An appeal hearing to decide the fate of London nightclub Fabric has been scheduled for Nov. 28 at Highbury Magistrates Court, the club’s owners have announced.
The long-running, hugely popular British club was forced to lock its doors on Sept. 7 after the Islington Borough Council revoked its license following the drug-related deaths of two 18-year-olds earlier this year. The Council’s decision sent shock waves through the dance music community worldwide, with Skrillex, Disclosure, Pete Tong, Fatboy Slim and the Chemical Brothers among the DJs and artists who publicly condemned the decision.
A number of leading British dance promoters, including The Warehouse Project, Circus, Chibuku, Team Love, Motion, The Blast, Sub Club, Resident Advisor and Eastern Electrics, have also joined forces to stage three London club nights, with all profits going towards Fabric’s legal battle.
That support has rippled outward through the music industry, with donations to Fabric’s #saveourculture fundraising campaign reaching £250,000 ($320,000) in just two weeks.
Ricardo Villalobos, Seth Troxler, Fabric residents Craig Richards and Terry Francis and Berlin’s Ben Klock and Rødhåd are among the artists so far confirmed to play the #saveourculture series of club dates, which begin Oct. 15 — what would have been Fabric’s 17th birthday.
“Words cannot express how humbled we all are at the overwhelming support,” said managing director Gary Kilbey in a newly updated transparency statement outlining how the funds would be spent.
“During these two weeks we have been busy working on our twin objectives, the appeal against the revocation of the licence and the need to change the Guidance under the Licensing Act,” he went on to say.
Representing the 17-year-old club in that appeal are licensing solicitors Woods Whur and Philip Kolvin QC, who have both agreed to represent Fabric at a discounted rate, according to the club’s management. Leading barrister Patrick Hennessey is also providing pro-bono legal support.
Even so, Fabric says, its legal and professional costs to fight the council’s decision have so far cost over £30,000 ($38,000). The manufacture and delivery of thousands of ‘#savefabric’ T-shirts has cost a further £10,000 ($13,000), while payment charges total £4,000 ($5,000).
As part of its legal challenge, Fabric representatives are petitioning for a change in licensing regulations and have circulated a draft proposal to trade and music industry organisations and associations for feedback.
“We want to ensure this is something the industry as whole are able to get behind,” said Kilbey.