Fabric has closed and London’s once-great club culture is on its last legs. Enough ink has been spilled over the shortsightedness of Islington council’s decision, but with rising rents and rapacious property developers forcing London clubs to shut by the dozen in recent years, it was probably only a matter of time.

Still, the closure of such an important venue marks a new phase in the eradication of London’s diversity. For year, clubbers have been casting envious glances over at Berlin. Unlike London, Berlin’s local authorities value clubbing’s place at the heart of the city’s cultural life.

But if we are already looking east, we would do well to look a bit further. While clubbing in London has been entering its death throes, it has been coming of age in eastern Europe.

Whether at Luzztro in Warsaw, a smoky two-room techno den where, it is rumoured, “the devil goes to rave,” or at Moscow’s ARMA17, a weekend-long party for 9,000 people in a three-storey factory building, some of the best clubbing experiences on offer are in the new east. 

At Tbilisi’s Mtkvarze, a Soviet-era fish restaurant-turned-nightclub overhanging the river, it is not just about the venue and music: there is a real sense from the crowds that this is a new and exciting scene, something positive and long overdue. 

If this all comes as surprise, it is probably because an outdated view of eastern Europe as little more than a stag party destination prevails.

A recent Resident Advisor article about raving in Tbilisi was widely shared online in the UK. The audience on social media seemed to find it remarkable that young people in a post-Soviet state were listening to good music, let alone starting a clubbing scene worthy of international attention.

Tblisi, the capital of Georgia, is home to the closest thing to Berghain you can find outside Berlin. Bassiani is in the bowels of the Soviet-era Dinamo football stadium and features a disused swimming pool as the main dancefloor, with DJs down in the deep end.

Like many eastern clubs, it is pulling in major international DJs as well as nurturing homegrown talent, and the club’s black-clad organisers agree that Tbilisi’s underground music scene is “like Berlin in the 90s”. 

I’ve lost count of the number of eastern European cities to have been touted as “the new Berlin” in recent years, but when it comes to clubbing, the parallel is valid. These cities share the magic ingredients that allowed clubbing to thrive in east Berlin: cheap rents, plenty of space, often in the form of unused communist-era buildings, and creative, open-minded young people.

Of course these “poor, but sexy” cities have their fair share of problems. But in this context, a techno scene is healthy – more than just an outlet for hedonism, these clubs provide a haven from what is going on outside, be it homophobia, nationalism or in Kiev’s case, war. 

As Paata Sabelashvili, a prominent Georgian LGBT and drug policy campaigner said in the taxi on the way to Bassiani, young people “need” these clubs more than they do in the west. In a country as conservative as Georgia, you can see why.

That underground club scenes are thriving demonstrates that there is a core of young, innovative people in these cities who want to stay there and create something of their own. Many of these people were born after the USSR collapsed and, as members of the first truly post-Soviet generation, they will play a big part in shaping their countries’ identities in the years to come. 

They are a generation who look forward, rather than back, and for many of them, techno is the soundtrack of the future.

Arthur House is the deputy editor of the Calvert Journal, a guide to the new east