Tashing on – Geordie Shore

Geordie Shore, the newest reality show to bound on to our screens hot on the heels of The only way is essex and Made in Chelsea. Much louder and prouder than the latter, with tans, hair, egos and antics wilder than most reality shows.

tantastic

Set in Newcastle the show aims to provide a glimpse into the wild antics of eight young Geordies as they live together and live it up in the toon night after night. A good way of showing students of what to expect before coming to university in Newcastle? Think again , most of what’s shown is a slight minority of what goes on in Newcastle, not all Geordies are as ridiculous as this! One tip don’t show it to your parents if your planning on going to Newcastle , they’ll probably send you to a convent instead out fear of being corned by one of these self confessed ‘pulling machines’.

Geordie Shore was slammed by Newcastle natives for its lewd and embarrassing content when it aired for the first time even resulting in the set up of a facebook group ‘RIP Geordie Pride’. Saturday night is your night for spotting Geordie shore alikes, not that there are thousands, not all people in Newcastle go out looking like a burnt orange.

you've been tangoed

The antics are alike to those that would go on in a university house or halls, minus the constant supply of free alcohol and perhaps a less steady stream of one night stands. Dont take the Geordie shore cast as sterotypical Geordies, some of their quotes are classic though!

” When it comes to lasses, I do more groundwork than Alan Titchmarsh ”

” My spare tyre means the lads just have a cushion for the pushing ”

” am not gunna have some bird the size of a ford focus push me around ”

My words of wisdom would be take Geordie Shore with a pinch of salt. Its typical car crash television and dont let it put you off coming to university in Newcastle!

 

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August = Fringe

In my most pretentious opinion, there is only ONE place to be in August every year: when the beautiful city of Edinburgh explodes into an epicentre of theatre, comedy, music , dance, art, EVERYTHING.

So that’s where I’ll be, in only a couple days time: crammed on to a packed train embarking from Kings Cross to the stunning Scottish capital. For me this journey is as exciting as the journey from platform 9 ¾ (yes I have seen the plaque and will take time out of the stressful time at the station to take a picture of myself with it, I’ll add it to the collection)

The fringe is something I can’t recommend enough to any student interested in the arts. If you want to see some of the best and sometimes undiscovered theatre or entertainment for a cheap price (most of the time) then this is the place to be.  This is the place that started the careers of some of the most successful comedians in the UK: Eddie Izzard, Fry and Laurie, Sue Perkins, even New Zealand got a look-in and gave us the mighty Flight of the Conchords. THANKS FRINGE!

This will be my fourth fringe year. Four years ago, at the age of 17 I got my first taste of independence and came to Edinburgh with some friends, booked into a cheap hostel for a few nights having made sure that I’d reserved tickets for the best shows on the fringe website (top tip number 1) and had the best time. Edinburgh is my happy place, which sounds like something I whisper to myself while crying in the foetal position. I mean it in the sense that some of my happiest moments have been in that city, specifically during the fringe. My friends and I did this tourist routine for two years consecutively, and we picked up a few must-do’s on the way.

Firstly, it’s a bit lame to go to the fringe on your own (as in without parents) if you’re under 18. One of the great things about Edinburgh is its night life and during the month of August there’s EVEN MORE on offer. There’s nothing like a night in the Pleasance Courtyard or Dome, having a pint and a pancake in the Udderbelly garden or dancing like a lunatic in C venues. Please be at least 18 when you try the fringe (I appreciate that I’m talking to students so that’s definitely an assumed thing, but you never know.) When we went at the age of 17 we managed to find a Starbucks on the Royal Mile (still a cherished place of mine) that stayed open until the early hours, so we rocked it like old school jazz artists and got “wasted” on coffee and hot chocolates. If you’re not into the drinking scene then there are PLENTY of coffee shops like this that will accommodate you and your late night conversations.

Secondly, be forgiving to some of the shows that you see (unless you’ve paid a ridiculous amount of money, which seems unlikely). Most of these shows are low budget and can be very amateurish:  there’s so much on offer at the fringe you’re bound to get a dodgy one. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that you should dismiss any “shoddy” looking show that’s advertised to you on the Royal Mile. You can occasionally get real gems full of untapped talent. Remember it takes just one good review to make that show a sell out so get in there quick! Try everything!

