The gig issue: how to go out on the cheap

Being skint in the Toon is easier than you think

In this new period of higher annual tuition costs, the timeless spectre of excessive agency fees, the price of living and of course mandatory drinking money, can students afford to attend gigs anymore?

It’s not everyone’s bread and butter for sure, but for a vast amount of students nationwide going to a gig is definitely a highly anticipated event. It affords you the chance to forget the dusty, ragged and potentially soul destroying textbooks and take a night off, relieving the pressure of ever looming deadlines. But is it simply a luxury some students forgo in order to pay the rent and keep frozen pizzas on the table?


In a city like Newcastle where there are bars galore, venues aplenty and a student’s union which books artists year round, it would be an awful shame to admit many people don’t turn up because of financial constraints. Personally the scenario of missing your favourite bands playing locally because of money leaves a bitter taste in the mouth, but I’m not of sound mind when it comes to minding my finances.

This year I’ve been fortunate enough to go quite regularly to gigs but as a result nights out and jaunts to the bar take the tumble. The issue then is where does a typical student toe the line? This is all without considering the drastically varied ticket prices for events, not to mention the £4.50 for a pint in many venues. It seems that gigs are becoming more and more expensive as students become more strapped for cash, but how can you beat this dilemma…

 1. Skip the in-house pints

Buy yourself a few beers in the SU or at the nearest Wetherspoons, it gives you two/three times the alcohol for the same price. You also have the benefit of not turning your back on the bands at the gig to nip to the bar; but you still might have to brave the venue toilets in the interval.


 2. Social Networking is your friend

Many venues dotted about the UK run competitions on Twitter/Facebook for free tickets. It’s a long shot but especially for the smaller gigs it can pay off, with quite favourable odds.

3. Wait until the night of to get tickets

This can be risky but if you want to see an obscure band which will more than likely not sell out an event you can get cheaper tickets on the night at the doors.

4. Ditch the takeaway

We all do it, regularly, getting pissed on trebles and Sambuca often leads to a £5 bill in the all night McDonalds. Don’t bother. You save a few £’s in your pocket and a few pounds round your middle…it’s a win-win and after a few times that spare money could be a ticket.


A few simple measures can decisively improve your student experience and ensure that when a certain band that only tours every few years announces a show in your city, you’re going to be there, front row and centre.