James Cheeseman explores the financial differences between the gay and straight venues in Cardiff
Here I am again, back for my final year of university with the title of LGBT+ Society Treasurer. This year, however, has a slight twist as I am the President of the Maths Society. This has started to give me a greater insight into the differences between organising a night out for the LGBT+ crowd and the (mostly) straight Maths crowd.
The most obvious difference, that both society members and committees will notice, is the price of drinks on club nights. In Cardiff’s gay bars and clubs, drinks prices are definitely cheaper than in straight venues. For example, Wednesday nights at Pulse, all drinks are 99p until 1AM. I have yet to see a straight club provide offers close to challenging this. It’s normal for most straight people, to take £30 cash from the ATM on a night out, whereas £15 covers it for LGBT+ venues.
The other important difference, which is not so obvious, is the relationship between clubs and society committees. The straight clubs are so big and popular they do not need to have good non-financial relationships with societies for their business to succeed. If the clubs do put on an offer for the society’s loyalty, either the reward is not really useful or you have to be legally bound in a sponsorship package meaning society committees cannot reap the benefits of working with other venues.
LGBT+ venues are completely different. As a society committee member, I can meet with the gay club managers and arrange some fantastic deals for LGBT+ Society members. One evening at WOW bar, we managed to arrange an offer where society members got free entry and would match the number of drinks you bought with free shots. The best part about this for the society committee was that there were no strings attached; they were just happy for our custom and the offer obviously encouraged the members to stay longer at their bar.
In my opinion, more societies should consider going on a gay night out. The fact that the venues are smaller and have a friendlier community means that your members can have an amazing, safe and cheap night out. You never know, your members may ask you to take them out again!