Whether you’re a keen, fresh faced 18 year old, excited to begin your first ever freshers week, or a grumpy, almost 22 year old fourth year (aka me) who is kind of feeling just a little bit too old to be doing this now, the city of Leeds has something for everyone. This is your ultimate guide to the best events the coming weeks have to offer, as well as a little bit of info on local venues and artists that you should be checking out to ensure you make the most of your time in Leeds.

The Wardrobe

Tucked away at the bottom of Leeds with BBC Yorkshire and Leeds Playhouse, The Wardrobe is an easy venue to access for those at Leeds College of Music. Over the years the building has hosted some of the biggest names in comedy and music, and has cemented itself as an integral cultural venue within the city. It is also currently celebrating 20 years of being open, so there’s a chance it even shares the same birthday as you.

Events to check out this Freshers:

  • 21.09.19: Craig Charles Funk and Soul Club– Get ready to groove with this funk and soul filled evening. Leeds band Mamilah will also be making an appearance, making this the perfect event to kick off your time in the city.
  • 28.09.19: Gilles Peterson– As part of The Wardrobe’s 20th Birthday celebration, BBC dj Giles Peterson will be making an appearance, along with Leeds jazz favourites Necktr.
  • 05.10.19: Glen Moore– Mock The Week’s Glen Moore presents his first UK solo tour, for a bit of comedic relief before you start drowning in Uni work.

Hyde Park Book Club

Upon first passing by Hyde Park Book Club one hungover morning during freshers week 2016, my 18 year old self could not figure out why on earth there was a rave going on outside of what I presumed was a library in the middle of the day. It wasn’t until a week or so later that I realised this ‘Book Club’ was actually a multipurpose space used for events, gigs, drinking, eating, socials, dj sets and presumably reading (although I can’t say I’ve seen much of the latter). HPBC even has its own record label. From initial glance it doesn’t appear as if there is space for all of this fun to take place inside such a tiny venue, but, like the Tardis, HPBC is actually surprisingly large on the inside, complete with it’s very own basement.

Events to check out this Freshers:

  • 21.09.19: Weekend Respite– An event that promises to bring together some of Leeds best visual artists and musicians, as well as featuring several artists who have previously played Pretend events, such as Joshua Zero, Long Legged Creatures and Hanibl x Dante (12th Circle). Weekend Respite is therefore the perfect event for anyone looking to get a glimpse into the current talent of the Leeds music scene. Plus it’s for charity.
  • 2.10.19: Livewire– If you’re sick of clubbing come October and are really in the mood for something completely different then Livewire’s spoken word night might be the perfect event for you. This will be the first of four resident nights at HPBC, with the evening showcasing 3 renowned UK poets, as well as offering 6 open mike slots (if you aren’t too hungover to speak by then).

The Library/The Lending Room

Sticking with the book theme, The Library is another venue with a misleading name and is actually a popular bar and gig venue situated along the Otley Run. The building contains two event spaces, with ‘The Library’ being downstairs and ‘The Lending Room’ above. University of Leeds students can even pop straight after class, as The Library is less than a stone throw away from Henry Price residences.

Events to check out this Freshers:

  • 28.09.19: Allusinlove– Formally Allusondrugs, this Leeds band is back with a new name and a new album. Catch them in action at The Lending Room.
  • 29.09.19: Ali Barter– In need of a bit of female empowerment? Ali Barter is guaranteed to get you feeling pumped with her her grunge, pop, punk fusion at The Lending Room. 
  • 01.10.19: Sophie and The Giants– Emotional pop with another strong female lead to round off your freshers week.

Headrow House

This four story former textile mill hosts countless events throughout the year; from rooftop parties, to gigs to dj sets. It also has an aesthetically pleasing roof garden and bar that’ll fit nicely into your Instagram feed.

