Steps to a successful Willow night

Follow them to the letter


For anyone at York University the name ‘Willow’ strikes the mind hard.

Synonymous with £1 tequila shots, free prawn crackers, sticky dance floors and the cheesiest of pop music around, it’s clear to us all that Willow’s class was left back in the 90s.

Selling Cantonese cuisine by day, (and also by night), Willow sets the bar high in the stakes for the most unique of clubs around. While a maverick or marmite to many, Willow offers a guaranteed night of tales to be told.

So here’s how to do Willow, the proper way.

Start your pre-drinks early

With harrowing tales of sober experiences in Willow perpetuating campus since the club’s arrival, it’s clear that Willow is best visited a few drinks down the line.

So early afternoon head on over to the Courtyard on campus for a cheap old bevvie to liven your taste buds or crack open a bottle of your finest Gin at home to get your heart palpitating, ready for your night ahead.

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Here you must discuss your strategies for how to tackle Willow, from your queue manoeuvring to which body part will get marked with the infamous Willow stamp of shame.

Head t’ city centre… for a few more bevvies

If you don’t want to be left worryingly sober for the experience that awaits you its now time to hop in a taxi and begin your journey to Willow, starting in some of York’s best student bars.

First up is the visit to Flares. Here you can flex your dancing muscles on the checkerboard flashing dance floor ready for the shapes you’ll be pulling all night in Willow.

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Then its time to head on up to Dusk where 2-for-1 cocktails are on offer each weekday. As a student we all know that cheap is best, and so Dusk will start to get you a little more dangerously acquainted with bargain offers and the £1 shots that await you at Willow.

Inebriation awaiting you, you are now prepared and ready to make the journey to the clubbing gem of the city itself, the infamous Willow disco club and bar.

Time to get the Willow mark

Before you can enter Willow two final hurdles await. Be bold, stay strong.

First it’s time to put your earlier strategies into action and manoeuvre your way through the infamously long queue that bars you from entering. Succeed in this and you will be asked to pay your entry, only to be greeted with the final and most plaguing problem that has pressed the mind of the most profound of thinkers: Where to get the Willow stamp?

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There is no question whether or not you get one, as to move on up the staircase this stamp essential. So which body part will you sacrifice in order to progress your journey?

The upper arm or forehead does the job nicely, professing publically an imprinted mark of your dedication to the club that will take a day of scrubbing for you to remove. The Willow stamp is then something of a collector’s fantasy, get them all and you can surely own the title of a Willow guru.

Enter the Willow disco

With disco lights, 90s pop and £1 sambuca and tequila shots on offer, Willow will get you pulling the most outrageous of shapes, all without breaking the delicate student bank account. Whether you’re a true Michael Jackson moonwalker waiting in the wings or a Kevin Bacon footlooser, Willow provides the setting for you to unleash your inner dancing self.

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Featuring songs such as Grease’s ‘The Megamix’ and R Kelly’s ‘Ignition’, Willow offers up the cheesiest music, something I like to title as the genre ‘R n Brie’. And, if you need a quick break to reenergise your self, the restaurant seating provides a convenient place in which you can discuss further strategies and compare stamps over a free prawn cracker or two.

Tackle the infamous Willow toilets

Uh oh. Those prawn crackers have turned against you, forcing you to buy more drinks to quench your thirst and therefore in turn provoking you to enter Willow’s most feared room, their toilets.

The Willow cubicles do not provide the same comfort and care of their cheap shots; be prepared for messages from ‘ur bff 4eva’ on the walls and dry loo rolls that feel like sand paper.

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When you leave these toilets its safe to say you’ll be feeling relieved in more than one sense of the word.

Party on till 4am

All that’s left to do now is to party on through the night, and, if you can, be the last one standing.

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Keep on jamming to the music and sip your way through the £1 shots till close and you’ll have tales to tell that rival Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales.

The Willow experience is truly a hard- hitting one, especially the morning after.