Leeds’ nightlife is a major draw for a huge proportion of its prospective student population. If you’re reading this, chances are that was exactly the case for you before you applied. It’s really no surprise; the city is a nightlife hotspot that’s consistently up there in the rankings of the UK’s best for a good time after dark. With pretty much everyone’s tastes covered, freshers is an ideal time for grabbing your flatmates and going to sample each and every venue big and small that the city has to offer.
Prepare for this to be a pretty bizarre experience. Clubbing with people you’ve just met is an odd one, but no doubt you’ll bond quickly over the drunken antics you’ll all get up to over the upcoming weeks and months. This is a day-by-day guide of personal recommendations of good clubs to head to this autumn, along with some extra useful info about each of the venues. Make no mistake however; this list only scratches the surface of the options on offer, as you’ll soon realize after a short time living in the city.
MONDAY – Leeds is the house music lover’s paradise on a Monday. If this is your scene you can’t go wrong in the small and sweaty (but in a really good way) Mint Mondays. This award-winning club is hidden away just up from the Headrow and is always full to bursting due to its popularity, particularly with the student population. Mint also plays host (not just on a Monday) to a number of nights run by a range of Leeds promoters including the increasingly popular Deep Fever and Set One Twenty.
TUESDAY – Tuesday in Leeds is somewhat more alternative. Virtually always a sell-out each week is The Hifi Club and their student night Mixtape Project. Expect an eclectic selection of tunes ranging from soul and funk to house and pop – rest assured that the name of the night is a good indicator! Hifi is small and underground so don’t expect much room to move or instant service at the bar, but do expect a lively party atmosphere appreciated by all. If you’re after something a lot heavier and are a lover of pop punk, emo and metal, you should head to new venue The Key Club for the weekly night Slam Dunk. Formerly held at the recently closed Cockpit, the alternative crowd head to this long-running night week by week and enjoy cheap drinks and free entry before 11.30pm.
WEDNESDAY – The student population flock in force to the Warehouse on a Wednesday for their night Mischief. This is where you’ll find the university’s sports teams letting off some steam at their weekly socials, as well as regular punters who can’t get enough of this small but classic venue close to the city centre.
THURSDAY – Fans of indie and electronic should head to the alternative venue Wire for their weekly night Fuzzy Logic. A hidden underground treasure on Leeds’ well-known Call Lane, this is a venue ideal for anyone wanting to party in a more intimate setting with great atmosphere. Wire is another favourite for one-off nights with special guest DJs (recent ones include Foals, Wild Beasts and Roman Flügel) that are well worth checking out for something a bit different.
WEEKEND – Weekends are the time to venture out into the outskirts of the city to experience the North’s unrivalled underground electronic music scene. This is where things can get a little to a lot more expensive, but if you’re looking for a different kind of clubbing experience in some amazing spaces then chances are the price will prove worth paying. Canal Mills and Beaver Works, an 18th century former textiles mill and an ex-Victorian warehouse respectively, should be your first ports of call for big, unique electronic music events. Canal Mills have announced a huge line-up for this season featuring big names Duke Dumont, Waze & Odyssey and Jackmaster to name but a few. Beaver Works is used by a number of popular Leeds promoters including the house and techno favourite Flux and reggae, hip hop and jungle event HighRise. Another extra special Victorian venue is Temple Works, which only opens its doors to clubbers for a very limited amount of time during the year. Keeping a close eye on social media is the only way to avoid missing out on tickets for these sell-out events.
To wrap things up, here are some useful tips:
1) If you’re sure you want to go to a particular night or event, getting tickets in advance ( at least several hours before one of the weekly sell-out nights listed above, at least a few weeks before one of the larger electronic events) to avoid missing out on tickets at the listed price. A huge proportion of Leeds clubbing requires you to have advance tickets so staying on top of this will avoid disappointment.
2) On the other hand, if you miss out on tickets for something don’t worry, there’s a whole array of other options waiting for you. Leeds nightlife extends well beyond the club scene, with loads of bars, restaurants, theatres and comedy clubs to name but a few alternative ideas for a fun night.
3) Liking the Facebook pages or following the Twitter feeds of each and every club / promoter that might be up your street is the best (and sometimes only) way to keep updated about what’s going on.
Get ready to have the time of your life in this incredible city.