Skip to content

The reality of the nightclub boycott on Bristol's Triangle

As concerns around drink-spiking in nightclubs were rising, a campaign for a nationwide boycott of clubs was planned and took place on 27 October.

By Holly Beaumont, Co-Editor-in-Chief

As concerns around drink-spiking in nightclubs were rising, a campaign for a nationwide boycott of clubs was planned and took place yesterday evening, on 27 October.

Bristol's Triangle boasts six nightclubs that are typically heavily populated with students, especially on a Wednesday (sports) night. However, this evening, the usually loud and crowded streets of the Triangle were eerily empty.

Many of the more popular clubs, including Lizard Lounge, Gravity and Lola Lo's, made the decision not to open their doors yesterday evening.

Lola Lo nightclub did not open its doors this evening | Epigram / Holly Beaumont

While many clubs did not open, The Brass Pig opened as usual. The Brass Pig is usually the home to the university's Tennis club for pre-drinks on a sports night, as well as many other students. However, yesterday evening at 10pm, the venue only hosted one table of four.

When asked why they decided to open, a bouncer at Brass Pig told Epigram, ‘I just maintain the operations, I don’t make decisions on when we open and close’. He agreed that the bar was ‘abnormally empty’ but denied a comment on the boycott.

Similarly, Mbargo nightclub, that has a barrier outside to account for masses of people queuing, had only two people in the queue at 10:30pm.

The unpopulated Brass Pig at 10pm | Epigram / Holly Beaumont

The two men that were entering the club underwent rigorous checks by the two bouncers. The club-goers were surprised at being asked to ‘empty their pockets’.

The bouncers informed them: ‘It’s because of the drink-spiking that’s been going on. Don’t take it personally’.

When asked whether they were aware of the boycott, one of the club-goers replied, ‘No, but f*** it, I’m going in’. After being asked whether their decision to enter the club had changed after being made aware of it, he answered, ‘I’m going in for a drink’.

Bouncers checking club-goers personal items before entering | Epigram / Holly Beaumont

Aside from the two venues being open with little-to-no attendance, the only other venues that hosted customers appeared to be pubs. Many societies at the University of Bristol, such as the Cricket and Football club, made the decision to hold sober socials this evening. Others decided to only attend pubs.

Girls Night In campaign launched to spread awareness for the increase in spiking victims
Bristol launches anti drink-spiking campaign

From inside The Berkeley pub on Park Street, Badminton Society told Epigram, ‘We changed our social plans to a pub crawl tonight because of the Boycott. We aren’t going out tonight’.

The Veterinary and Zoological Society similarly said, ‘We publicly announced that we’re not supporting (going out). We were originally going to go out but we’ve cancelled that part of the social.’

The empty streets outside Lizard Lounge | Epigram / Holly Beaumont 

Other societies that observed the boycott include the Hockey club, Dance society, and the Rugby club.

Featured Image: Epigram / Holly Beaumont

Did you observe the nightclub boycott?