The Fresher's Guide to Newcastle
Whey aye man! Welcome to the Toon. You’ll be spending your next three years sinking trebles, showing off your WKD-induced dancing and losing yourself in late night warehouse raves. This vibrant party city may be compact but it boasts a shed-load of entertainment, creativity, and culture. Shake off the hangover over some footy at St James Park or head down to Tynemouth beach and brave the north sea. But whatever you do, get ready to immerse yourself in the Geordie camaraderie with this handy Newcastle city guide.
Floritas / Madame Koos / House of Smith
This enormous 3-in-1 maze-like venue is a tiki-themed student heaven. Mondays’ Club Trop is a hit with Newcastle students, whereas you’ll find the place teeming with the Northumbria Uni crowd on a Tuesday for Waikiki. The DJs spin feel-good R’n’B and electro anthems, while low drink prices will suit the thirstiest of students looking for that essential ice-breaker for meeting new people.
Mondays | Digital
One of Newcastle’s most famed student nights. If you like ‘em cheap, cheerful and hard to remember this is the place. There’s something for everyone as each of the 4 rooms hosts a different music policy, from indie to disco, hip hop to chart classics, and even a shisha terrace if you’d rather take it easy.
Thursdays | Grey’s Club
A popular student night where they play house and club classics. Includes an open air terrace dance floor (pictured below) which is open all year round.
Tuesdays | Cosmic Ballroom
“For those who can’t wait til the weekend” Ill Behaviour threw the rulebook out the window by hosting world renowned DJs every Tuesday for their weekly bash at Cosmic Ballroom. Over the years Ill B has kept Newcastle’s mid week ravers happy with acts ranging from local House sensation Patrick Topping to UK garage legend DJ EZ.
A truly independent, underground & inclusive institution. Since the 80s, the World HQ family’s unrelenting commitment to diversity, unity & quality control has been pioneering Newcastle subculture. Epic murals inside the venue exhibit their influences and message, while the eclectic, uplifting & soulful in-house music policy speaks for itself.
Set in Exhibition Park’s striking Grade-II listed Palace of Arts, this craft beer institution holds live music events, drinks festivals, comedy nights, exhibitions and food festivals. Previous guests include Gilles Peterson, Mr Scruff, and The London Astrobeat Orchestra.
Take a short walk towards the river from Newcastle’s Central Station and you’ll find Stephenson Works (aka Boiler Shop). The warehouse style arts venue hosts gigs, indoor markets, food festivals, funk & soul weekenders and cutting edge raves. Recent artists include Fat Freddy’s Drop, Jackmaster, Skream, My Nu Leng, Hot 8 Brass Band, and Dusky.
It’s strictly house and techno at this intimate rave-den tucked in the heart of Chinatown. Home to some of the city’s most forward thinking electronic music nights in the form of Ape-X, Jaunt and ill Behaviour, all music is presented through a pumping state-of-the-art Void sound system.
Inspired by Berlin squat raves and New York loft parties, this attic like 300 capacity venue is fierce. With a Funktion One Soundsystem and residency from long standing house & techno collective LOOP, The Cut stays firmly at the forefront of the city’s party scene.
Mouth Of The Tyne
Tynemouth Priory and Castle | July
Having launched in 2004, Mouth Of The Tyne takes place every July in the towns of Tynemouth and South Shields. The three-dayer offers a plethora of live music, pyrotechnics, art displays, and most importantly: an excuse to have a few tinnys on the street. This year’s line–up saw chart-toppers Laura Marling and Tom Odell head up the festivities.
As one of the longest standing house and techno nights in the UK, Shindig has earned legendary status in the North East rave scene. Having hosted weekly club nights, warehouse raves outside of the city, and even a two day festival, they are now putting on less frequent events which only makes the tickets more eagerly sought after. Heavy hitters such as Carl Cox, Black Coffee, Seth Troxler & Heidi have all graced the decks at Shindig, blessing the Toon with unforgettable ‘I was there’ dance floor experiences.
Leeeets get ready to rumble!! Ding! Ding! This white collar student boxing bout is one of the most anticipated fixtures in the calendar. Anyone can apply to endure the six weeks of pro training before stepping into the ring to settle some beef. If you prefer to nurse lagers than your own schnoz, just grab a ticket and get behind one of the fighters. By the time you get to the after party at one of Newcastle’s infamous party spots, everyone’s a winner.
Glowsticks, check. £5 ticket, check. Dance floor epiphany listening to Castles in the Sky, yes please! Exhale is like no other in the North East, as they regularly take you back with a euphoric mix of classic house, garage and trance anthems. Think Ibiza in the 90s, just without the sun, beaches and beautiful people. The only sand you’ll find is Darude’s finest… we’ll take it!
