Halloween in Leeds

Walking home tonight; the nights have already become darker, the cold breaze harshly tickles down the back of your neck  and you are reminded that the time has come for Halloween to indulge the city with zombies, whitches, and other such scary beings clambering out of the clubs and pubs at the end of the night.  Already witnessing several zombie like dolls making their way to the nearest pub on my journey home, I thought of all the biggest Halloween events in Leeds this year, and which one would be the best to go to;

Kirkstall Abbey Ghost Tour

To start the list, I thought I would include something in which does not include going out and getting absolutely out of their mind for those of us third years who are struggling to cope with the inability to go out and have a good night out without the horrendous burden of not only usual uni work, but the dreaded dissertation. What better way to spend a few hours of playing along with the theme of Halloween, and giving yourself enough time to return to the pit of your dissertation work, is the Kirkskstall Abbey Ghost tour, a chance to see this beautiful monument under a different, more spooky light, and to listen to the intriguing history surrounding this historical building. At just £5 a ticket, what a fantastic way to celebrate Halloween with friends to get yourself in the Halloween mood.

Propaganda Leeds, Halloween Spooktacular!

This Saturday, the 29th of October, o2 Academy in Leeds has prepared a night full of the scariest and heaviest Indie tunes to adorn your ears, promising an exceedingly haunting night of dancing until your feet can take no more. o2 Academy also has frightening drink offers for you to quench your deadly thirst with; Vodka and Mixer £2.20, Double vodka mixer only a pound more at £3.20, Carlsberg pints £2.20, bottles of VK £2.20, and £1.50 on selected shots with a Propaganda membership card, so head on down if you want to hear tunes in which will make your lifeless bodies dance until the moon dies, and the sun is reborn. With £5 entry, £4 entry for students before midnight, make sure you make it out of your graves in time to be included on this little thriller.

A 'Propa' Halloween

The Garage Haunted House Halloween special

From what is perceived as the hidden beauty laying in wait for its beloved prey, in the darkest dungeons of Leeds, The Cockpit takes advantage of its bat friendly surroundings, and hosts a magical night of Halloween mayhem. Let the darkness become you, with Room 3  being transformed into ‘a dark dungeon of terror’ including Apple Bobbing, Skeleton Hoop tossing, Pumpkin Shy, Spooky dip, a Zombie Booth, Scary face painting for those who aren’t already dressed up, and not forgetting creep twisted cocktails!For all you alternative music buffs, or just appreciate good music, and a willing heart in which has caught the virus of Halloween excitement, head on over to The Cockpit on Saturday the 29th, for a knuckle-cracking night. The Cockpit does not play games by half, and therefore if this sounds like your thing, you will not be dissapointed with the amazing lengths this place goes to, to ensure all its little zombies have the most supernatural ever. Open 11pm-3am, and stemming over the ‘witching hours’, it is only £3 in with those of you wearing fancy dress, The Cockpit is teasing you with its fantastic list of offers to enable your night goes off with a BANG.

If you prefer to celebrate Halloween on the actual day, The Cockpit has catered for you guys too, Come join us for a night filled with spooky music, such as the deep, leather lulls of Marylin Manson, to encourage you in to a hypnotic state of insanity for the night. The Cockpit has combined all their special nights to celebrate Halloween, and has even given the first lucky 100 customers free witches brew! Now who can say no to that! One sip of this, and with the hymns of a haunting rock melody in the background, will you be granted eternal youth? You may aswel try it and see. £2 entry with fancy dress, and £4 without, The Cockpit is also providing you with a cinema, showing all the scariest Horror films going, to ensure you really do have the spookiest Halloween. Bring it on!

Scary Warehouse Party

Warehouse is back with a vengeance, after the old venue was sadly demolished, these events have been reborn in the birthplace of VOX. With VOX being a completely blank canvas, the team in this club night are holding back no secrets when it comes to lighting, decoration, and music, to ensure that this ‘student only’ event is the most Halloween themed night in Leeds. With promises of monster lasers, amazing pyrotechnics,  co2 freeze jets, and the mother of all sound systems, it looks like this promise will be fulfilled with flying colours. With 3 warehouses at your service, interactive entertainers, a huge outdoor chill out area for when things get too intense, n outdoor devils lair with food stalls for all those zombies needing a bit of brain to keep you going, ad activities such as mummy wrapping competitions. With the haunted Warehouse playing Halloween and pop songs, The spooky Warehouse with its R and B and dub step, and the V.I.P blessing clubbers with Motown classics. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased from many pubs in Leeds at £10.

