|Islington Council revoked Fabric’s licence in September at the request of police, following the deaths of two teenagers from suspected drug overdoses. — AFP Photo|
LONDON — Fabled London nightclub Fabric is to reopen after the local authorities on Monday reversed its decision to revoke its licence following several drug-related deaths, in exchange for a strict new door policy.
A judge 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.
The council cancelled Fabric’s licence to operate in September at the request of police, following the deaths of two teenagers from suspected drug overdoses.
The threat to the club, a pillar of London’s dance music scene for nearly two decades, prompted an outpouring of support from clubbers, DJs and record labels around the world under the hashtag #savefabric.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan called Monday’s ruling "fantastic news".
"Fabric re-opening shows we can find commonsense solutions that protect both the future of clubs and the safety of all clubbers," he wrote on Twitter.
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.
Following the announcement the club thanked supporters for their "unparalleled support and generosity".
"So many different people stepped up to put their voices to our cause, artists from all corners of the music community, fellow promoters who have put on huge events from us and clubbers from around the world who all united behind us," Fabric said in an online statement.
"Without the strength of your backing this would not have happened. You saved Fabric," the club added.
The deal to reopen Fabric was celebrated by musicians, with garage duo Gorgon City hailing the "amazing news" on Twitter.
"Big love to Fabric. Seems there is still hope for 2016," they wrote on Twitter.
Another musical duo, Disclosure, praised everyone who had joined the effort to see the club reopen.
"Yes!!! We did it! @fabriclondon will open it’s doors again! Just goes to show what happens when we come together. Well done all involved," the DJs said on the social media site.
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 search 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 London’s Metropolitan Police to make an application to have Fabric’s licence withdrawn.
Police welcomed Fabric’s commitment to the new measures and said officers would continue to "robustly enforce" the licensing rules.
"I know Fabric is a venue that holds a great deal of affection in people’s hearts," said Nick Davies, a senior officer from the Metropolitan Police.
"We had no choice but to take action to safeguard clubbers and now Fabric has agreed to considerable changes I hope the venue can continue to operate for many years to come within the boundaries of the new licensing conditions."
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. — AFP