Amidst the abundance of club promoters in the city, Ape-X has emerged as the driving force of Newcastle’s electronic scene. Their experience and depth of music programming has seen them welcome big names like Joy Orbison, KiNK and Âme, as well as rising artists such as Mall Grab and Dennis Sulta. Always staying loyal to the music, it’s been the foundation upon which Ape- X has built ten years-worth of unforgettable parties. Coming up this term they have already announced events with Midland, Or:la and Robert Hood, so don’t hang about!
A lynchpin of Newcastle’s alternative/indie music scene, The Cluny is an esteemed venue where up-and-coming bands cut their teeth before heading on to greatness. Intimate gigs, great food, local beers, and like-minded music fans.
Tucked away down the Quayside, this delightful little boozer serves a wide selection of locally-sourced beers and northern pub grub. Enjoy a cold one facing the Tyne, or kick back under the arched bridge where they host live music events and summer parties.
Music Slash Art is an underground space for Newcastle’s creative revellers. Run by people that get it, they pair an elegant interior with funky music and properly mixed cocktails on a neat artist’s budget. Alos, check out Off the Record on Thursdays; a funk, soul and disco night with a loyal and welcoming following. Take your mates or roll solo and make new ones.
This independent cafe/bar/social space keeps Ouseburn’s creative crowd going with delicious food, local ales, and dancing to an open-minded music policy… Stop in for brunch and end up staying til the evening where resident DJs spin together an eclectic mix of rock, disco, punk, soul and everything in between.
Hoochie Coochie is Newcastle’s spot for everything funk & soul. The intimate 200-cap venue has hosted international superstars like Chaka Khan & Hip Hop’s Slum Village whilst continuing to support up & coming talents like Geordie soul band King Bee.
With it’s super friendly & relaxed vibe, free jukebox, pool tables, darts, reasonable prices, and being just a stone’s throw from many halls of residence, this pub is certainly one of the hidden gems of Newcastle. The first visit won’t be your last.
Located in the heart of student neighbourhood, Jesmond, Bar Blanc is a staple watering hole for every student to pass through the Toon. 2 x happy hours per day and a chance to win your drinks for free each time you grab a round have helped to keep Blanc at the top spot for years.
Situated right by West Jesmond Station, this recently refurbished pub is popular with both students and locals alike. Darts, pool tables, live sports and decent pub grub as well as regular poker & quiz nights to supplement your pint(s).
The underdog of Newcastle’s infamous trebles bars. Indie, alternative, and rock music shake the medieval church-like interior. It’s far from glam but the tacky charm of cheap drinks, sticky floor and friendly crowd make this a hotspot before a night out. Plus it’s open till 1am everyday, making it oh-so easy to get carried away.
While the central location makes it a cherished pre-drinking spot for student nights out, Lurid-coloured trebles and Jaeger bombs are offensively cheap, and DJs start the party early across multiple floors, the aim of the game is to make it to the club.
When it comes to burger bars there are a dime a dozen in Newcastle. However, Jam Jar understands that the devil is in the detail when it comes to crafting succulent stacks of meat. The bun is brioche, the meat is locally-sourced, the iceberg is crisp, and most importantly, the prices are decent. Tuesdays and Thursdays behold sweet food deals, and if you fancy your chances on Monday you can roll the dice for cheaper drinks.
Settle Down Cafe
From their fresh-to-death produce to their no-brainer menu, Settle Down like to keep things pure and simple. The pocket-sized eatery serves up an array of comfort foods including soups, pastas, salads, and pizzas with bases sourced from local Sugar Down Bakery. One item is £3.50, two items are £5, and with the generous helpings you’ll be stuffed before you step out the door.
Why be the Jack of all trades, when you could be the master of one? Clearly that mantra has done wonders for Quay Ingredient, who rule the roost when it comes to the business of brunch. From Kellogg’s to Kippers, the Queen Street cafe serves up a range of delicious dishes to conquer that horrid hangover. Find the pocket-sized place tucked underneath Tyne Bridge, just off Newcastle’s picturesque Quayside.
Riley’s Fish Shack
King Edward’s Bay
This ain’t your average fish and chips, wrapped-in newspaper from your local. No, sir. We’re talking chargrilled seasonal fish wraps and mouth-wateringly crispy garlic potatoes. Don’t be put off by the fancy-sounding menu as the prices are surprisingly reasonable considering the freshness and quality of food. Oh, and they chuck a sea-view in for free so you can enjoy your order whilst watching the crashing waves at Quayside.
For those of you that are sick of superfood salads and bored with bland beefburgers, Newcastle’s Redhouse should be your first port of call next lunchtime. We’re talking hand made pies with Northumbrian prime meats, lashings of liquor gravy, scoops of whipped mash, and a side of minty or mushed peas– all for less than nine quid. Stick that in your pie hole, health junkies.