Freshers club guide 2013

Photo: Daniel Watson


With its stripped back, underground setting and nicely tweaked Funktion One soundsystem, Wire is the ideal location for many of Leeds’ more intimate dance music nights. And its Thursday and Saturday nights are the place to go for those who want indie tunes but don’t want to step foot inside the O2 Academy.

Beat Bar

Sitting just round the corner from Oceana, the ethos of this club couldn’t be any more different to that of its neighbour– they consistently book exciting artists to play, ranging from old school hip hop legends to forward thinking house and techno.


Its free gigs on Sundays are a Leeds institution, due both to the quality of the acts that they book as well as the crowd pleasing mix of hip hop, reggae, funk and soul that the DJs play before and after. The rest of the week is populated by nights of a similar ilk, with their Motown night being another firm favourite.

The Faversham

With its multiple rooms, it’s a versatile space that is often used for terrace parties in the summer months. Being basically on campus, its midweek nights can be a case of student overload, but many good nights are held here of a weekend, and the ‘Gimp Room’ is worth a visit.

Photo: Daniel Watson


Distrikt is more of a bar than a club, but the calibre of the acts they book is extremely disproportionate to the size of this very small venue. This can be a good and a bad thing, but catching the likes of Moodymann for free is nothing to complain about. They also host pre (and post) parties for several nights.


Its LED ceiling adds an extra sensory dimension to the heavy soundsystem they have in place in the club. It has been the venue for many of Leeds’ most popular nights, which can make things a bit crowded. Still hard to resist, though, with the quality of the midweek line ups they consistently book.


With a reported capacity of 3000+ and a shiny, glamorous interior, this looks like a club aiming to rival the super clubs of Ibiza. They’ve appropriately booked the white isle’s hugely popular ‘We Love…’ brand to be one of the first to host a night there.

The Warehouse

It was a key player in the Leeds club scene for many years, and re-opened its doors in 2011 with a revamped soundsystem and interior, ready to host many of the bigger dance music acts that come to Leeds. The fact that Back To Basics re-located here tells you something about the standard of the club.

Speed Queen
Photo: Justin Gardner

Beaver Works

A warehouse venue outside the city centre which manages to avoid the over sized, soulless atmosphere that often plagues others of its kind. There’s always a great vibe here, and its big smoking area is a plus too. Worth a visit just to experience the ridiculous party bus from Hyde Park.


Right under your nose, in the place you may normally associate with post (or pre) lecture pints and Essentials meal deals, there are also the three venues which make up the Union’s night life facilities. It’s not all just Fruity and Varsity nights, with many other nights being hosted here, as well as gigs in the past by the likes of James Blake and KRS-One.

Canal Mills

A big warehouse location which often boasts the biggest, most impressive line ups in Leeds. On any given weekend there will usually be a huge line up here, though be sure to bring your dancing shoes, or a jacket, as it can get a bit chilly.

The Garage

Opened by two resident DJs at Back To Basics, it won best club in the DJ Mag awards in its first year, which tells you that these Leeds house veterans know what they’re doing. With a clapped out car as a DJ booth and the second room being a record shop by day, The Garage can always be relied upon for something a bit different.

The Garage
Photo: Daniel Watson
Jake Hulyer

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