I grew up dancing in Alaska. You’re probably thinking there isn’t much in terms of musical culture in Alaska. You’d partially be right, but you’d also be surprised to find out how wrong you are. Some of the best events I’ve been to have been in Alaska, as they were very near and dear to my heart. They were genuine, heart felt and fun. Our family was very small and disconnected from the global scene, but the people involved were passionate and the dancers wild. I’ve since been told it is a lot different from it used to be. The smaller more intimate events have tapered off, giving way to some impressive annual parties and festivals with bigger names, but my memories hold firm.
Back in Alaska we had intimate parties thrown by motivated promoters. We found ourselves in old WWII bunkers, dingy bar basements, in dingy bars and where ever else we could find. The lights would be provided by who ever had the money to waste on strobes or fog machines, I often made flyers and local talent rocked the decks, despite sub-par speakers. I remember one night we drove out to a glacier bed, set up some mackies, 1200s and danced the night away. These one of a kind parties gave me the best memories of my life and shaped me into the person I am today.
However, a small local scene meant that I was subject to many limitations, like options in music. Some people weren’t as passionate about the music as they were about the party. There was corruption. Bar owners never wanted to give us a venue, too scared of lost sales on a risk. Monthly events were near impossible to maintain, relying on on large turnouts, when we didn’t have the population. I hungered for something bigger, but I didn’t know what. I was blissfully unaware of the global electronic phenomena happening around me because I had never been to a club, ever, until fabric welcomed me into their open arms changing my entire relationship with music. fabric was the first club I ever went to and this is my #fabricmemory
My three best girlfriends and I bought tickets to explore Europe in my first international trip. We had heard of these legendary places like London, Berlin and Ibiza for their renowned clubbing experience. The local DJs spoke of them and our CD sets from these iconic clubs filled our ipods. We landed in London and began the difficult task of choosing between fabric London, Matter and Ministry of Sound. I’m not sure what compelled us to choose fabric, perhaps it was the only one open that night, but I’m glad we did. We clambered into a Taxi and headed off to our first club, our hearts raced in excitement and anticipation.
We got closer to the doors and our hearts beat faster and faster. I stepped across the threshold and my jaw just dropped.
“WOW, Is this real life?” I thought to myself.
My tiny mind was absolutely blown. This club had stairs and hallways, hidden nooks and crannys, couches and three freakin dance floors. The music was something I had never heard before by someone I had never heard of and I loved it. This was the night I turned from a pure trance gal, into something a little dirtier and little darker. Goosebumps covered my entire body and a smile reached across my face from ear to ear. Friendly faces welcomed me. My friends and I weren’t alone anymore. There were more people like us. People who loved the music and not just the party. My electronic music family expanded 10 fold that night. There were thousands of other people like me, not just the 100 or so at the events back home. That night at fabric I fell in love with everything all over again. The very walls of fabric began to shape parts of my life that still resonate with me today. I was able to dance and enjoy the music then retreat to the dark corners talking with new like-minded people. Wandering the hallways we all got lost several times, but every time we did we found a new adventure. We left that morning handing a cute boy our Alaskan phone number written in lipstick on a crumbled boarding pass.
That night lit a fire in us as we continued on our trip through Europe, stopping in Amsterdam, Berlin, failing to get into Berghein– as one does, Ibiza and Barcelona. I then continued my life traveling around the world lining up for clubs and going to music festivals. It was quite a few years until I found myself in fabric again, under very different circumstances.
I had just moved to Las Vegas. The glitz and the glam was exciting for only a few months. I quickly grew tired of the pretentious crowd and the same over-paid DJs. I remember thinking to myself time and time again, why can’t the clubs in Las Vegas be like fabric? I longed to wear my cut up thrift store shirt and flats and express myself, but it just wasn’t allowed in Vegas. I missed those who enjoyed the music as much as I did. One night was invited to the Drais’ opening party through work, Eric Prydz was playing, which gave me a glimmer of hope in the Vegas scene.
I kept to myself thwarting off advances of men who were not my type when when I met someone, dancing his face off, just like me. Sparks flew and love bloomed. Unfortunately, he lived in Australia and I lived in the U.S. Our dates were never very conventional, but on our second major date we met in London. He was working there for a short period of time and to be honest he wasn’t in love with London. So, I arrived and the first thing we did was get in line at fabric, I knew it would change his perspective of London. We stood shivering in line, finally in my thrift store cut ups and flats, when that same excited feeling I had the first time returned to me.
It was December 2014 and it was DnB night. I had seen most of the DJs playing that night already, but once again fabric bewitched me with her crafty walls. Something about fabric altered the way I heard their music. I’m happy to say that fabric blew my boyfriend’s mind as much as it did mine. His perception of London and clubbing had changed as well. To this day when we talk about returning to London, we immediately think about planning a return trip to fabric. We don’t think about going shopping or staying in high-rise penthouses, we think about our favorite club and the experience we find there. It is with heavy hearts that our next trip to London will not consist of a night at fabric.
Every music genre has their own special group of fanatics. In this regard, there’s really no difference between any of us, as we all love our music just as much as the next. Yet, when people ask me what makes us ravers or clubbers different I always have an answer. The answer is complex, but today in lieu of recent events there is one important answer. It is the club and the experience it can provide.
A well crafted club is born with love, hard work and the passion of its founders and guests. Every club around the world has its own unique charm, lending something special to each set played within its walls. I’m not talking just about the speaker system, it’s like the way an individual opera house can alter the experience of an entire symphony. Beyond this, a good club provides a safe haven and harbor for everyone from all walks of life. Whether you’re on the dance floor expressing yourself, or having a deep conversation with your new best friend in the corner, you are part of something bigger than you. A movement of love and music. fabric London was able to embody this essence and that is what made it special.
There’s something about our scene, something no other music scene has, it reminds me of Mycorrhizal. We are all deeply connected no matter where we are in the world, sharing the burdens of life, the joys and a passion for music. When one of us dies whether that be a DJ, Producer, an advocate of the scene and especially when club dies we all feel its loss. I just read someone say that when a church burns all that’s left are the believers and that sentiment could not be more true. The death of fabric is a tragic loss in our community that has given so many people, including myself, a place to call home. My heart goes out to every member in our global family effected by this loss. London lost something that made it a truly special place indeed.
The fight isn’t over, appeals have been filed. Join the #savefabric movement. https://www.fabriclondon.com/save-fabric