Radio Sandwell African / Caribbean News

Women turned away from Birmingham nightclub for being 'too black'

2015-10-31 13:56:03

Party goersCelebration: The friends from Luton, Bedfordshire, travelled more than 100 miles for a night out in Birmingham. Pictured, from left to right, Larissa Berry, Paris Williams, Lauren Williams, Chantelle Richards and Jade Henry

A group of women claim they were turned away from a nightclub because they were 'too black'.

The 11 friends from Luton, Bedfordshire, travelled more than 100 miles for a birthday night out at Bambu Bar, in Birmingham city centre, last Saturday.

But the women claim bouncers would not let 'groups of black people in' because 'there would be too many in the club'.

Party goersTurned away: The women claim bouncers at Bambu Bar, pictured, would not let 'groups of black people in'

Bambu Bar said it 'strenuously denied' the allegations.

Mother-of-two Jess Gregory, who organised the weekend away, said security staff told her two of her friends 'could probably' get into the nightspot because they had lighter skin.

Ms Gregory, 26, said: 'We took taxis to Bambu and queued, but when we got to the door the woman said we were not on the guest list.

'She looked us up and down and she kept saying "no, no you are not on the list" and then said "I think you need to leave the queue".

Jess Gregory'Embarrassed: Mother-of-two Jess Gregory

'We had made a booking. The manager came out and he said he could not overrule what the woman had said.

'He pointed to two of the lighter skinned girls who were with us and said they could probably get in.

'Then another friend spoke to the doorman who said there was no point in standing in the queue because they didn't let groups of black people in as there would be too many in the club.

'Basically the rest of us were told we were too black to come in. It was appalling. It was a bit surreal. So we just walked away. We felt offended and it was embarrassing.' 

The friends were later allowed in to Mist nightclub across the road but Ms Gregory, a recruitment consultant, said the incident 'tainted the whole evening'.

'I wouldn't want anyone else to go through what we did,' she said. 'This is a huge issue for black people.

'But this is just one place, it's not a reflection on Birmingham, which is a very multicultural city. The issue is the clubs which are happy to be discriminatory.

'I want other businesses to know there are repercussions to this sort of behaviour, because it is not fair on people - in particular on young people and women especially.

'It tells people they are not good enough.'

The row comes weeks after the club was forced to apologise after it turned down Oleta Lee, 24, who applied for a job telling her they needed 'less Afro Caribbean staff.'

Sinead Watson and Stephanie IilausNight out: Sinead Watson, left, and Stephanie Iilaus, were two of the women who claim they were turned away

Rudi Hamilton and Keisha McDonaldDenied entry: Rudi Hamilton, left, and Keisha McDonald, later spent their night at another club across the road

A spokesman for Bambu Bar said: 'We are aware of the allegations made with regards to a refusal of entry on Saturday gone.

'We strenuously deny all accusations made. Our front of house team is nothing but professional at all times and have been commended on numerous occasions for this by the local licensing team.

'As a venue of 500 capacity; we have over 1000 potential customers attempting to gain entry to our popular events and it is inevitable that people will be refused entry.

'As a licensed venue we will never discriminate on the basis of age, race or religion.'


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