Tuesday night Clubbing London

Dstrkt nightclub denies ban on dark and overweight women

The council that licenses the venue, Dstrkt, said it was concerned by the allegations and said anyone who had been affected should report their complaints to the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

On social media, dozens of other partygoers – including BBC Radio 1Xtra DJ Sarah-Jane Crawford – said they had experienced racist door policies at high-end clubs.

— Sarah-Jane Crawford (@DJSarahJane)

The furore came to light after a clubber : “We are concerned to hear allegations of racist behaviour at any nightclubs within Westminster. We have been advised that this could be dealt with by making a complaint under the Equality Act to the Equality and Human Rights Commission. Alternatively, if there are allegations of criminal conduct these should be referred to the police. The police would then be able to investigate and if appropriate initiate a review of the premises license, which we would take very seriously.”

The club, which did not respond to requests for comment for several days after the allegations were published, which said it has “always operated an anti-racist door policy and it condemns any type of racism or discrimination by customers or staff”.

Dstrkt said it had launched an investigation into the incident but found no evidence of racist behaviour by staff. “Comments made by external promoters to the women or in general have nothing to do with Dstrkt and aren’t deemed acceptable, ” it said, adding that the women had been denied entry on Saturday because the club was fully booked.

Clubber Lin Mei, 29, alleged via a series of posted messages that she and another “mixed-race” friend had been told they would be allowed in the club but the promoter appeared to express doubts about her darker-skinned friends, saying black girls found it more difficult to gain entry.

Mei later told BBC news that as she arrived at the club, which she had visited previously, two of her friends were told they were “overweight” and “too dark” to enter. The club denies racist remarks were made by door staff.

Mei and her friend Zalika Miller held a protest outside the club on Tuesday night, joined by dozens of others concerned by the allegations, as the club hosted a night with model and actor Karrueche Tran, the ex-girlfriend of singer Chris Brown. It has previously hosted parties for celebrities including Jay Z, Justin Bieber and the cast of The Only Way Is Essex.

Lin Mei and friends protest outside Dstrkt — KOJO (@OfficialKojo) night club! Proud of the people letting their voices be heard. #EnoughIsEnough ✊🏿

“From our advance bookings we knew that Dstrkt would be completely sold out and the venue has clear health and safety guidelines set out by Westminster Council and cannot exceed our capacity numbers under any circumstances, ” Dstrkt’s management continued in its statement.

The club posted pictures from inside the club of two of the women concerned on a previous visit, though Mei said she had never disputed that she had been allowed in the club previously.

— DSTRKT London (@dstrktlondon)

“It appears that this message has now been deleted from her account, but this clearly shows that the only reason she was turned away on the night of the 26th September was that the club was fully booked due to its popularity, ” the club said.

Tran, who attended the club on the night of the protests despite being urged on social media to cancel her appearance, said she was concerned about the incident.

“It’s unfortunate to hear about something like that, especially something that I’m part of, ” she told the BBC. “I’m half African-American too. I have godsisters and family who have darker skin as well. I don’t support any sort of discrimination. I love people for who they are.”

Interesting facts

  • Club Fandango is a live music promotions company based in Highbury, London, England. It was started in 2001, by Simon Williams and Andy MacLeod. The former runs Fierce Panda records, the latter the Pointy Records label. Williams and MacLeod had previously promoted...
  • Klooks Kleek was a jazz/R club in the 1960s, based in The Railway Hotel, West Hampstead , North West London, next to the Decca Records studio. The club was named after a 1956 album by Kenny Clarke (Klook Clique, Savoy Records 12006).
    Dick Jordan opened his jazz club...

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