'Bigger Than Fabric' Documentary Starring Irvine Welsh Explores the Fate of London's Club Culture

'Bigger Than Fabric' addresses the tough questions about the precarious state of nightlife in the city.
November 23, 2016, 9:21pm
Image courtesy of Who Wot Why Films

The global dance music community rejoiced at this week's announcement that iconic London club fabric is to reopen, following a high profile campaign to reinstate its license after it was revoked in September following two drug-related deaths. But the conditions for the club's reopening include a stringent new set of policies and regulations, including increased CCTV, a ban on under-19s and covert surveillance, which serve to highlight just how much London's nightlife culture is under continued threat.


A new documentary released today, Bigger Than Fabric, explores this current, depressing state of London clubbing. The 18-minute film, directed by English filmmaker Wayne Holloway, delves into the social, economic, and political motivations that have caused London to lose 50 percent of its clubs since 2008, and questions the future of dance music in what was once one of the world's biggest clubbing destinations.

Starring DJ Kate Simko, NTS Radio affiliate Debonair, Trainspotting creator Irvine Welsh, Last Night a DJ Saved My Life author Bill Brewster, and The Warehouse Project's Sacha Lord-Marchionne, the film touches on topics ranging from the problems with the UK's current drug policy to whitewashing, gentrification, and the importance of a vibrant nighttime economy.

Bigger Than Fabric was produced by Londoner Nathalie Wainwright, who lost her brother to an ecstasy-related death when when she was 13 and who campaigned dedicatedly for fabric's reopening."Clubland contributes hugely to the culture and economy of London," she said in a press release. "It's important that we look at what's causing its demise, to find a way to protect its heritage and to see it thrive as part of London's cultural landscape."

Right before the credits roll, the video addresses Monday's news about fabric: "For now, London has been thrown a lifeline," the text reads. "Whether this decision proves to be the spark that reignites nightlife in the capital remains to be seen."

Watch Bigger Than Fabric below.

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