Horny Halloween

No Halloween list in Leeds can forget about Evolution, in my first year of University this club night served me well and introduced me to the fantastically high standards of Halloween celebrations of clubs in Leeds. On Monday 31st of October Evo opens its doors to the finest outfits Leeds can provide you with (as I was reminded of today on my lunch break, with the fancy dress shops being so crammed that there was a one way system just to get to the wigs). If you like your student nights then this is not one to miss, with fairground rides to satisfy those people who like to ruin the night with their moody states of boredom, and dancers and entertainers to scare the wits out of anybody and everybody. With all drinks £1.80 all night, an outdoor graveyard area, fire eaters, Horny hot tub blood baths, and even a Halloween psycho photoshoot, as well as many more surprises, how can you complain? Many ticket outlets being The Hyde Park Pub, The Original Oak, The Box, and Varsity at £6, so get purchasing now if this sounds like your idea of a happy Halloween!

Which ever night you choose, make sure you celebrate Halloween in style, and with the best, and scariest costumes in town! Except Clowns, I hate clowns.

Written by Charlotte Owen, Leeds Metropolitan University.

A Bristolian Halloween

You’re getting a bit old for trick or treating now, but Halloween doesn’t have to be exclusive to the under-12s. As always Bristol has a plethora of spooktacular (ahem) themed events on offer – read on for a selection of the very best

1. The Zombie Walk
Saturday 29th October/free

Now in its fifth year, the Zombie Walk returns to Bristol with a new, as-yet-undisclosed route. Dig out your grey face paint, fake blood and torn clothes, and join the hundreds of other zombies shuffling through Bristol moaning for “braaains”. If ‘living dead’ isn’t really your style, you can still join in: don combats and a plastic gun and you can join the Zombie Defence Squad, to take down the zombies and save the city! More information on the Zombie Walk here; join the Zombie Defence Squad here.

2.Halloween Champion Sound @ Warehouse
Saturday 29th October/£6-8 (£5 for zombies)

Not deterred by the temporary closure of Lakota, Champion Sound is back with a new venue. The Halloween edition is billed as the Zombie Walk’s unofficial afterparty, and will take place at the Warehouse (near the Thekla), open to both zombies and non-zombies with a taste for drum and bass, dubstep and hip hop.
More information

3. Monsterpiece Halloween Party @ Big Chill Bar
Saturday 29th October/free

This year Big Chill Bar is hosting ‘Monsterpiece’, a huge Halloween party featuring live music fromBristol’s top DJs, fancy dress, face painting and tarot card-reading. Prizes are on offer for the best fancy dress costumes, or you can wait and get made up on the night for charity. All the acts are performing for free, and all proceeds from the night will go to Bristol-based charity Temwa, which does work in Malawi.
More information

4. Shadows Follow
Friday 28th October/£10

Not for the faint-hearted, Shadows Follow is a terrifying ‘psychological thriller game’ which takes place out on the streets of Bristol. Walk, sneak and run through secret scary locations around the city as you try to complete the mission with your team.
More information

5. Just Jack Halloween Freak Boutique @ Motion
Saturday 29th October/£12-15

House music, cabaret, magic and fancy dress are combined this Halloween when Just Jack takes over Motion. The dress code is ‘Victorian freak and circus chic’, and ten per cent of proceeds go to charity War Child.
More information

6. Disturbance @ Syndicate

Monday 31st October/£3-6

The gunge tank alone meant Disturbance had to make this list! The Halloween special at Syndicate also includes a freak show, hot tub, giveaways and themed drinks such as ‘cocktail cauldrons’. The best costume wins 50 pounds!
More information 

When Leeds Met the Olympic torch

For most of us students all around the country, the only exercise we complete is the gloomy panic filled run to the lecture in which you are already ten minutes late for, because you could not force yourself out of your nice warm bed into the cold depths of reality. If you are in this majority, fear not, all this will change on Wednesday the 26th of October, a thrilling opportunity is injecting some active energy into the lives of all us Leeds Metropolitan students.

Thanks to Coca Cola, Leeds Metropolitan students get the chance to hold the Olympic torch, and have their picture taken with this important memorabilia, and symbol of ancient Olympics. The importance of the Olympic torch is valued greatly as a commemoration of the theft of fire from the Greek God Zeus by Prometheus, and the importance of the fire continually burning throughout the Olympic games.  Many important people have had the honour of carrying such a valuable symbol of the Olympics, why not  take advantage of this once in a lifetime opportunity and get a photograph you can hold onto for many years, to show your grandchildren that you, yes you held and cradled that world famous object of such value.

you can be part of this

To celebrate the 2012 London Olympics, Leeds Metropolitan is given this honored visitation of the Olympic torch, and from 12-6pm the chance to get up close and personal to this much sought after torch is open to us lucky Leeds Metropolitan University. So get yourselves doing that obligatory run, but get running to Headingley, and feel what it is like to be an Olympic Athlete, if not for the first, and only time in your life, or for all you sport buffs out there, this will be a great way to rehearse for your future in sports.

