Time Out says
The most famous gay club in London, home to a variety of one-nighters.
When it opened its doors in 1979, Heaven was revolutionary. London's first gay superclub, it was the birthplace of Hi-NRG and acid house, a magnet for gay celebrities and mounted the most spectacular stage shows seen in clubland. But it hasn't been on top of its game for some time, rarely matching the standard set by Vauxhall rivals such as Fire. Still, with the closure of the Astoria and the subsequent move of G-A-Y to Heaven, the club has experienced something of a renaissance. Thursday now hosts G-A-Y Porn Idol, Fridays G-A-Y Camp Attack and Saturdays are reserved for the G-A-Y club night proper. It's not all a gay fiesta, however, the roomy Heaven also lays on live indie nights.
Charing Cross Arches, Villiers Street
|Transport:||Rail/Tube: Charing Cross; Tube: Embankment|
|Opening hours:||Check website for club nights and gig listings|
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Users say (27)
Average User Rating
1.6 / 5
- 5 star:2
- 4 star:2
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- 1 star:21
I’ve been going to heaven for about 6 years every Monday I was off from work. It has alway been great but last night something very disappointing happened. I was at the bar waiting to be served when a guy came from behind me and phisicslly start pushing me. He was pushing and shouting on me.. He was saying: do u want to be served? He repeated that for many times and still pushing. I reacted and I pushed him away. He then jumped behind the bar.. He was a bartender ..a sneaky one! He called security on radio and 4 guards came and took me out of the club. When I asked them what have I done..they couldn’t answer.. When I tried to explain what happened they start laughing at me and didn’t care even to my friends version who saw the scene. It was horrible and racist.. They asked me if I was gay. Very unprofessional.. Sneaky staff and security.. Unfair.. I was so mad., I didn’t do anything and I was put out for nothing.
#Heaven #Nightclub #London Pathetic little place. I was refused to enter and said I had too much to drink. Came especially with 16 friends and I was turned away. I did not have a drink and just finished work. I have a slight disability and I walk ''funny'' and that what I think was it. Thank you idiots for ruining my night. Also spoke to the 'manager'. Security pointed to a guy completely stoned, he did not said a word when I complained. Not sure of security either the guys didn't have Blue Badge and refused to give their names. Places like this one should be closed down.
Despite phoning in advance to enquire about prices for a group visit for a 33rd birthday we were told ON THE NIGHT that groups are not allowed in the venue. Thanks GAY after we spent £640 to get to you. That is a joke for a start a club that does not allow groups. Pathetic.
I am an LGBT officer and was disgusted that one of my friends who was female and straight was told she could not come in. Firstly because she was part of a group and secondly she was straight and it was a gay venue. If that had been the other way round at a straight venue then all hell would break loose about homophobia. Clearly its ok for GAY to be heterophobic to her.
I had been warned by people prior to going that the staff we incredibly unfriendly but didn't believe them. How wrong I was.
We left Heaven and walked into a straight venue . No questions asked. Thanks to them they saved the night.
In my opinion if you want a good night DO NOT go to GAY HEAVEN. Clearly they have become blind with money and have forgotten their roots and the people who made them who they are today.
Will not be going back.
Haven't been to the club for several years. It's just sad. Total time wast !!! ANd the staff!!! What's wrong with these people. They are pathetic!
We went on a Saturday night back in January for a night of music from the last 25 (I think) years.
The queue wasn't too bad, nor were the security staff. The music in the main room downstairs was okay as was the music in the upstairs room.
However, the service at the island bar upstairs was, hands down, THE worst service I have ever received in the 25 years since I started clubbing. I used it twice and on both occasions, I waited nearly 10 minutes to be served as I was repeatedly overlooked by the bar staff that either have no idea how to work a bar or simply don't care about providing god service.
I appreciate they are busy 'cause Heaven don't employ enough bar staff, but, that does not make it okay to not serve people properly. Rather than work their way around the bar to people that have been waiting their turn, the bar staff stayed mostly in the same place but very occasionally moved a few feet to serve someone. Whilst the bar downstairs at the back of the room wasn't quite so bad, I still waited at least 5 minutes to be served 'cause Heaven don't employ enough bar staff. I've never experienced this before and have to say that it spoiled what was otherwise a good night.
Would I go again? Possibly, BUT, if the service is as bad again, I won't be going back.
I've been here in various different capacities, however, I can't remember my clubbing experience so will leave that out of the review.
Heaven also doubles up as a music/events venue when it's not opening its doors to its iconic club night. As a music venue, it's not bad, not great - okay. If you're at the front then you're likely to be squashed by young and eager gig attendees with blinding stage lights and stifling heat... but a great view of the artist/band. If you're at the back it's cooler (as in, temperature) and more spacious but the view is pants. If an artist was playing at Heaven the venue wouldn't stop me from going, but, I wouldn't seek out events there either.
