Big up the Big O: How a typical night goes down in Southampton

It’s all about Oceana

The biggest problem when it comes to planning a night out is deciding which clubs to go to. In Southampton however, this is never an issue.

There is a classic structure to nights out in this town, which go a little something like this.

Buddha Lounge

In Bedford Place there are many clubs, but Buddha is the only one that matters.

Drunk from pre-drinks, you arrive before 11pm to avoid paying entry and stumble into the club. The DJ is playing a collection of chart music and R&B tracks. You and your friends fight to claim a spot on the cramped patch of floor that is the dancefloor. Of course everyone wants to be on the stage by the DJ, but you know you’ll get your time to shine once the cluster of girls slut dropping have dispersed.

Whilst singing away to Sean Paul ‘Temperature’, someone taps you on the shoulder. It’s Chloe who was in your year at secondary school. Oh and there’s Sophie, Tom, and every other person from your year group in the sea of people around you as well! Of course you give them a hug and a drunken “so good to see you”, even though you can’t stand them. But hey, you’ve claimed your free shot of Sours with any drink purchased, so who cares right?


It’s gone 12. You’ve had enough of Bedford Place and the Big O is calling to you. Passing many promoters begging you to visit the long deceased Ninety Degrees and Orange Rooms, you make your way to the free bus.

But wait, what’s that multi-coloured neon sign over there? Oh it’s Popworld. From within its depths of disco lights and heavy mist you hear the familiar tune of Black Eyed Peas ‘My Humps’ being played and you’re sold. Descending into a world of glitter and throwback songs from your childhood you and your friends own the dance floor, eventually venturing onto one of the podiums where you twirl away your last shreds of dignity.


Inevitably, the time has come. You group together and fight your way onto the free bus to Oceana after waiting for 15 minutes. You’ve sobered up slightly but not to worry, a promoter gave you a wristband for £1 entry so you have more money to buy drinks. You enjoy a sing-song with your fellow drunken friends on the way to the club, pissing off the driver even more than you already have.

The brave amongst us decide to opt out of taking the free bus, instead embarking on an intoxicated 40-minute trek across Southampton. You claim it was “really fun”, when you all know you are now cold and sober from the shit walk.

After climbing a mountain of stairs, you’re finally here. The Big O. Jets puff out mist into the already foggy room that is Ice House, filled with throngs of people dancing to the Chainsmokers or sat in VIP Booths filming sparklers sprouting out of vodka bottles.

The photo booth is the main attraction on this floor, so you and your friends hog the camera and photobomb anyone who tries to steal your spotlight.

You’ve heard about the R&B room in Oceana but have never dared to visit it. Heading down the stairs, you end up in Urban and leave after 10 minutes, deciding you do not belong in this room of heavy dabbing and gyrating hips.

It may be cringe, but you don’t care. Disco is your home for the night. Here is where you’ll stay, sweating under the intense neon lights and singing away to the likes of ‘Come on Eileen’ and ‘Cotton-Eyed Joe’ until the dreaded lights switch on signalling the end of another night out in Southampton.

There’s always time for one last song. You and your friends band together for a special rendition of S Club 7’s ‘Never Had A Dream Come True’ before deciding you all crave a McDonalds.


Club photos courtesy of Oceana Southampton.