No, It's Not All About Drugs: Why Clubs Like Fabric Are Important To Generations

No, It's Not All About Drugs: Why Clubs Like Fabric Are Important To Generations

This week, the super-club Fabric closed after two teenagers died taking drugs. InStyle's Associate Editor Niki Browes laments the end of an era

SAD FACE: a clubbing era has ended. Nearly 17-years after it first opened its heady doors, Fabric, the iconic London super -club, has joined The End, Bagleys, Turnmills, The Fridge and the Hacienda up in the big rave-up in the sky.

The council shut it down after the drug deaths of two teens in the space of nine short weeks. This, of course, is awful. It’s really, really sad. But no matter how many closures there are of venues like Fabric, people will always keep taking illegal drugs and, occasionally, too many of them.

But of course, clubs like Fabric are not only about drugs and dancing. Nightclubs are a rich part of our culture and an educational eye into the belly of our society. A dedicated raver in my late teens and twenties, I was a regular at Fabric and other clubs up and down the country. It was a lifestyle, a movement and I learnt invaluable life lessons along the way. At clubs, I met people that were nothing like me, people who we’re crazier, cleverer, more hedonistic, kinder, madder and funnier. I met very poor people – and judges and aristocrats, too. If you were to ask me where I learnt most about life – including the fact that I operate very poorly on little sleep -  it wouldn’t be via my parents, and definitely not at school or at uni…but on sweaty dance floors. My oldest, dearest, bestest of friends  - and even my husband and his mates - are all lovely, living reminders from my old clubbing life. To this day, it unites us still.

Today, we’re parents and professionals. At night, we prefer box-sets over Balaeric beats. Instead of rolling in around 6am, we’re getting up with the kids. But that’s fine. Because, back in the day, we had some bloody great times featuring life-shaping moments and never-to-be-forgotten times in clubs and raves. We have our memories (or some of them, at least) and we have each other. In 2005, there were 3,144 clubs in Britain yet by 2015, that number has nearly halved. To keep shutting clubs like Fabric is to deny generations of their rite of passage: invaluable life experience and some very good fun. And that's not really fair, is it?


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