Verdict: a cool venue for an intimate gig that's let down by its structural layout.
The staff are extremely rude. I lined up with 7 friends, 3 of which are gay and they told us to stand aside as we had drunk too much. One friend was sober and the rest were not inappropriate or too drunk. Despite asking to speak with someone/ the manager, we were spoken to by an older male who refused to listen. He insisted we must be too drunk and any attempt to dispute was refused by him as "speaking out of line" or speaking over the top of him. He said he would only speak with a "reasonable male friend" of mine when I am female and disagreed. The attitude was unfriendly and sexist. Despite having had a great night out here previously I will never recommend this place, anyone deserves better than the terrible treatment and attitude of the staff - can't believe I didn't notice the first time - clearly I was drunk enough that time to be oblivious, and naturally was let right in.
I've been coming to Heaven regularly since 2008. Having read the mostly negative reviews of Heaven on this website and other similar review websites, I can confirm these comments are indeed true of the type of bad experience you will have at this place.
For the first time ever, I was denied entry by some new security staff person (short, slim brunette) because I didn't have a driver's license or passport ID. Not once before have I been asked for this, and as I don't drive why on earth would I then start bringing my passport with me? I'm here for a night out, not travelling abroad.
She was obviously in a bad mood from the previous crowd in front of us that she rejected for no good reason and clearly didn't like her job, so was taking it out on everyone else. How mature of "professional security staff."
The security staff (some of whom I know are police cadet dropouts and failures) aren't obviously qualified and have better training in being rude and making your night go to crap with no good reason. As I've said, they are police failures, so thrive on the limited power they have to let people through the door, which I guess makes them feel like they have achieved something in life.
Based on what else I've seen go on there while queuing previous times; they will not let you in if you are: foreign/Eastern European, unattractive, straight-looking (yes, I know...), if you are in a group of girls or large group of friends, or if you look like you already had a drink. These are the real reasons, but they will often make up something else instead.
I'm not the type of person to write reviews on sites like this, but feel that other people should know. Just take a minute to read the mostly negative reviews on this site, and think, "Do I really want to go here and risk ruining my night out?
Avoid this place - there are better alternatives available, it's London, after all...
Dive but people keep going, maybe due to the lack of alternatives for the younger market. Also rude power hungry bouncers randomly pick off people saying they are drunk and need a breath test. Breath tester is not cleaned. disgusting and ridiculous system. I got breath tested, not allowed in, just queued up again and got let in.
Just got denied entry because the photo in my ID looks young and therefore 'cant identify me'.. The face is clearly me, the dob shows im 22 years old, I've been to Heaven about 5 times over the past few weeks not to mention countless other clubs and bars in the area oh and I've been let in before by the same female guard who tonight denied me entry. So she was either wrong tonight or all the other times she let me in, either way she obviously can't do her job properly. Appalling, nonsensical, demoralising and rude. Also scalded me for giving her 'attitude' when all I did was answer her when she asked me for my address and came over to scream at me/ shake her fat ugly ego around after I tried talking to another guard about it. Night ruined. Customer lost. Memories tainted. Was also very insulting by commenting that I 'look like a baby' on my driving license over and over and over again. I knew they were notorious for their rudeness but I hadn't experienced it until tonight. Such a shame that a place that should be and was (for me) an lgbt sanctuary where you could go and have a good time is now a hellhole where you're spoken down to and belittled by tiny tiny men and women who have been given a small ounce of power.
It was my first visit to Heaven, rock concert on a Wednesday
night, and I was surprised how cool the venue is! It very much has the
warehouse-y feel, sound system is very good and stage has wicked visual
My friend and I decided to give Heaven a shot yesterday evening (Monday, 29/02) after splitting off from our group after the theater. It was around 1am. We were local, but had never got around to it. Walked around from the Tube, got moved to a 'second queue' by security further down in The Arches. Ok, sure thing. There's a lot of people around and you don't want to block up the street.
Had to ask one bouncer if we were in the right queue and he was nice enough about it. Started queuing. Waited for about half an hour/40 mins.
Friend presented her passport as ID to the doorman. He looked at it for a while and started talking with her about how it runs out soon and she should make sure to get it renewed or she'll 'never get back in again'. Strange, but ok. She responded something like 'yeah, I know', and all of a sudden he decides she's 'way too drunk' to come in. I'm asked to step out of the queue with her as she is 'shaking'.
She had had one glass of wine about an hour and a half earlier. I was sober, so I think my judgement of her not being drunk at all at this point was fairly accurate. It was also 4 degrees outside.
