Frequently Asked Questions
Why is the Cowley Club never open? The blinds are always down!
We are open a lot! The café is open during the day, but at night we put the blinds down (or cover the windows with boards as soundproofing and for security) so we can serve alcohol to members and guests of the 12 London Road Social Club (12LRSC). Don’t let that put you off – ring the doorbell and we will be delighted to let you in!
Do you have to join 12LRSC to attend events at the Cowley?
Only those events where we serve alcohol, most of which take place in the evening. Joining 12LRSC is very simple – come and fill in a membership form which is available from the club whenever we're open, pay your £1 lifetime membership fee and it will be processed at the next general meeting.
Until your membership is processed, you are welcome to attend events as a guest of 12LRSC. You will need to sign in when you arrive.
What kind of name is The Cowley Club anyway?
We're named after local legend Harry Cowley. You can find out all about the guv'nor on our Who was Harry Cowley? page
How do you ensure that you are a queer and trans-inclusive space?
We have gender neutral toilets. The Cowley Club also has a safer spaces policy which we take very seriously.
We understand that homophobic or transphobic comments are just as hurtful if posted online as if they were spoken aloud inside of our building. Therefore, our safer spaces policy extends to our social media pages – if you see comments which go against our principles on our social media accounts, please let us know so we can investigate and remove them. Please contact the Mediation Collective for more information.
Can my band play at The Cowley Club? Can I book a gig at The Cowley Club?
Unfortunately, we don’t have the resources to book live music ourselves, and rely on outside promotors and supporter groups to book benefit gigs, so if you are interested in booking a show at the club we want to hear from you. All gigs at the club are benefit gigs for either the club or a supporter group, no one is aiming to make a profit. If you are local to Brighton and would like to organise a benefit gig, please get in touch with the Ents Collective and arrange to come down and have a chat. If your band would like to play the club we would recommend looking at our listings and getting in touch with one of the promoters or campaigns who book live music, or come down to the club and book a show yourself!
How do I organise an event/meeting at the Cowley Club?
To put on an event at the Cowley, you should be a member of a supporter group – a group that has come to a general meeting and explained how its aims complement those of the Cowley Club. Please email ten.puesir@bulcyelwoc if you want to become a supporter group.
To organise live music or any other entertainments, please get in touch with the Ents Collective
Do you accept cards/contactless?
The club is cash-only at the moment, we will be investing in a card reader in the near future, but for the time being we can only accept cash, there is a fee-free cash machine across the road. Once we do take cards, we will continue to accept cash in the cafe, bar and bookshop, you will never be forced to pay by card if you prefer the anonymity and accessibility of cash!
Do you allow dogs?
Only assistance dogs. We do have a garden though – a sun trap with flowers and picnic benches. You can sit there with your dog if you wish, but please ask the volunteers on shift first and always clean up after your four-legged friend.
Assistance dogs are never allowed during live music!
Do you have an accessible toilet?
We have an accessible toilet in the library. Access is via Providence Place, so please speak to a volunteer who will be happy to assist you in finding it. Unfortunately, as our building is over 100 years old, it cannot be accessed from the main space without traversing some staircases
Detailed information on the club's accessibility can be found on our Accessibility page
Are children allowed in the Cowley Club?
Children are of course welcome at the Club. If you are under the age of 18, you can attend events where alcohol is served but you must leave by 9pm.
For obvious reasons, you have to be over 18 to join The 12 London Road Social Club (12LRSC).
Limited company? Mortgage? Licences? That's not very anarchist is it?
You're right, it's not. But unfortunately in order to persevere sustainably in a capitalist world, and maintain an anarchist space for all this time, we have to play their game.
If we ran the bar without a licence, we would be up before the courts in a matter of days. If we didn't do boring things like stick to the conditions of our live music licence, or file our accounts, we would have closed down long ago. But just think how furious the capitalist landlords will be when they realise they can't build more student flats on top of us!
I want to speak to the manager!
You're going to be waiting a very long time