A man walks past Fabric nightclub following the announcement of its closure on Sept. 7, 2016 in London, England.(Photo: Carl Court, Getty Images)
LONDON — A fraught, six-and-a-half hour meeting ended in tears early Wednesday as Fabric, a world-renowned superclub here, was told it must close permanently after two teenagers died after taking drugs there.
Club staff and supporters cried following the decision by Islington Council to revoke the club’s license, the Islington Gazette reported. There have been six deaths at the club since it opened in 1999, according to media reports.
The decision came after Ryan Browne and Jack Crossley, both 18, died after overdosing on MDMA, also known as ecstasy, in June and earlier this month. A local police officer said drug abuse was rife and security was lax at the club.
“Deaths at the club have involved young people, mainly in the 18 to 24 age group. Drug culture exists at the club and the management has been inadequate at controlling it,” said Flora Williamson, the chairman of the council committee that made the decision, according to the Islington Gazette.
She added: “Sale and distribution of Class A drugs is particularly serious and problems have not been addressed. Revocation of the license is appropriate and proportional in light of this.”
In a previous statement the central London club said it had always worked closely with the police and the council to prevent drug-related crime and had “comprehensive drug reduction policies in place.”
A #SaveFabric campaign was started on social media and a petition to save the club attracted almost 150,000 signatures. People calling for the venue to remain open included London Mayor Sadiq Khan and an elderly Polish couple who attracted headlines for dancing there until 5 a.m earlier this year.
A number of nightclubs in London have been forced to close over the years, for reasons including rising rents and property prices, concerns about drugs, neighbors complaining about noise and stringent licensing conditions.
Khan said he was disappointed that an agreement could not be reached to keep Fabric open, and that London has lost half of its nightclubs and 40% of its live music venues over the past eight years.
"This decline must stop if London is to retain its status as a 24-hour city with a world-class nightlife," he said.
"This is an especially sad day for those who have supported us, particularly the 250 staff who will now lose their jobs," Fabric said in a statement.
"Closing Fabric is not the answer to the drug-related problems clubs like ours are working to prevent, and sets a troubling precedent for the future of London’s night time economy,” the statement added.
Cameron Leslie, the club’s co-founder, said the venue was unlikely to appeal the decision, the Islington Gazette reported.