Last year I stopped being a tourist and started being a participant, working in one of the venues as Front of House. This was the best way to be in the fringe for the whole month, meet lots of people and also get great work experience. And that’s where I’ll be in a couple of days again. Any August, if you’re looking for me or any young (or even old) people with a passion for the arts, then you’ll probably find us at the fringe. Be there or miss out: each year is different.

Hyde Park Unity Day, Leeds

For 16 years it has become a trend to blend and combine all the talents, interests, and many personalities of the people within the Hyde Park community in Leeds, in the free and annual event of Hyde Park Unity Day.

This year, held on Saturday 23rd July, Hyde Park Unity Day is a communal celebration, run by the community itself, relying on volunteers, and fundraising events in the run up to the annual festival. If you are looking for an event to welcome you into Leeds with open arms, you have found the event for you. With stalls advertising peace, harmony, and love, you find yourself floating around Hyde Park with a harmonious glow, with the taste of unity raw in your mouth. It is hard not to feel proud of such an amazing event, each stage represents a different taste in music, with the crowds feeling a magnetic pull towards the Reggae stages pumping out lively beats that dissolve any negative energy, you cant help but find yourself joining the strangers with the unconscious dances, and not really caring who sees.

Popular for its student friendly crowds, Unity Day unites people from every spectrum of the community, even with a children’s play area, and the romantic echoes of world peace in which this event channels is incredibly contagious. Taking place at a time of year when students are either just settling in to Leeds, or looking for something to do over the summer, it is an event not to miss. Where else can you watch a football match with Reggae and Ska beats vibrating through the air, or look on as the guys on the skate park perform tricks to Hip Hop, Dub, and Drum and bass? It is by far one of Hyde Parks coolest events, and just exemplifies how proud Leeds is at celebrating different cultures, arts, and music. If you are a Fresher coming to Leeds in preparation for your first year, make sure you invest yourself into such events, these events are not only life changing, but cast away all those fears that newcomers harbor, these events are a metaphorical hug from the community, to all its future, and present community members.

If just attending this event is not good enough for you, organisers are always on the lookout for volunteers to either raise money, design and distribute flyers, or help out at the actual event, why not help out at this event, and be part of something incredibly exciting, and morally rewarding. There is no better feeling than seeing a community at its strongest, and positively sharing the love, and appreciation of one another, and Unity Day incorporates this greatly. When I attended this event for the first time, I felt incredibly proud to have chosen such a genuine, welcoming city, which values each and every inhabitant, and rewards them with such delights. There is never a dull moment in Leeds, even in the city centre, with organisations constantly scouring the surrounding area of the shops promoting their offers (and, usually handing out freebies generously) you are always aware that you are an important part of something big.

As previously mentioned, this event is open for anyone, with people of all ages integrating within the crowds, and even pets lay next to their owners as they catch some rays and breathe in the positive atmosphere, Unity day really does not prejudice in the slightest. Activities such as the Unity Day Dog Show shed the welcoming light of importance on to the owners of some much loved pets to proudly display their canines and their beauty and abilities. The Football tournaments, which are dependent on age groups, are a great way for kids passionate about football to show off their skills, with teams having to be previously enrolled to contribute. Netball, and Cricket matches are also available, encouraging the community to take part, and have as much fun as possible. Unity Day inspires a passion for the London 2012 Olympic and paralytic games, encouraging all members of the community to display the spirit of play, and light-hearted competition, and therefore there are even Spots v Stripes giant games in the Quake cafe area.

So, if you are interested in spreading the love, or even just passing some time when you are in Leeds, make sure you visit Hyde Park Unity Day, or, if you missed the chance this year, similar events celebrating the same community togetherness such as; Leeds Carnival celebrating the beautiful Carribean cultures. Light Night celebrating the art of today’s generation, and many more. Be part of something big!

Written by Charlotte Owen, Leeds Metropolitan University.

Bristol’s Voucher Round-up: August

The best money-saving vouchers for your new city, all handily organised in one place. Check back next month for the September edition!

 Eating out

25% off your food bill at Café Rouge

25% off your food bill at Strada

Pieminister: 2 pies, mash and gravy meals for £9.50

 

Food to go

2 for 1 on milkshakes at Shake King (Bristol’s answer to Shakeaway!)

10% off your order + free delivery at the Bristol Raj

Freebies and upgrades at Ciao Burger (arguably one of Bristol’s best takeaways)


 Days out

2 for 1 tickets on Bristol’s sightseeing bus

Adult tickets for children’s prices at the Orpheus cinema

2 for 1 tickets on the Bristol Ferry Boat – another great sightseeing trip!

