I dropped out of Loughborough and now party with Prince Harry

He left Royce halls to manage some of London’s biggest bars


Edd Kiggins dropped out of Loughborough a few years ago after becoming disillusioned with academia.

He started to supervise bars in town before working his way up in the industry. He now manages some of the most popular bars in London, and hosts everyone from Denise van Outen to Prince Harry. We caught up with the successful businessman to find out why he decided to drop out and if it was all worth it.

Hi Edd, why did you leave uni before completing your degree?

When I got to Luffs I realised that I was getting screwed over, because Engineers had 25-30hrs of lectures a week, when I only had eight studying English & Drama with both courses charging the same money. I wasn’t happy, and knew I couldn’t just sit there. After meeting people with firsts, and 2:1s, who still didn’t have jobs after uni, I knew I just had to start making money.

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Edd, far left, with friends

When did you realise Loughborough had a gap in the market for something new?

I quickly realised nowhere in town had a branded night. Monday was Echoes, Tuesday was Pulse (now Wild), Wednesday was the Union, and Thursday was Rain. Friday and Saturday nobody went out because £4 for a double is really expensive, so people usually went to Notts or Leicester.

It was a case of identifying what Luff needed. They needed a music scene, and because I liked Garage, and Drum & Bass, I created those nights.

Then you started working with the Union?

I then blagged myself into the university itself, yeah. The first event I organised was Andy C in October 2007, that got 620 people through the door. The second event, in November, had 2800 people in for Pendulum.

I’m pretty sure I owe the uni money, and promoters money in some shape or form. I’m not saying I was the best businessman, but my intentions were always good.

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Edd, center, has worked his way up from Bar Supervisor to Manager

So, how did you end up in London?

I bagged myself a job at Eclectic Clubs & Bars, learning as I was going and worked for them for three years. I was then headhunted to work for The Inception Group in London, then Bunga Bunga, then to where I am today, Operations Director for Steam & Rye.

The way I got to where I am today is that when someone asked if I could do something, regardless of whether I could or couldn’t, I said yes, then just learned and learned until I could do it. That way, when I start my own place in Oxford, I will have made all my mistakes on other people’s time & money, not my own. It’s a clever way of doing it, not sneaky.

Which celebs have you parted with?

Prince Harry came to Bunga Bunga a couple of times. Denise Van Outen came to disco for her 40th birthday. Little Mix were at Steam and Rye the other day, then we had Darren Gough in for Halloween on Saturday along with the Argentina rugby team.
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What advice would you give to current students?

One frustration I find with grads is that if you wanna do something, you’ve got to go and do it, you can’t just rely on people. Those that come out of uni who settle for Estate Agents, but studied Art and want to be an Art Director, are just settling. If you can do it well, that’s where the money is. I wasn’t fussed about the money, sometimes I owed people money, sometimes at uni I had £20,000 in the bank, I just wanted to learn. For the business, I just want to do the best I can.

Most people come out of uni and panic, even now, at 30 years old, if it all goes tits up, I just move on and try something different. You have to have the ability to see what you want to do. Now where I am, I say yes, can I do this, and if not I learn. It’s good fun, but nowadays people aren’t ready to do it.