The news that Fabric nightclub has had its license revoked is a devastating blow for youth culture, music, the arts and creativity in general. This decision follows hot in the heels of the closure of Glasgow’s own club icon, The Arches. Two music, arts and cultural legends now lay dormant – in fact, there is already talk of Fabric being converted into flats in due course as big business rolls over urban culture once again.
Parking the controversial reasoning behind the decision (which has been debated at length), what cannot be ignored is a common pattern emerging, that of councils and governments closing culturally significant and iconic venues which are relevant to young people. This kind of mentality, which emanates from what is fast becoming a quasi nanny state, is screwing with our culture and our creativity. It is essential and a fundamental duty of the powers that be to provide outlets for young people to gather, mingle, look, listen, collaborate and express themselves. Highly creative and urban strands of music (drum & bass and grime) have found a natural home at Fabric – movements which were born in urban neighbourhoods and exploded onto UK dance floors. It’s not an exaggeration to state that when clubbing, thousands of people have met, danced, partied, became friends and subsequently collaborated musically, artistically or creatively. The power of this kind of cultural and artistic movement cannot be underestimated, it is the lifeblood of the arts in this and other cities, Berlin and Barcelona being prime examples.
Any kind of urban undercurrent, typically harnessed by young people to amplify their voice in society, is now being quashed by successive governments and councils who pander to big business and attempt to control the masses. Through this kind of mentality, creativity becomes a state-controlled blandfest and youth culture becomes suppressed. For society to thrive, it is imperative that young people have platforms to express themselves. Like the Arches, Fabric was another avenue which encouraged freedom of expression – it’s now closed forever.