September 23, 2022

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A Sydney nightclub is cracking down on unwanted “staring” that could see offending patrons removed from the premises if they do not receive “verbal consent”.

Club 77, located in inner-city Darlinghurst, announced their new policy on social media platform Instagram after recently attracting individuals who do not align with their core principles.

“As a nightclub, we encourage you to interact with strangers, however any engagement must begin with verbal consent,” the post reads.

Patrons will be removed and police could be called if they make those around them feel uncomfortable. (9News)

“This also applies if you are, for example, staring at someone from afar.

“If the attention you are giving someone is unwanted, that is considered harassment.”

The club said the policy was designed to create a “safe space” for all patrons.

“At Club 77 we are continuously striving to create a safer and truly open space for our patrons, artists and employees. We operate a zero-tolerance policy on harassment of any kind,” they said.

“Creating a safe space goes beyond implementing practices to deal with incidents after they have happened.”

While Club 77 encourages interactions with strangers, they say it is not the place to go if “your sole purpose is to ‘pick up'”.

“If the attention you are giving someone is unwanted, that is considered harassment.” 

Dane Gorrel, owner of renowned Sydney nightclub Club 77, has defended a new rule that bans aggressive staring. (9News)

Club owner Dane Gorrel told Today that “anything without consent is harassment”.

“We have worked hard in developing this policy and developing it and we hold close to our views at the club,” he said.

“We just want to take care of people at the end of the day.”

To make sure the guidelines are implemented effectively, Club 77 will turn one of their security guards into a designated “Safety Officer” each night. 

The officers have received appropriate training in dealing with “complaints and concerns” according to the club, and to ensure patrons can identify them clearly, they will wear a “pink hi-vis vest”. 

The club says prior “verbal consent” is necessary to ensuring patrons feel comfortable. (9News)

Following their announcement to Instagram, the comments have been overwhelmingly positive with one person writing, “backing this 100 per cent”.

“Amazing!!! Positive party culture all the way!,” another person commented.

Mr Gorrel says hopefully the new guidelines will make patrons feel comfortable while they are at the venue, with the club continuously striving to create a “a safer and truly open space” for everyone.



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