Update 05.10.14: A petition to have the club's license revoked has received over a hundred signatures.
DSTRKT, a high-end nightclub in Soho in central London, has been accused of having a “racist door policy”. A protest took place outside DSTRKT two days ago following an incident on Saturday 28th September, and a number of DJs and grime MCs, including Stormzy, Tinchy Stryder and BBC 1Xtra’s Sarah-Jane Crawford have weighed in on the issue, with some urging a boycott of the club.
DSTRKT publicises itself as a celeb playground “renowned across the globe”, and boasts of having had Kim Kardashian, Jay-Z and Rihanna as guests in the past.
The incident came after a group of girls were denied entry into the club. Despite being told they were on the guestlist with a table, they were allegedly refused by promoters on the basis that they were "too dark" and "too overweight". A series of Whatsapp messages have been posted from a man she claims is a promoter for the Leicester Square club, which state that “black crowd is the concern” and suggested that only the lighter-skinned portion of the group would be allowed entry.
Speaking to BBC Newsbeat, Lin Mei from London, one of the group, said she was disgusted by the club’s behaviour. The women took to social media and organised a protest outside the club on Tuesday 29th September, with people joining in on Twitter using the hashtag #DoILookDstrkt?
Now a variety influential figures in music have weighed in on the debate, with DJ Brockie speaking to DJ Mag, saying, “How can a club in this day and age make rules to stop people coming in who are the wrong shape or skin tone? So sad and disgusting”.
Grime MC Gracious K gave us the following statement, “This whole DSTRKT scandal further highlights the issues people face. It is not this club alone but the majority of the West End employs this barbaric racial profiling system. It is a shame because they profit from the culture but don't want you in there to enjoy it. Personally I've been told by door staff that they've hit their quota for black people tonight, and it's not a nice feeling.”
Jumping Jack Frost added: “Racism is a disease and must be stopped now! This disease has started creeping back into society when I thought it was going away.”
Twitter is currently up in arms about the event, with bass producer Faze Miyake writing, "DSTRKT is a snapchat rave. You're just meant to do a snapchat video when a Drake tune is on and go home."
"DSTRKT ain't the only racist club" "Well I get into DSTRKT" "Just go somewhere else" pic.twitter.com/VYXo8oDVWF— WICKEDSKENGMAN 4. (@Stormzy1) September 30, 2015
After refusing to comment for a while, the club has now posted a statement on its Facebook page addressing the allegations, stating that it “condemns any type of racism or discrimination by customers or staff” but also makes some personal attacks against Lin Mei, posting screenshots from her social media profiles — suggesting that they might need to seriously rethink their PR strategy.
Copyright Thrust Publishing Ltd. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.djmag.com as the source.