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No ‘pleasure or relief’ at Fabric’s reopening tonight, says boss

By Nicholas Robinson+

06-Jan-2017
Last updated on 06-Jan-2017 at 10:59 GMT2017-01-06T10:59:43Z

Set to reopen: Fabric will open with new rules
Set to reopen: Fabric will open with new rules

Legendary London nightclub Fabric’s reopening has not made director Cameron Leslie feel either pleased or relieved.

Owners struck a deal to reopen the Islington club on 21 November last year, after it was closed and had its licence revoked following the drug-related deaths of two teenagers.

He told BBC’s Newsbeat: “I don’t think there’s any kind of pleasure or relief that we’ve reached this point.

“We’re obviously delighted that we’re going to be reopening, but I don’t think we’re going to be looking over this particular chapter with any kind of fond memories.

“There was definitely a belief among us that we would be able to get the project back open again. But there’s been moments when we’ve been deeply concerned. It would be wrong of me to say otherwise.”

The drug MDMA

An inquest into the death of the second teen was recently held and revealed the 18-year-old had 2.2 micrograms of the drug MDMA per millilitre of blood in his body, more than enough for a fatal reaction to occur.

Poplar Coroner’s Court was told by the teen’s friend how drugs had been smuggled into the venue in underwear.

The court heard how MDMA was consumed throughout the night and how one of the teens was offered the chance to buy more.

As a result of the incident, the following investigation and negotiations, Fabric will enforce new rules, including:

  • A new ID scanning system on entry
  • Enhanced searching and controls
  • In-club covert surveillance
  • Lifetime bans for anyone found in possession of drugs or trying to buy drugs
  • Enhanced monitoring and external auditing for compliance against procedures
  • Improved lighting, additional CCTV and other physical changes to the club
  • New security company
  • No one under the age of 19 will be allowed entry as a customer or guest from 8pm on Friday until 8am on the following Monday, which is during the Core Club Night promotion

Leslie added the new rules wouldn’t make the nightclub “dramatically different”, but it was necessary to reach an agreement with the council and the police, a negotiation he described as “pretty intense”.

‘Very heavy 10 days’

He said: “Like any king of negotiation there was a lot of back and forward – it was a very, very heavy 10 days.

“The fact that we reached a settlement shows there was a willingness on both sides.”

Police said there was a lot of “to-ing and fro-ing” in the talks and denied claims there was a plan to get the club closed down permanently.

Superintendent Nick Davis, who took part in the negotiations, told Newsbeat: “I just need to make that point that nobody at Islington Police ever really wanted the club to have to shut down.

“We appreciate what a big club this is and what it means to people. There was no pleasure-taking in any of this.”

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