Events to check out this Freshers:

    • 20.09.19: Jehst– just one of many gigs run by Leeds event giant Super Friendz at Headrow. If you really can’t face Fruity at the Union, Jehst’s music is effortlessly cool, jazz infused rap; a welcome break from hearing ‘Mr Brightside’ for the thousandth time.
    • 24.09.19: Triple Cooked Rooftop Party– It’s disco music on a roof and it’s FREE. 
    • 28.09.19: Folamour– If you aren’t sick of disco yet this Natural Selection party is guaranteed to have you up and dancing until the early hours

Brudenell Social Club

The Brudenell Social Club is arguably the most iconic gig venue in Leeds, and if you’re a First Year indie kid, get ready for this to become your new haunt. For those in Second and Third Year that are actually living in Hyde Park, you really have no excuse not to come here- you can probably see it from your house.

Events to check out this Freshers:

  • 26.09.19: Tranqua Lite– An up and coming art rock Leeds fivesome that are both energetic and experimental. This event is hosted by Leeds Beckett Music, meaning that Beckett students can get in for free.
  • 27.09.19: Allah Las– Think the Django Unchained soundtrack but more relaxed. Allah Las succeed in creating a gorgeous concoction of gloopy music that will leave you feeling nostalgic for a long hot American summer you’ve never even actually experienced. 

Beaver Works

It’s edgy, it’s grimy and it’s freezing cold in the winter; Beaver Works is the ultimate venue to get a real taste of the Leeds life. If you can bear spending a stupid amount of money on an Uber, spending the whole night getting lost trying to find your mates, and standing in a toliet queue for hours on end, Beaver Works will become a staple venue during your time at Leeds. 

Events to check out this Freshers:

  • 25.09.19: Flux Opening Party– Over recent years Flux has begun expanding outside of the city, hosting parties in London and throughout festivals in Europe. But as we know, there’s no place like home, and Flux will once again be returning to Beaver Works to kick off the year in Leeds.
  • 28.09.19: Boombox Circus ‘Festival Rewind– if you’re still reminiscing over summer festival adventures then Boombox Circus Festival Rewind promises to bring you a night of performers, decor, glitters, street art, live music, food and fire. All of this and you won’t even have to sleep in a tent.


From house to hip-hop, every night at Hifi is unique, as this is a club that embraces a wide genre of music and events. Good luck if you happen to be on the taller side however; the ceilings are a little bit low.

Events to check out this Freshers:

  • 21.09.19: The Tropical Disco Hustle 3rd Birthday- It’s the third birthday of Brotherhood Sound System’s Tropical Disco Hustle, and to celebrate they are giving you free entry before 12.

Old Red Bus Station

Previously a bus station (if you hadn’t already guessed from the name), Old Red Bus Station is now a unique event space, as well as being the city’s first all vegan cantina. It’s a little bit cold and a little bit weird, but you’re always guaranteed to have a great night here.

Events to check out this Freshers:

  • 26.09.19: Leeds Freshers Funk Land– This one has a dress code: Funky attire. You won’t be allowed in without a pair of flares on so don’t even try.
  • 28.09.19: CUN Presents Peverelist & Forest Drive West– a trippy techno extravaganza of underground electronic music for your Friday night.

Hyde Park Picture House

Hyde Park Picture House is one of the oldest cinemas in the UK, located right in the centre of Hyde Park. It’s the perfect place to spend an evening, without even having to venture into the city centre.

Events to check out this Freshers:

  • 22.09.19: Cinema Open Day– A chance for film fans to come and check out the cinema, as well as learn more about the long history of this grade 2 listed building.

Belgrave Music Hall and Canteen

Music, art, film and food, and like Headrow House, Belgrave also has an aesthetically pleasing roof for you to take pictures on. It also offers free yoga every Thursday morning, meaning you can feel less guilty about gorging yourself on some of their delicious pizza once the class has finished.

Events to check out this Freshers:

  • 27.09.19: David Rodigan- The reggae dj icon that is David Rodigan is playing Belgrave this freshers, proving that 68 year olds can still party all night. Stretchy Dance Supply Resident Dubrunning on the support slot so get down early.

    Dubrunner on the support

By Becca St Vincent 


16.09.2019 Pretend Issues

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