Attention Lancaster Freshers! Here’s everything you have to look forward to as a student

From winter balls to music festivals, Lancs has so much to offer


So, you’ve finally received your results and you’re coming to Lancaster! Obviously, you’ve got Fresher’s Week to be excited about, but what else is Lancaster offering? Here’s a list of all the things Lancaster has going on throughout the year that you might not know about. Alongside buying unnecessary items you’ll use once at uni and making besties in the fresher’s group chats, we hope this will get you excited for your new life at Lancaster.

1. The Music Festival

Starting early on in the academic year, Lancaster’s annual Music Festival showcases the area’s best performers in venues across the city centre. From Lancaster Castle to cafes, there’s music everywhere in Lancaster over this October weekend, and the small city feels truly alive. Our favourite part is the Batala drummers, who always perform through the streets of Lancaster.

2. Bonfire Night

Usually on the Thursday before Bonfire Night, the uni puts on its own fireworks event with performances and food stalls! There are also fireworks launched from the castle, and our favourite spot to watch them is from Williamson Park. It really makes you remember the childhood bliss of watching fireworks, your hands gloved in mittens, writing your name with a sparkler and curling up with a hot chocolate.

3. Light Up Lancaster

Around Bonfire Night, the streets of Lancaster become adorned with artwork made from light. This is incorporated into the fireworks event, but artworks can be seen on the streets of Lancaster, in The Storey, or the Castle. It’s the perfect thing to do after Halloween when the nights turn dark.

4. Lancaster On Ice

Every year, Dalton Square is turned into a big ice skating rink, and if that isn’t the most winter wonderland-feeling thing ever, then who are you, Scrooge? There’s nothing that says Christmas at Lancs more than going ice skating in Dalton Square and grabbing a hot chocolate (or a mulled wine) afterwards.

5. Winter Balls

At the end of Michaelmas term, every college puts on its own Winter Ball. If you wanted the feel of Hogwarts, or Oxbridge, then this is your chance to dress up, eat a fancy meal and get drunk with your friends.

6. Roses

Each year, Lancaster and York compete in various different sports across three days in an attempt to win Roses. This is Europe’s biggest varsity event, and is going to be held in Lancaster this year! Lancs has won for the past two years, so here’s hoping for a three-peat.

7. College varsity events

Alongside Roses, the colleges hold their own varsity events too. There’s Founders (Bowland vs. Lonsdale), Patriots (Furness vs. Cartmel), Warriors (Grizedale vs. Pendle) and Titans (County vs. Fydle). If you feel like showing your loyalty to your college, then this is a great way to get involved, especially since anyone can sign up – you don’t have to already be a member of your college team.

8. Highest Point Festival

Did you know Lancaster has a music festival? Held in Williamson Park and headlined by musicians like Anne Marie and Bastille, it’s a little taste of Glastonbury, only cooler (because it’s in Lancs).

9. Pride


Lancaster’s Pride is small but that doesn’t make it any less mighty. We still know how to throw a good pride party, and there are plenty of dogs adorned in pride accessories, which is one of the cutest parts of the day.

10. Extravs

To celebrate everyone’s hard work at the end of the year, each college holds an Extrav, which is basically a big, themed party. This year, themes ranged from Shrek to Mario to spies. It’s a great way to blow off steam from a hard year of missing your 9am seminars and spending too much money in Greggs.

11. Club nights

Sugarhouse is Lancaster’s student nightclub. It opens every Wednesday and Friday, and occasionally hosts themed nights! There’s a Swiftogeddon coming up in November, and it’s hosted Mamma Mia and The Greatest Showman singalongs too. Sugar is great if you’ve come for the uni life, rather than the university life.

12. Bongo’s Bingo

Life at uni would be nothing without Bongo’s. With the chance of winning prizes ranging from a massive dildo to a five foot unicorn, there’s no way you could come to Lancs and not go to Bongo’s – it almost makes the tuition fees worth paying. There’s also a slight chance of a shower of Coco Pops, so come prepared.

13. Society showcases

Lancaster has literally hundreds of societies, and not only do they give you a great chance to try new things and make new friends, they also host amazing events! The university’s Music Society held concerts at the Castle this year, the Dance Society hosts an annual show and the Cheerleading Society put on a Take Me Out style event (just to name a few). Even if you’re not part of these societies, you still have opportunity to enjoy what they offer!

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