British DJ Goldie has threatened to melt down his MBE in protest following the closure of east London’s Fabric nightclub.
The musician told Channel 4 News that Islington Council’s decision, announced on Wednesday, was a marker of a decline in the capital’s diverse arts scene and its nightlife in general.
Goldie, whose real name is Clifford Joseph Price, rose to stardom on the UK rave scene in the 1990s and was awarded his MBE for services to music and young people.
He said: “This country was built on being different and being out there and musically and from an artistic point of view.
“I’m wondering whether or not the likes of me, the likes of Jazzie B, Norman Jay, Pete Tong for that matter, should just trade our MBEs in, melt them down and put them in a pencil-pusher’s coffee, so it can taste a little bit sweeter for him today, so he feels more successful in killing counterculture and culture itself.”
The authority has stated the decision was made because the nightclub, which opened in 1999 and has been ranked as one of the best in the world previously, had developed a “culture of drug use” that the council was “incapable of controlling”.
But Goldie said he believed there was an ulterior motive for the decision.
Referring to an article published on the Independent website, which claims that a Freedom of Information request suggests the closure was “a long pre-planned event, orchestrated by a cash-strapped council”, he said: “That’s the real reason Fabric was closed. No other reason.”
He added: “God bless those kids that passed away. God bless them and their families. It’s very serious when it happens.
“But there have been people that have died from drugs in and out of clubs, hotels, everywhere, regardless of that. They needed an excuse and they’ve got one.”
He added: “I think from a country-wide point of view it could have a lot of repercussions. If this goes down the way that it’s going down, God I’m glad I made music when I did because God help the kids of tomorrow.
“You’re going to have mass riots on your hands and remember I told you so.”
An Islington Council spokesman said: “The decision of Islington Council’s licensing committee on Fabric’s licence was based solely on the evidence, submissions, and representations put before the committee.
“To suggest anything else is simply wrong. For the avoidance of doubt, Islington Council is not the owner of the building and has no financial interest in the site.”