Bar Nights

A bar night is a good way for everyone in a society to get to know each other, as well as a means to create some extra funding for the club towards a tour or new equipment. However there are some rules and guidelines that need to be followed when organising a bar night in order for it to be as effective as possible. It is important that you start planning early, ideally three or more weeks in advance, as bar nights can’t be booked with less than two weeks to go.

There are a few steps to booking a bar night in the Union bar:

  1. Submit a booking form to Anthony Michael ( at least 3 weeks in advance
  2. Get the function sheet signed by the correct people and return it
  3. Run your bar night
  4. Bank any income from ticket sales
  5. Pay any costs from the bar night via eActivities

For more details please see the bar night booking procedure

Event types

There are a few different ways bar nights and similar events can be run in the Union.

Cash bar:

The simplest form of bar night is to simply have the bar open, with guests buying their own drinks. This type of bar night can only happen in the Union Bar on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.

Bar tab:

You can decide in advance how much money you would like to put behind the bar as a bar tab, or set up an unrestricted bar tab. In the case of a restricted tab you can choose which drinks can be put on the tab, but for an unrestricted tab any drink can be ordered up to the value of the tokens given out.

We will give clubs 10% off the total of the tab and you won't pay any VAT, which can be passed on as a discount to members if desired. For example you could order a bar tab to the value of £300, but your club will only be charged £ 216 for it.

For bar tabs you cannot provide funds for more than 8 units of alcohol to be bought per person- this means a maximum Four drinks tokens per person (all drinks purchased on a tab must be done through tokens).

Your minimum spend will be the bar tab plus any drinks purchased further to this. If the minimum spend isn’t met your club will be charged the difference.

It is possible to have a bar tab system and then switch to a cost bar once everyone has used the tokens for drinks.

Drinks Vouchers:

Drinks vouchers will be provided by us, and you will be able to collect these from the Bar Manager at the start of your event.

You can decide what value to set the drinks vouchers for if you like – the minimum to allow for an alcoholic drink would be £2.40, and the most expensive drink we offer is around £4.80. Some important points to remember:

 ·         Vouchers are not valid for double measures or shots

 ·         Vouchers cannot be used in part payment of a more expensive drink that is over the value of the voucher

 ·         Vouchers are single use, and you will not receive change from a voucher

 ·         Only the value of the drink that the voucher is exchanged for will be added to your bar tab, not the full value of the voucher

 ·         If a voucher is not used, it will expire at the end of your event, and you will not be charged for this voucher.

 Bottle bar:

Pre-ordered bottles from the Union that can be self-served anywhere in the Union and returned once your event has finished. There is therefore no minimum bar spend and the bottles can be moved around the building if desired.

Selling to members:

Due to licensing laws, Clubs, Societies and Projects cannot sell drinks. Therefore, drinks promotions must be included in the ticket price e.g. £3 entry includes 3 drinks (with tokens to be redeemed) and no further tokens can be sold to that person, nor can a new entry ticket.

Food Menus:

The Union venues are able to provide catering for bar nights. At the below link, you can find out about our range of food options.

There is a standing charge of £25 for any food orders, which will be added to your minimum spend. Food items and menus are then priced individually, according to the menus above. Any catering must be agreed at least 2 weeks in advance of your event. We will do our best to cater for different dietary requirements and allergies. Any questions you might have, or if there is anything we can do to suit your event's requirements better, drop us an email!

We will give your club or society 10% off the menu price on any food order and you won't have to pay VAT, which can be passed on as a discount to your members. Food is made to order, so no refunds can be given for food not consumed at the event.

 Venues and Costs

Space Availability Bar tab and Costs Bottle bar Ents Restrictions
Union bar






✓ Minimum bar spend £ 300 x Portable PA Capacity is 80 and on days when the bar is open as usual will be first come, first served. Do not advertise more places than are available.
Union rooms Every day ✓ Mobile bar only, £150 set up charge and £300 minimum bar spend applies Portable PA Capacity limits vary, the room must be returned to its original state
College rooms Only through Conferences Office     Portable PA No bar nights
External spaces Venue dependent Venue dependent Venue dependent x As specified by contract



For every bar night where alcohol is involved, stewards are required to attend. However,

Stewards aren’t able to help you man the door to your event and can’t sell tickets or similar. If you require someone to do that, you can use your committee or hire a member of the entertainments team. The stewards are there for customer and fire safety, and although they are usually an unwanted additional cost are unfortunately one of the aspects of running a bar night.

The table shows the number of stewards necessary based on the numbers that will be attending:

Number Attending

 Stewards Required

Regular Senior
up to 20 0 0
21 - 50 1 1
51 -100 2 1