A guide and definitive ranking of Leeds clubs

We all know Pryzm is going straight at the bottom


Freshers’ week is finally here, and if, like me, you chose to go to uni in Leeds mainly for the nightlife, you’re in luck. I’ve decided to create a tier system to rank the main clubs in the city, from a fourth year who has quite literally seen it all – the good, the bad, and the horrendously grim. 

Disclaimer – this is just my personal opinion and obviously not facts. However, I am always right, so make of that what you will. Enjoy.

Elite tier  

Sheaf St, Old Red Bus Station, Wire, Distrikt 

First up, we have the greatest that Leeds nightlife has to offer – the crème da la crème, if you will. Despite most of the Leeds student population knowing and loving these venues, they still seem to be quite underrated, especially by first years. They always host the best events with every sort of music subgenre you could ask for. There’s always a range of popular DJs, but also the likes of your fit neighbour from Surrey that DJs just for “the vibes”. Deffo plan a couple of nights out at these venues and branch out with your pals – you won’t regret it. 

Instagram @distriktbarleeds

Great tier

Beaverworks, Freedom Mills, Wharf Chambers, Mint Warehouse, Viaduct 

In first year, Beaverworks would without a doubt have its’ own tier – but I’m old now and I’ve lost one too many marbles in that place. Beaverworks is, without a doubt, the epitome of Leeds student culture – if you’ve been, you’ll know and will (likely) live to tell the tale. I’m not placing it higher for three main reasons – the proximity from any sort of civilisation, the extortionate drink prices, (not that anyone really drinks anyway), and the number of unstable Freshers that have just dropped a pinger for the first time and as a result, become even more insufferable. Having said that, it’s a scatty warehouse in the middle of nowhere, with fairground rides and a smoking area full of students that resemble Gollum, so what’s not to love? 

Our other venues in this category are all also unreal vibes. They will likely be spennier and more “one-off” nights out, but deffo worth it just to experience them.

Instagram @emily.young.x

Meh tier 

O2 Academy, Warehouse, Hifi, Walkabout 

I’m 50/50 for O2 and Warehouse – are Projekt and Mischief great? Obviously not. Are they tolerable when you want to see a bigger DJ or have a feral, spontaneous night out with your pals? Potentially. They both lose points for the ridiculous drink prices and weird, excessive bouncers that act like you’re entering HMP Leeds, and not just a random club down a back alley in town.  

Insta @lulubriggss

I don’t really want to put Hifi or Walkabout in this tier at all, as Mixtape Project and Walkabout Wednesday truly do have my heart, but I can’t justify moving them up a tier when I’m speaking about the venue overall. If you see me queueing for an hour this Wednesday in the freezing cold for £2 pints, mind your business x

Save your money tier

Pryzm, Space, Cargo, Popworld 

Look, I get it, cheap drinks and cheesy tunes are appealing to students – but do not bother wasting the entirety of your uni experience in clubs with locations in every city in the country. You could have stayed home for uni at your parents’ gaff in North London and gone to Pryzm Watford twice a week, couldn’t you?  

Instagram @billdoge

PSA – shout out to RPP Tuesdays, which is actually the best night out overall, but couldn’t make the list as it is literally just a pub, lol. £2 pints and a DJ that plays Year 6 disco vibes and nothing else – you’ll love it x

All credits to @phoebelambb for cover image.


Related stories recommended by this writer:

• ‘He whispered in my ear, are you privately educated?’; The worst one-night stand stories in Leeds

• Which Leeds Uni hall we reckon each Love Islander would be in

• A guide and definitive ranking of Leeds clubs