If, for some reason, you think that was not enough t get you out of your warm bed, we are handing out free sugar filled coca cola samples to get your energy up and ready for your daily stresses to be swept away in just one gulp of the hyper rush of sugar. Such Coca Cola beverages will also encourage your sporty side, and, with the aid of many fun stalls, games and activities to get involved with, it will be hard not to catch the Olympic fever.

I highly encourage all Leeds Metropolitan students to take advantage of this opportunity, even if you are not interested in sport, this is a truly fantastic opportunity to be part of something big, do not miss out, and you will not feel the rush of regret and dissapointment when you see the same torch in which could have been placed in your very arms, on the television, being cheered at by hundreds and thousands of people all around the world. You could be watching that screen thinking ‘I have held that’, do not rob yourself of this feeling, and get to Leeds Metropolitan University Headingley Campus, outside of the James Grahame Building.

For a taster, watch this, and appreciate how important this torch really is.

Written by Charlotte Owen, Leeds Metropolitan University. 

Three Alternative nights out in Exeter

If you’ve ever been to Exeter University or heard much about it then you’ll know Exeter is not the most alternative city in the country… at all. However, if you’re getting bored of the standard cheesy Arena Tuesdays then here are some different options.

Cavern, located on Queen Street holds a popular Indie Club night on a Saturday night which is great if standard club music isn’t your favourite genre! They also have gigs there and various other events which you can check out on their website here: http://exetercavern.com/

Mama Stones, set up by Joss Stone’s mum, (interesting fact of the day) offers a multitude of live music events. Thursday or “Turn it up Thursdays” is a particularly good night. They also have 2-4-1 cocktails which are always helpful when you’re on a tight student budget. It is a more chilled evening out if you don’t fancy a club and would prefer an interesting mix of music.

Itchy Feet events are held at universities throughout the country and the next one to hit Exeter is on Sunday 30th October. It’s a great excuse to put on your dancing shoes and get down with some classic Swing, Soul, Funk, Rhythm & Blues and Rock n Roll- basically some great old tunes. This time Itchy Feet will be held in Arena and kicks off at 9pm. Details can be found on the Facebook event: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=279794672043666

An Alternative night in Leeds Part 2

As promised, this is the second half of a list I prepared, for some intriguingly different nights out in Leeds, not to be overlooked in the sea of enthusiastic promises of thrilling music, student deals, and a truly unforgettable experience.

OK Karaoke

As you walk in to this venue, your breath is quickly taken by the sheer modern beauty of the environment. OK Karaoke is so up to trend that you will be ashamed of showing off the latest Blackberry in which you have just wasted all your money on. Take in the sights around you, and get used to the fantastic atmosphere, the staff are ready to serve you and you could not feel more at home, and more like a star in this bar brought to you primarily for the purpose of a true Karaoke night out. In this venue you get the true Rock star experience, fulfilled with VIP treatment and surroundings. This place is a definate must for any group of friends, from work mates needing to let their hair down, friends needing a good catch up, and even a family night out where you can compete with your siblings and parents. Not only is OK Karaoke a sight for sore eyes, it also has fantastic Autumn deals now available, such as Free entry from 5pm till late, free booths every Tuesday night, all night, 2 for one house drinks every day 5pm to 8pm, double up for £1 on house spirits, five Corona’s for the price of four, and many more offers to get you singing and dancing!

Quirky

As the name suggests, this event brings something new and exciting to the worlds off every student in Leeds who knows how to have a good night, hell, this event defines excitement! Instead of having the same old event, at the same old venue, why not make things more interesting by holding the greatest club nights that defy and outrun the bedtimes of most mainstream clubs and events, somewhere different! If this sort of music is your thing, or even is a nice change to your ears, you NEED to head on over to the Quirky events. Bar 4 is your host, and the party doesnt stop until the music stops which is generally not until the DJ’s start falling asleep, so if you fancy listening to some fresh, and tasty music, with stunning views, and a relaxed, friendly atmosphere make sure you attend a Quirky event. To be in the know of when one of the biggest and most fascinating nights for cool students is, you need to get on this.

Carnage

Leeds is a thriving and popular city, well known for its thirst quenching nights of entertainment and constant party, therefore it is no surprise that it is a destination for Carnage, a great opportunity to get to know some of the most exciting cities in the UK, and a trend within students who do not want to cement their feet in just one of the clubs dance floors. Why not shake things up a little with one of Leeds’ biggest bar crawls, all with their different themes. You do not purchase a ticket, you purchase a T-shirt, this T-shirt provides you with tasks you must fulfill throughout your bar crawl, making the night more cheeky and flirty, or even just an ice breaker. Carnage events are voted the number one student event and have held this crown for 7 years in a row, so you will definitely want to see what a night in these T-shirts have in store for you. The next event is naughty nurses and Doctors theme, so get your white coats out and get ordering your T-shirts!