Written by Lucy, Bristol

Exeter University- The Basics

Exeter University is where I have spent the last 2 years of my life and I absolutely love it. I have to say it is one of the few universities where everyone comes away saying what a truly amazing time they had here; in fact I’ve never really heard anyone say they don’t like it. Exeter may not be as large as most other university cities, its nightlife might have little to offer and well let’s not get started on the locals but the community and fun on offer all over the University and city make up for it.

 

When I told my parents that I’d chosen to go to Exeter University my mum’s first comment was “I’m so glad, it’s such a safe city!” Not exactly what your average fun loving, party animal 18 year old wants to hear. However, I have to say now, probably one of my favourite things about Exeter is how safe it is as a city. When you go out you know you’re safe, everyone in the clubs are also students and the student housing area is all in one place, meaning on nights out everyone’s going back to the same area. When living in halls on campus there are security officers who patrol campus all night checking that nothing untoward is happening…. although this is less useful when you get fined for drunkenly stealing traffic cones.

 

So, Campus. Initially I was completely against going to a campus university, I thought it would be claustrophobic but being on such a great campus really makes the university. Many people might have been put off going to Exeter by the extensive building works which have been going on over the past 2 years. Believe me; I’d have thought twice if I’d have known that there would be intense drilling every time you sit in the Library… However, as September arrives much of the building work will be completed and Exeter should be restored to the beautiful campus that it was, with some seriously swanky new buildings added on! I lived in Halls on Streatham Campus in my first year and it was so much fun, rolling out of bed 2 minutes before lectures started, a stone’s throw from the Library (not that I ever went but still) and just a few minutes away from Saturday Lemmy (the student nightclub on campus).

 

A lot of people complain about the nightlife in Exeter (myself included) but although the music is standard cheese and the clubs are a bit grotty there are no pretensions that it’s anything else and it’s more than possible to have brilliant nights out. If you do want something a bit different it’s very easy to go out and find it, The Cavern, for example, has various bands and Indie nights if your tastes are more Alternative. The Firehouse is always a great place to go too. Reportedly the pub which JK Rowling (ex Exeter student) based the Leaky Cauldron on in the Harry Potter books, you can definitely see why. It is lit by candles and has huge wood benches; brilliant on a Friday night and their pizzas are AMAZING.

 

All in all, we moan about the nightclubs and the “rahs” and millions of other things but frankly, I for one wouldn’t have Exeter any other way and it’s a fantastic city to be a student.

The Rules of Halls

The ten commandments of halls…

DO make the most of freshers’ week

Freshers’ week is, in a word, chaotic. But at the same time it’s arguably one of the most important times of your uni life (okay, maybe apart from exam period..). It’s a great chance to meet loads of people from all walks of life – just don’t expect to remember their names! It’s definitely a time for forming friendships, so try to get in on the action as much as you can.

It seems like a good idea at the time…

DON’T get with a flatmate

Okay, possibly one of the most important. Freshers’ week arrives, it’s all go, your new flatmate’s looking hot and…no. Stop! Unfortunately, as gorgeous as Ricardo in the next room may be, it’s a no go. Your whirlwind romance could make the year horribly awkward, both for you and your flatmates.

DON’T pass up a night out

Nights out are bonding opportunities. That’s why it’s a good idea for new students to go on as many of them as possible! Not only is it that joyous time before deadlines and exams start to hit, but it’s also a really good opportunity to get to know your new flatmates, and other randoms that might cross your path.

DON’T bang on about your gap year

Also know as the ‘Gap Yah’ kids. Honestly? No one wants to hear about it. Well, not all day and all night anyway. If you have a witty anecdote about your time in South Africa, fair enough. Just don’t bang on about it at any semi-relevant opportunity. Not everyone is lucky enough to have been on a round the world trip, so keep it to a minimum.

DON’T be the messy one

Okay, so you can be messy. Just be sure not to be THE messy one. It’s bound to get rather untidy, but as long as you’re not the main perpetrator, all can be forgiven. It’s not going to take you long to wash up your sticky pan. Trust me – it’s a lot better than tackling three festering towers of pots and pans.

DO start looking for houses early…but not TOO early.

