Freshers: The ultimate guide to Leeds clubs

The only education you really need in first year

clubs control fruity hifi leeds mint mission nightlife space wire

You might know Leeds, you might have heard about Leeds, but you’ll see the city in a completely different light by the time you’ve finished your degree here.

Freshers Week isn’t like the rest of the year: places are full from the minute they open and tickets are twice as hard to get your hands on – within a matter of days you’ll be Facebooking some promoter you’ve never met asking for tickets to a place you’ve never been.

There’s a lot of pressure to decide a good place to go out, but fret not – we’re here to help make those difficult decisions for you. If we were to describe every club and bar in Leeds to you this guide would have more chapters than Harry Potter, so for now we’ll leave less regular venues like Beaverworks and Canal Mills to the side and stick to the main ones.

MiNT

Mint

Rating : 9/10

Prices : 7/10

Even if you’ve been to every other club in the world, you still won’t have experienced anything quite like MiNT. Situated toward the top of the city centre, MiNT is tucked away down a dodgy-looking back alley – but don’t let this put you off.  If you ever wondered what it would be like to have a night out in the late ’80s/early ’90s, then MiNT is the place for you. Even if the classic Leeds cocktail of house, deep house and even more house isn’t for you, it’s still worth giving a try for the experience alone.

MiNT’s main disadvantage is its size. It isn’t the biggest of clubs and with only one floor and a fairly small smoking area, it can get a bit hot. If you’re heading to MiNT do not wear warm clothes, because even if you’ve been living in the Bahamas for the last ten years you’ll still get a pretty serious sweat on at some stage.

MiNT is well known for its weekly “MiNT Mondays” and with tickets roughly a fiver and drinks on average costing you £2.50, you can still get your weekly dose of MiNT even when you’re on a budget. Twinned with MiNT is MiNT Warehouse, used predominantly for special events and DJ’s. MiNT Warehouse is absolutely giant compared to its younger sibling and again is definitely worth a try.

Control

Control

Rating : 8/10

Prices : 7/10

If you like loud music, a huge dancefloor, multiple rooms, crazy lights and pyrotechnics, Control is the place for you.  Control made a name for itself last year when it became host to some of Taking Liberties’ biggest events. One of the most modern nightclubs in the city, Control usually plays host to some of the main nights in Freshers Week.

Situated in the Cardigan Fields industrial estate on Kirkstall Road, you’re going to need a taxi if you’re paying Control a visit. It’s a bit of a love it or hate it club,  but it’s usually a safe option if you’re not sure where to go. The only real problem with going to Control, more so on a weekend, is that your bank account might take a bit of a hammering.

The trick with Control is to give it time. Because of the sheer size of it, it can often be until the early hours of the morning that the place appears full – so don’t just take one look and head to the nearby McDonalds.

Space

Space

Rating : 8/10

Prices : 8/10

Located at the bottom of town near the train station, Space is ideal if you’ve been drinking in the city centre and want to finish the night off in style – although that style is less tuxedos and Grey Goose, more freshers sitting in puddles of their own vomit.

Don’t let that deter you – this is what Space does best. The vibe is very much about throwing on that t-shirt that you haven’t taken off since arriving and a pair of scuzzy trainers and preparing yourself for a messy one. Not just in Freshers Week but throughout the year Space will regularly hit capacity, so make sure you set off five minutes earlier than you normally would, because there’s nothing worse than arriving for a big one and seeing the queue going all the way down the street- although you can always pop into Mook next door for a 2-4-1 cocktail.

Exactly the same as MiNT, the main disadvantage to Space is again its size. It’s not quite as small as MiNT but again, be prepared to bring a sweatband. You may never have an incredible night at Space, but the chances are you’ll never have a bad one.

Pryzm

Pryzm

Rating : 7/10

Prices : 8/10

Formerly Oceana, Pryzm is situated at the top end of the city next to the Merrion Centre and just over the road from the Leeds Beckett campus. Like Control, Pryzm is one of the bigger clubs in the city and terms of its interior can sometimes seem more like an IMAX than a night club.

For the majority of you moving to Leeds the chances are there will be somewhere like Pryzm where you’ve come from – it’s that place that isn’t afraid to give S Club 7 a spin and is a favourite for socials on a Wednesday night. One of the best things about Pryzm is the range of options for late night food with McDonalds, Subway and recently Dunkin’ Donuts all right next to the club – so make sure you bring an extra fiver.

Mission

Mission

Rating : 7/10

Prices : 7/10

Tucked away near the Call Lane area of Leeds, make sure Google Maps is working if you’re on your way to Mission because it can be fairly difficult to find. Similar to MiNT in the music and vibe it gives off, Mission is an experience to say the least.

If you’re a classy clubber who likes to get really dressed up and someone who’s night would be spoiled if a stray drink was spilt on them, don’t go to Mission – it won’t be for you. Known for its Thursday nights more than anything and with few other options on this night since Tequila closed, Mission is often the only choice for a Thursday in Leeds. Prepare to get sweaty, prepare to get hassled , prepare to see some sights in the toilets, but enjoy it – there are few places like Mission around these days.

Warehouse

Warehouse

Rating : 8/10

Prices : 7/10

I mentioned earlier how important it is not to make a judgment on a club based solely on your first visit. The first time I went to Warehouse on the final Friday night of Freshers week I hated it. It was overcrowded, it was ridiculously hot, my shoes stuck to the floor – and I ended up going every week of first year.

Warehouse is known for its infamous Friday night, Sticky Feet. The clue is in the name really – the floor is sticky, the air is sticky, even the outside smoking area is sticky, but it doesn’t prevent Sticky Feet from being undoubtedly one of the best nights in Leeds. The club itself is big but not giant, but once Freshers Week is out the way it’s the perfect size.

Tickets aren’t the cheapest for the night, but it’s worth it. A similar feel to the likes of Space and Mission, Sticky Feet veers away from the deep house scene and ventures into more of a drum and bass vibe. You won’t be able to have a conversation with your friend even if they’re shouting in your ear, so be prepared to make do with a night based on sign language and a set of ringing ears when you wake up on Saturday morning.

One tip with Sticky Feet: get there early, the queues get ridiculously busy ridiculously quickly, and there’s nothing worse than getting excited over pre-drinks only to be left in the arse-end of nowhere by a bouncer telling you it’s already full.

HiFi

HiFi

Rating: 9/10

Prices: 5/10

Not normally a freshers’ haunt, HiFi is the stomping ground of third years in the know. Popular for its range of nights, from dancehall to electroswing, there’s a night for everyone to put on their dancing shoes at HiFi.

The fact that it’s so small isn’t usually a huge problem, but drinks are considerably more expensive than the other clubs in Leeds – so if it isn’t the day after your loan comes in, you might find yourself nursing that warm bottle of £4 Camden Hells lager.

Wire

Wire

Rating : 7/10

Prices : 8/10

Situated near the Corn Exchange in the Call Lane area of town, Wire will play just about anything ranging from Toto to the Courteeners. Known for its Thursday night event Fuzzy Logic, Wire is another of Leeds’ underground clubs and the dark smoky atmosphere inside just adds to its beauty. Get your trainers on, grab a Red Stripe and have a ball.

Fruity

Fruity

Rating: 10/10

Prices: 8/10

Ask any second or third year – Fruity is the place to be. Whereas SU nights at other unis are sometimes a bit cringe, Fruity embraces the cheesiest of pop music to take pride of place over all club nights in Leeds.

After all, there aren’t many places that will flog you forty £2 VKs at a time and play “Let It Go” from Frozen without batting an eyelid.