#WeAreNightlife is a campaign to celebrate the night-time leisure and hospitality industry.
Going into hopefully a new age for live music and the nightlife sector, #WeAreNightlife wants to spotlight venues leading the way in changing the industry for the better. Fabric, a nightclub in London’s Farringdon district, has been striving on the grounds of inclusivity and equality in the music scene. A backer of a number of new music genres, such as grime and UKG, you can hear it all in Fabric on their bodysonic dancefloor. Unisex bathrooms, a harassment policy and welfare information as well as all staff being trained to deal with incidents of harassment – Fabric is covering new ground in its efforts to reflect society.
We speak to Andy Blackett. Andy has been within the nightlife industry for over 20 years, cutting his teeth in the industry running his own promotions in Ibiza. He worked his way up to Head of Promotions at Ministry of Sound, working with globally recognised artists, and is now at Fabric. Previously, he has spoken on the importance of the nightlife sector at international events. #WeAreNightlife is about showcasing venues and figureheads who are helping to bring nightlife back into the lime-light post-lockdown, therefore Andy is a perfect advocate for the campaign.
As the Saturday night programmer for Fabric, Andy has direct involvement with the distribution of a range of music styles and DJs. He talks to us about the importance of these venues, public attitude changes over the past year and how the nightlife industry can or should move forward. We firmly believe Fabric is an excellent example of the past, present and future of the British nightlife industry.
Andy mentions Britain impact on the global music scene and how influential London is to worldwide venues:
“Britain embraced electronic music culture a lot quicker than a lot of other nations if you go back in its time. London’s one of the major cities of the world, why else wouldn’t you be in London. If you are going to do a UK club, Leeds and Manchester are great cities but London’s London.
If you look globally and if you chat to the agents, there are certain cities in the world that everyone looks at, and London’s one of them, Berlin’s another, New York’s another, people look at those cities to what’s going on. If you add up what’s going on at all the venues every single weekend – when we get back open – and what we’ve got going on in this city, you’ve got the cream and premier choice of whatever music style you want and the top DJs from around the world playing here. Yeah, I think London’s one of the best cities there is.”
Andy talks on reopening and how both Fabric and the nightlife scene in general may change after lockdown:
“Talking about electronic dance music, it was at a crossroads in where it was, and financial burdens – I think it got a little bit stagnant. With the year off we all had with self-reflection; from gender equality to Black Lives Matter to diversity – to all of these key points; with a year off you stop and look at yourself. And I think we are really identifying the club we want to be, that’s reflecting society as it is now.”
“We believe unless we make a stance on society, it’s never going to change. And there’s also a bit of work going on inside which we’re really excited about to re-energise the experience of Fabric and give it a facelift.”
“It feels like a bit of a rebirth at the moment which is great after everything we’ve been through to have this moment to really make your first impressions again and set yourself out for your next ten years, I think its a great opportunity for a lot of people.”
Andy looks at the future of Fabric and what the team are most excited for:
“We are hoping for a summer of love. There’s been a massive starvation of the scene. We want to set out a new template – a booking – looking at things holistically beyond headliners, using them to energise other people’s careers, bring through new artists, be a bit more creative, have a gender diversity balance; that’s really quite exciting. The whole team is excited to not walking the same path, choosing a different path which is having a bit more social responsibility into what we all do and realising the impact.”
Andy discusses Fabric’s stance on equality and what he hopes changes in the industry after lockdown:
“I hope that changes is the reflection on society on gender, equality, diversity, balance and equalising the scene from where it has been. We look back on our line-ups and we looked back on how its actually changed; there use to be a lot of diversity, but there’s been a whitewashing of the scene. Maybe we’ve let ourselves down. We want to change that, keep the balance and reflect all parts of society. We don’t want to walk the same path and we won’t get it perfect but we are going to strive to make the changes to improve it.”
“It’s a turning of the page; if we get this restart right and you reinforce your values and what you want and that becomes your footprint for the next ten years, then you can reaffirm yourself at the top of the game – which we’ve been for so long. But also we are going to look to expand, do external events, become more than just a club.”
Find out more about Fabric here and stay updated on they’re progress changing the industry for the better from the inside out.
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