As second semester hits, so does the dreaded house hunt. It’s a good idea to start looking at houses early. All of the good houses seem to get snapped up before your eyes, and somehow you’re left with that peeling, chilly place that most students end up living in! Saying that, you need to have a good idea about who you’re living with and where, and it’s best not to rush into things. Make sure you really know the people you’re going to live with. A year’s a long time to spend with a ‘frenemy’…

DO make the most of having no bills!

Chances are, when second year hits you’ll be in a house, and that blissful year in halls without bills will seem like a lifetime ago. So enjoy it while you can! Unnecessarily long showers, room like a sauna…soon you’ll be paying for it!

DON’T stick to what you know

It might be the case that you know quite a few people from home at uni, but there will be a lot of people who don’t know a soul. For the first few weeks, it’s best to keep your distance from any home friends you might have and concentrate on meeting new people. Coming with an entourage of close friends can be a bit intimidating to others at first. Eventually, introduce your old and new friends…you’ll be unashamedly popular!

DO make your room a nice place to be

Make your room your own space. You’ll need it sometimes! Also, everyone always hangs out in that one room that’s homely. A TV and games console is always a good one to bring in the crowds!

DO enjoy it!

Lastly…living in halls is a blast, and it only lasts for a year…enjoy it!

 

 

Tramlines: Sheffield’s Free Festival

Us students love a festival, and what’s not to love? A weekend of brilliant music fuelled with alcohol surrounded by your mates… at a £200 plus fee? Okay, maybe not.

As years go by, more and more festivals seem to be popping up to lure us in and empty our pockets, with amazing line ups and located in fabulous destinations. Once you’ve paid for one, plus thought about spending money and travel costs, it’s near impossible to even consider looking at another, especially in today’s economical climate. “You could get a holiday for that price!” I’ve heard my mother shriek as I’ve tried to  justify how much I planned to spend over 3 days in a muddy field with my Argos tent.

Then I moved to Sheffield, and things changed.

Some of the thousands of fans who attended over this year's weekend at Tramlines, Sheffield.

Only since 2009 has Tramlines been running as, get this, a completely free music festival. Brought together by the Sheffield City Council, local promoters and Musical Works in just 5 months, the first of this festival saw 35,000 people fill the city centre and that’s how it all kicked off into being a now annual event.

I went along last year for the first time after hearing the Tramlines buzz through my university, and 125,000 people obviously heard the same buzz too. It was surreal how such an urbanised city centre could transform into a diversely cultural music event in over 70 different venues. I loved it.

The venues range from bars playing host to an array of small bands and upcoming singers, to the main stage on Devonshire Green at the heart of the city centre, where the headliners of the whole weekend will perform to the majority of the visitors that Tramlines attract. The clubs are full to the brim with current DJs, and local promoters will give you a taste of the nights that they run all year in Sheffield too.

So yeah as I previously stated, the main point of it is that it’s free for all. Obviously that’s great but like anything that seems too good to be true, there’s usually some kind of catch. And that’s no different in this instance. How many people do you think want a piece of something for nothing? Everyone does. Of course they do. This means there is no guaranteed entry for any event, and there are queues round the block and up roads to get into venues, up to 4 or 5 hours long in some cases.

Another issue is the quality of the acts. Okay, Sheffield prides itself in producing some fine local bands and that’s great and all, but don’t expect current bands just off the plane fresh from a World tour. What the festival is great at bringing, however, is a diverse mix of acts from different cultures to different genres and putting them all on around the city offering something for everyone. And actually a few well-known names do drop by; this year saw Pixie Lott, Ash, Olly Murs and hometown favourite Toddla T.

Pixie Lott performing at this year’s Tramlines

The estimation for this year’s festival was 175,000 over the whole weekend. There’s no denying how much this festival is expanding and many venues were reaching full capacity and turning people away very early on in the night. Clubs were open till well into the morning and you had to be up again with a beer or two in your hand for it all to start over by lunchtime. Something is always going on throughout the day and I love the thriving energy flowing through the city, it just engrosses and consumes you.

It was hard not to get caught up in the friendly and lively atmosphere throughout the weekend; visitors were embracing the local promo nights and exploring different bars to check out perhaps before unknown bands. This festival also turned out to be a great opportunity to see what the local community are churning out in terms of art, films, culture and clothing. Mainly though, this festival was a true showcase of why Sheffield is such an important city for music in the UK.

I can only see the festival continuing to expand in the next few years, but that poses the question: can any festival afford to be free forever? Well, until I’ve finished my degree in Sheffield, let’s hope Tramlines can.