Chris McKeon - News Reporter 22 November 2012

Cambridge’s indie crowd rejoiced yesterday as the plans to convert Fez into flats, which have rumbled on since June last year, seem to have finally collapsed.

The building’s owner, Friend’s Life, had claimed that there was a major need for city centre accommodation and raised concerns about the club’s fire safety. The City Council thought otherwise, however, coming down in favour of Cambridge’s club goers.

Despite Friends Life’s insistence that the already ‘generous provision’ of clubs in Cambridge meant Fez would struggle to survive, the Council argued that only Cindies and Life could properly be regarded as alternatives, preferring to classify Lola Lo and Revolution as ‘late-night bars’. They further insisted that a new club would have to be provided if the Moroccan-themed establishment was closed.

In a statement, the Council said that given the city’s student population and status as a “sub-regional destination for leisure activities including nightclubs” it was “important that Cambridge continues to provide a vibrant centre to serve students and young people who may want to use these types of facilities.”

One Trinity Hall student commented in a plainer fashion: “Fez staying open is good – with Kambar closed, the wannabe hipsters would have nowhere left to go”.

Lola Lo has enjoyed a lot of success recently, grabbing a share of the market from the perennially popular Tuesday-night Cindies. With many student nights already catered for and Cambridge’s clubbing pool being so small, it remains to be seen if Fez will indeed survive. Older students may remember its dwindling crowds in Michaelmas 2010 as Life lured students across Sidney Street.

Still, for now at least, it appears that the Cambridge club scene will have at least one alternative venue.

Chris McKeon – News Reporter