A Brixton club allegedly refused entry to people who couldn’t name the DJs playing

It reportedly happened at Phonox last Friday night


Increasingly, London’s club culture is accused of mimicking the elitism of Berlin’s or New York’s.

The latest twist: on Friday night, Phonox in Brixton allegedly refused entry to some of those who couldn’t name the act they were there to see. Joy Orbison, DJ Nobu and Will Bankhead were on the billing – some of those who couldn’t name one were reportedly refused entry to the night.

Paul Andrew, a 27-year-old DJ and PhD student from Brixton, told The Tab that he was turned away initially.

“I heard other people being asked those sorts of questions,” he says. “But for us the girl with the clipboard just asked us to stay back for a second, then just said ‘sorry guys, tonight is not your night’.”

Far from being drunk or rowdy, he says he is teetotal and was in a relatively small group. He adds: “We were dressed fairly normally. I was even wearing a Sports Banger T-shirt, which is probably a bit of an indication that I’m into the London music scene.”

His group later got in. “I explained to [the bouncer] that we were here to see Joy Orbison and that we come to Phonox quite a lot,” Paul says. “He seemed to agree with us and let us in.”

“I understand the angle they’re going for, but we’re pretty involved in the London music scene. We’re all DJs ourselves and Brixton locals. [We have]  played at a lot of nearby venues, and regularly go to places like Phonox. It was weird to have been asked to leave because the woman working the queue was trying to root out people who weren’t there for the music.”

Others were less understanding. When the story hit the New Music Group on Facebook, Sam Hamlet commented: “This is so elitist, what has dance music become? What’s wrong with going to a club and discovering a DJ?”

Commenting on the same thread, Phonox co-owner Andy Peyton wrote:

Phonox has strict policies on phone use too: on its website, it advises “please avoid using phones or cameras to take photos: our dance floor’s for dancing”.

The Tab approached Phonox, but it declined to comment.