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In response to the ‘Lancaster Night In’ petition which now has over 400 signatures to its name, nightclubs in Lancaster are beginning to make crucial changes for the safety of students and the wider community on nights out.
The Sugarhouse will be standing in solidarity with the ‘Night In’ campaign, closing its doors on the 27th October as well as bringing in numerous additional procedures and policies to protect its customers.
Generation will be implementing similar procedures to combat spiking with plastic drink toppers as well as “random checks systematically throughout the night.”
GLOW on the other hand, who claim to have “zero confirmed cases of spiking…since taking over the venue in 2016” have been under fire for failing to do beyond the “bare minimum.” In a recent statement posted on social media, GLOW claimed that they “work hard to create a welcoming, inclusive and safe environment” through systems, Managing Director Paul Roberts Jnr claimed, “we have always had in place here at Glow.”
However, when criticised by both students and the wider community commenting their horrific experiences at the club, instead of listening, GLOW proceeded to delete comments and block users.
SCAN have reached out to a number of these individuals so their voices can finally be heard. Speaking on their experience of spiking in GLOW, one person expressed that, “one of my friends ended up getting spiked…she could hardly walk or speak so we took her outside… within about 5 minutes…she had completely passed out…she ended up lying quite near to the road.” Recognising they were in distress, it was appalling to hear that the bouncers, “just stood and laughed…making comments like “someone’s had a good night” and “we don’t care, she’s just really drunk.” They ended up having to get an ambulance for her and the hospital found rohypnol in her system.
Unfortunately, this isn’t a standalone case, countless people have experienced similar horrors with someone else narrating an almost identical story: “I couldn’t walk…there is no empathy, I was left on the streets of Lancaster alone”. For a nightclub that prides itself on a “welcoming, inclusive and safe environment” the treatment of its customers speaks a whole other language.
Not only have there been several reports of “fully trained” staff seeing “multiple people who have very clearly been spiked” and kicking them out, there have been further reports of misconduct. Sam Johnson revealing that, “I’ve had friends tell me about not being allowed in unless they flashed a bouncer,” whilst others have been asked for nudes: “one of your staff asked me for a nude picture of myself. I told another bouncer and I got laughed at.”
When asked to compare experiences had in other venues in Lancaster, someone came forward saying that in GLOW, “a man I didn’t know kept grabbing hold of me despite me telling him not to. I reported it to a bouncer and was told “go home then.”
Whereas, “in Crafties earlier on in the night where we’d been chatting outside…and mentioned this creepy guy inside who wouldn’t leave us alone, the bouncer overheard and offered immediately if we needed any help.” The sheer contrast in conduct is shocking, revealing that misogyny isn’t a problem within the club culture at Lancaster but at GLOW in particular.
It goes without question that significant improvements need to be made in response to these experiences and the way students – and the wider community – are treated at GLOW Nightclub. However, the future doesn’t look all too bright as GLOW frustratingly persist to silence criticism through not only deleting comments but failing to recognise the “welcoming, inclusive and safe environment” they’ve worked so hard to create remains a predator’s haven.
GLOW’s refusal to accept any spiking has been committed on the property, with Paul Roberts Jnr claiming, “the nightclub has not been contacted by police or local authorities over spiking cases” is more than simply negligence but “laughable”.