It’s time to say it: I don’t get the Beaver Works and Canal Mills hype

House every other weekend?

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Known for the wildest nights out in Leeds, the city’s most famous edgy venues have seen some serious scenes. The glitter-infested, bindi-wearing cliques will always say they’re the “best night out ever”, but come on: are Beaver Works and Canal Mills really that great?

When you first start in Leeds, you’ll attend at least one of the events in each venue, every weekend. The second and third years speak about it with such high regard that it becomes your ritual, your prerogative. Remember to slap on some glitter, ensuring it’s sparkly enough to cover the bags under your eyes so as not to reveal that weakening stamina which has come on from the stresses of house every weekend. You don’t want to be the Debbie Downer. Stay strong fresher.

When you get to second year, the novelty is starting to wear off and you use the excuse of work “actually counting” to get out of the loop for at least one weekend (you don’t want to look boring, it’s only second year). So now it’s a fortnightly job, and you imagine the two are feeling privileged to cater to the new edgy you making an appearance every so often to bop to some serious beats, but only when you feel like it.

By third year you can’t hack it – once a month will do, and you start to realise these nights are seriously overrated. You notice the flaws, and there’s plenty of them. You can’t help feel just a tad out of place and as the freshers go wild, arms everywhere, as they’re probably “coming up” for the first time. You pride yourself on how sophisticated and mature you’ve become in the last year or so.

Yet you’ll still preach about Canal Mills and Beaver Works, scrambling for a ticket every time Good Life or Flux announce a new event there. And why?

For one, everyone dresses like a dick. Look at yourself: are you serious? You’ve grabbed your bucket hat and are ready for yet another Beaver Works bonanza. Everyone seems to be doing it, so you  convince yourself you don’t look like a mug. Someone needs to call the fashion police in. Loo lady? You’ve been summoned.

And no matter what stupid outfit you’re wearing, the temperature will never be right. You’re either going to be sweating your crop-tops off or running back to the cloakroom asking yourself why you didn’t think to bring an extra jumper with you in the Arctic conditions only a draughty warehouse affords.

No matter how much you boogie on down and shift those shapes to get that blood flowing, nothing seems to do the trick. You think maybe going and sitting down somewhere will help calm you down, maybe gather some warmth, but then you remember that there’s nowhere to sit apart from the smoking area, which is outside.

The old cap and anorak combo

Most of the time you’ll spend your cold, badly-dressed evenings dancing to monotonous beats, drinking overpriced bottles of water and wishing you could just get a Zulfi’s instead.

Then, after it all, the lights will come on without warning and you’ll start to realise who you’ve been dancing (attempting shuffling) alongside for the last five hours. Even your fittest friends will be reduced to bleary-eyed sweaty messes.

Is it though?

Those poor bindis are long gone, let alone the glitter, which is everywhere. By the end of next week you’ll still be picking it out of your hair, a constant reminder of that absolute mad one you had. One of those bucket hats would come in handy now, to hide your identity from others and yourself.

At the end of it all, it’s 5am and you’re stranded outside the entrance of a glorified barn, trying to no avail to get a taxi home. You’ve forgotten to book and you can’t get back to Hyde Park for under £20.

Think to yourself: was it all worth it? I know I’d rather be at Fruity.

Thanks to HighRise for the photos.