Controversy arose this week after the manager of The Gallery nightclub claimed he had been “personally victimised by the York Student Union”, after an ongoing deal between the two parties was severed earlier this year.
YUSU and The Gallery had previously had an agreement that Thursday night at The Gallery would be the ‘official’ student night. However, over the summer, YUSU instead struck a deal with the newly refurbished club Tokyo, previously known as Tru.
Dave Harrison, the manager of The Gallery, told Nouse how he was “disappointed” that the deal had been broken off after 10 years of working together.
He stated: “As far as I knew, we had a good working relationship. We put in a bid for our usual Thursday night and all the paperwork had almost been agreed upon, but then we just found out we had lost the night, despite having had the agreement for so long. We don‘t know why it was cut off.
“It all changed after the head company (Luminar Leisure) sold off Tru. Even if the Student Union had a problem with Luminar, our head company, I’ve always dealt directly with YUSU, and Gallery shouldn’t have been brought into it. They have just sold out to Tokyo. I personally feel victimised by the Student Union.”
He described how since the agreement was broken off, he had been “approached by several colleges who aren’t happy, and want to organise events at Gallery separate from YUSU”.
He went on to say that colleges trying to book The Gallery venue for college events had faced opposition from YUSU.
“We just found out we had lost the night, despite having having had the agreement for so long. We don’t know why it was cut off.”
Indeed, James College organised a freshers event at Gallery, against the wishes of YUSU.
Tim Green, James College Chair, commented: “We approached Gallery ourselves and organised a foam party there. It was one of our best nights.”
Dan Walker, YUSU Democracy and Services Officer, responded to the allegations, stating that “the exact details behind the deal with YUSU and the clubs are commercially sensitive”.
He continued to say that it was apparent that “The Gallery, unlike other clubs in York, didn’t offer the best deal for students. We chose the four clubnights based simply on the ability of the venue to provide the best quality official nights for students in York.”
However, there have been further issues after The Gallery were escorted off campus last week. The club allegedly attempted to publicise at Freshers’ Fair, despite previous warning from YUSU. However, when speaking to Dave Harrison, he stated he had heeded this warning and denied that Gallery had been to Freshers’ Fair.
Dan Walker commented that “to the best of my knowledge a Gallery promotional team were ejected from the event as they had not paid to advertise there. I was passed a number of their fliers by student volunteers, and have a number of first hand accounts of their presence”.
He added: “As a final note I’d like to comment that we’d appreciate any and all feedback on the new club nights, both positive and negative, and hope students have been enjoying the lineup so far.”