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By Bronte Gossling|
An influencer from Sydney has called out Merivale's Coogee Pavilion, claiming he and his friends were barred from entering the venue over the weekend because they are men — only to be invited inside once the security guards realised how many followers they each have on social media.
Video creator Olan of Olantekkers says he was showing his two friends from the United Kingdom around Sydney on Sunday.
He wanted to give them a day to remember as it was their first time out in the city and the last night they were staying there before heading off to Melbourne.
All three were refused entry into the venue, and they say the security guards told them it was because there were already too many men inside, however, when people began to approach Olan and his friends — recognising them from their social media pages — the security guards quickly changed their tune.
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Taking to TikTok, 27-year-old Olan, who is from the United Kingdom but has been living in Sydney for the last two years, explained why he won't be visiting Coogee Pavilion again. Watch above.
"Coogee Pav. It's a no from me for a long time 🤦🏾‍♂️," Olan captioned his video, shared to his 248,000-strong following.
According to Olan, his two friends had previously tried to get in downstairs, only to be told they can't come in by security guards because there were too many men in the area already, and to come back later.
After waiting about 15 minutes as the security guards advised, the trio tried to get in downstairs again, only to be barred entry once more.
At this stage, security guards suggested they enter through the side door, which is the entry that would take the trio upstairs as downstairs was still at capacity — but Olan says that throughout the whole discussion, where he claims the security guard was "disrespectful" towards his friend, the trio could see women entering the downstairs area unrestricted, and other customers leaving.
"It's not like it's at capacity because people are leaving… so many people left," Olan tells 9Honey. "We should have been able to go in."
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Olan's friends then decided to leave, however, as they were about to go, people started recognising one of his friends — who has tens of millions of followers across TikTok, Instagram and YouTube — and asked to take photos with him, much to the security guard's shock.
After his friends had left, Olan tried to get in by himself to see if it was the fact that there were originally three of them that was the issue — but he was refused entry again.
"I'm like, 'Can I ask why [I can't go in?],' Olan tells 9Honey.
"Like, I'm not being aggressive, I'm not being rude and not being anything. And then he said to me, 'Well, we're at capacity.' I said, 'Okay, if you're at capacity, if someone comes out right now, the capacity has gone down, correct? That means I can go in.' And he was like, 'No, no, no, that's not how it works.'"
As Olan was asking this question, four women were let in by the same security guard. He says he understood that some venues have a gender ratio, but the numbers weren't adding up.
Sensing he was getting nowhere, he turned to leave — but all of a sudden, a patron came up and said, "I recognise you, I love all your videos."
The duo spoke for a few minutes, before a woman came up and asked Olan for a photo, as did another man.
A bouncer from Coogee Pavilion then came up to Olan and asked him who he was and what he did.
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"I was like, 'What do you mean? Who am I? I'm a nobody. Sometimes I make videos or whatever like that kind of thing,'" Olan says he responded.
"I didn't want to be like, 'Oh, I'm this big guy.' I didn't even want to show him, because I just feel like why? Why should he watch it? Why should that change how he treats me?
"And then I was like, 'Oh, well, I got 250k [followers].' And he was like, super shocked and was like, 'Oh, no, no, no, you can go and you show that guy your ID and you can go in.'"
Olan refused, and went home instead.
"It really, really rubbed me the wrong way because it's never happened to me," Olan tells 9Honey, saying he's never had to rely on his following as a method to get into somewhere.
"I'd never, ever do that. So it was very weird to me, for them to be like, 'Oh, you have this following? OK, you can come in.'"
Merivale, who owns Coogee Pavilion, declined to comment.
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