venues as a whole has been in decline in recent years (an estimated 40% reduction in London alone).
Venues, especially smaller venues, are crucial for emerging artists to hone their craft and live performance as well as build a following and the continuing closure of venues poses a risk to the future development of talent in the UK.
Mark Davyd from the Music Venues Trust, the charity created to champion and protect the nation’s grassroots music, said of the decision: “Fabric is a perfect illustration of the need for a joined up approach toward venues. This outcome is indicative of the challenges faced by music venues across the country and is a perfect example of why we need all levels of Government to act together to recognise the important role that they play.”
The charity is looking forward to working with Music Venues Trust to help protect music venues throughout the UK and safeguard the country’s future talent. We will also be an associate partner of Venues Day 2016 on Tuesday 18 October at the Roundhouse, London.