The group of loud, clearly tipsy/drunk people in front of us, however, got in with no questions asked.
You know what? Mistakes happen. Maybe she really did seem drunk within that one minute to someone who didn't know her, and was on high alert regarding drunks. If that's true, you're faced with the kind of worrying idea that security here don't actually know how to properly identify people who are too intoxicated to come in, and that puts the efficiency of their work into question. The other option is that you have door staff who make up reasons to refuse people they don't like the look of, for whatever reason.
I don't know if it's worth mentioning or not, but we're two young queer girls. The groups in front of us that got in, who I could see, seemed to be mostly comprised of straight couples and the odd gay man.
Me getting upset for being turned away isn't really going to sway too many opinions - it is an extremely popular venue (arguably London's biggest gay venue, which kind of makes it sting all the more). People keep going because obviously it's fun.
But fair warning to anyone visiting that you need to be extremely careful with security, and perhaps prepared to get turned away. You must have ID with you, and they prefer UK IDs from what I got to see. Security is extremely tight (body scans are involved), and judging by the fact that I'm not the first to say this, their current security seems to operate on a different system of admission to most in the city.
Take care with the staff, rud , thieves, avoid the females in the entrance!! who they think they are?
First time visiting the venue. WELL NOT BE BACK. Partner was assaulted by one of the venues drag host's who was checking stamps on the door to vip. two female security approach us and already made their minds up and was forcing and pushing us out the club like thugs . Was refused speaking to management cuz door staff said so. Terrible boring venue . Shocking customer service. Don't waste your time or money .( the website makes you leave a rating others no they would even get one star)
I used to go to this club religiously however it now lacks decent music. The last time i went here i was actually bored and i can just about dance to anything. I think the venue needs updating and they need a better DJ.
Absolutely awful. I do not like drinking but enjoy dancing and after the bouncer insisted I had a breathalyser test and was apparently I was too drunk after one drink. I am 5ft and given the same test as a man is rather unreasonable. As all my friends had to leave with me. This club has no decent reputation around town and will not have one from me.
Avoid this place, This should be called a pathetic experience. I wished to have an LGBT atmosphere but it is nothing like it. Rude security
Horrible place, horrible staff and horrible venue, sums it all up.
Their attitude has not changed when they were at the Astoria venue, where do they get their security staff from? I was sober when I go there, NO Entry, another occasion I was a bit tipsy, NO ENTRY and told to go have a coffee while they consider letting me in!
There is a law against discrimination.
Well I can always spend my money elsewhere and not have to put up with insulting comments from door staff - male and female!
went here for many years before its takeover by Jeremy Joseph and pretty much went down hill from there. bad atmosphere in there as said previously and just generally quite boring and unfriendly.upstairs bars seem to be rarely opened due to lack of punters which increases its lack of appeal.better off in soho or vauxhall
One year on from the previous reviews, nothing has changed with this ridiculously awful place. I agree the door policy is abusive and discriminatory - don't waste your time travelling to this club on the off-chance you will be turned away, moved about or generally insulted by the inexperienced and aggressive door staff. Back in the day when hosted at Astoria G-A-Y was a fun, welcoming place which encouraged all ages, sizes and types to mix together in relaxed harmony - it used to be a refreshing place in a 'gay scene' which is traditionally obsessed with looks and glamour. Sadly The Astoria was tragically knocked down and for some reason G-A-Y chose its new home at Heaven. The place now attracts a "hip young crowd", tagged along by fake blone hair fag hags or groups of "trendoids". Having boycotted the place for some years now following an awful night immediately after the relocation, we decided to return TWICE in the last few weeks to see if the place had changed....sadly not. The first time we were "selected" to leave the queue and join another queue right on the other side of the building, only to find out the other queue was 10 times longer and had already been informed that if in that queue only "members" would be getting in...awful, given that we were practically inside in the original queue. Upon returning last week we were told we were "too drunk" by a "head bouncer" who appeared from nowhere and hadn't actually seen us - as it was 12.30 am OF COURSE we had been drinking, but no, we were not drunk - we attempted to discuss the matter with the young cronies of "head of security", i.e. to demonstrate we were talking rationally and not aggressively, we simply wanted to know upon what basis we were "too drunk" but no, we were shouted at to "get out of the queue". Yes, we are in our 30's, so perhaps this was the reason...disgusting. Upon leaving a young twink screeched at me that I hadn't been asked to leave because we were too drunk, but "because your hair looks like straw". This kind of confirmed that the place was not for me anyway and will NOT be returning. Bring back the old G-A-Y....or just go to Vauxhall instead.
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