After shadowing the bouncers at Ministry of Sound, it’s time to realise they’re on our side

They’re the real heroes


It’s one of London’s most famous clubs, but as with any venue, you’re often wary of the bouncers.

Spending a night on the door at Ministry of Sound was an eye-opener. From dealing with difficult drunks and celeb visits to privately searching anyone suspicious, the bouncers at the Elephant and Castle hotspot have their work cut out. Working until 6am when the venue shuts, they put in long hours trying to keep us all safe and make sure we have a good night.

Jack, one of the deputy managers, has often turned people away for being too drunk. He said: “Once there was a guy who got refused entry because he was drunk, so he punched himself in the face and sent through a complaint email requesting a refund. We also get weird things sometimes like a few months ago we did an album launch party and Paul McCartney was supposed to come but didn’t in the end.”

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Waiting for him to accept my fb request x

After spending some time with Jack, I saw various groups of tipsy teenagers and adults threatening to file complaints because someone in the club gave them dirty looks, or spilt a drink on them. I started to grow ever-more sympathetic for the people I was following.

Pete – who has worked at Ministry for four years – worked several guarding jobs before starting here. He told The Tab: “Because Ministry is such a big tourist attraction, we get people from all different walks of life, coming to the club for all kinds of reasons.”

When asked what he would rate his job out of 10, he replied with an eight, admitting his favourite moments tend to be around 5am to 6am when it’s time to leave. Not only has he met Brad Pitt, but he also confessed something else to us: “Before working at Ministry I did other guard related jobs. I was actually the famous person that slapped Ant and Dec at Oxford back when they were students. They just got a bit lippy, this was years and years ago though.”

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Jack in action

Tougher than airport security

Tougher than airport security

Akwa has also encountered some unusual things during her four months here. She said: “Sometimes there’s guys in the queue, you know the ones that act kind of funny? They’re constantly touching themselves and seeing if it’s in the right place. We sometimes have to ask them if we can do a double search on them more privately.

“There aren’t too many difficult students to be honest, we show them respect initially and expect them to do the same. Usually that is the case, but sometimes you get the odd few who feel like they’re on a high, feeling amazing and confident, assuming they can do what they want. I definitely go inside too: it’s beautiful, and the people are really nice sometimes, always saying sorry. Ministry is a lot less rough than the other places I’ve worked at.”

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Akwa = bae

I was surprised by how friendly the bouncers were. Most of the time we have very little to do with them, so perhaps it shouldn’t come as a surprise they’re actually really nice people looking out for our safety. Maybe I’d be a bit groggy having to put up with rogue clubbers at four in the morning in the freezing cold, too.