A previous Ad for an Angels and Devils themed Carnage night in leeds!

Well that concludes my short list of the many alternative nights out in Leeds, this city really is a stone in which when it is lifted all the insect like students are scuttling around the thousands of clubs and bars which are screaming for you to come visit and enjoy yourself, why not take advantage of this and start trying some new nights, even if you decide your favourite club is where you started, you will have explored and examined the other selections of such venues and destinations in Leeds, you will be able to sleep better knowing that you are sure that you have tried the most energetic atmospheres, and the most cutting edge sounds. Join me in the search for the night that matches your every need, and explore the many open doors in a city that almost never sleeps. Leeds is THE place to be for students everywhere.

Written by Charlotte Owen, Leeds Metropolitan University.

Money-saving tips for Bristol and beyond

It’s the start of a new year, which inevitably brings an enormous outlay for books, stationary, paper, furniture, clothes, bus passes… the list goes on. If you’re feeling the pinch before term has even begun, here are some easy money-savers.

1)     Collect loyalty cards

Amass as many as you can (providing you have space in your wallet). They tend to vary hugely in terms of rewards, but most are worth having. Every little helps, right? Make especially sure you have a Boots card, even if you’re male! Everyone needs toiletries, and with 4p back on every pound you spend it you’d be daft not to take advantage.

2)     Get the train

In Bristol buses tend to be quite expensive (besides one- or two-stop journeys around the centre). Local trains, however, are a steal. When the conductor takes the time to come round and collect fares, which is almost never, singles are about 50p with a railcard, and the line connects useful stations such as Clifton, Redland and Temple Meads Station.

3)     Use Freecycle

Freecycle pages all over the country are thriving, especiallyBristol’s. This is a particularly good one if you’re moving out of halls and into an unfurnished house or flat – you can save a fortune on sofas, chairs, tables, small appliances and even bigger, more expensive bits like fridges and mattresses.

4)     Buy your textbooks online

The campus bookshop might be cheap, but not as cheap as Amazon! Competitive pricing between sellers means you can get books for incredibly low prices – especially novels, which are often pennies (plus p&p).

5)     Sell your stuff

If you’re having to blow heaps of money on books at the beginning of term, it might be worth selling off some of last term’s. It’s dead easy to open a seller’s account with Amazon, and depending on how much they’re worth you can make a killing selling off old books. Plus, for some textbooks, the site is now running a buyback scheme, where Amazon will pay for the postage and credit you with a gift voucher to be used on the site.

6) Borrow DVDs from the university library

You’d be surprised how many great films they have in stock! And rental is free, so long as you return them on time.

7) Be ruthless when food shopping

I have a friend who has a great technique for cutting down spending when she’s at the supermarket – when you get to the check-out, re-evaluate everything in your trolley. Take out anything that you don’t absolutely need or can’t afford and leave it behind. Be brutal!

Written by Lucy, Bristol.

Wegie Freshers

Fresher’s week has come and gone (for the Scots anyway).  So I’ve experienced three of these weeks in my life: the first as a bright-eyed fresher, the second as a mostly hungover bleary-eyed second year, and finally the third as a dull-eyed third year participant.

In first year I came to halls and received my fresher’s week care package, feeling like an old lady at Christmas. It had everything from granola to condoms, what more could you want? Then begun the awkward “meet-the-flatmates” procedure, and we collectively decided to start the PARTY at the Queen Margaret Union. It took me a few hours to realise that there are in fact TWO student unions at Glasgow University: The GUU and the QMU, and that typical mythical rivalry exists between them.  How exciting!

So the history of these unions is one of those well-known Glaswegian things: the GUU was a men’s only club, and so strident feminists opened the QMU as the woman’s alternative (right on etc.) Now of course there is no gender divide, but there is certainly a strikingly contrasting atmosphere in both venues. I spent most of my first year in the QMU. It’s less daunting, openly friendly and most of the club nights feel like a rather more extravagant house party.  The GUU however pays host to the HIVE. For those of you who aren’t aware of the HIVE or its reputation I’ll say that it’s worth a try at least…but also that the phrase “meat market” is used quite a lot… think of that what you will. I’ve been there a few times, and it’s not THAT bad, it’s just a little bit more “clubby” than anything that the QMU offers, so standard club sleaziness is going to occur. But the music’s good and it functions as good as any decent club would.

QMU’s offering is the ever popular “Cheesy Pop” which in Freshers Week has a special guest offering. Last year I believe it was two members of B*Witched (!!) and for us we had Jo and Bradley from S Club 7.  It’s the kind of wacky club night where freshers can feel like children once again and listen to sometimes ancient songs from their childhood and indulge in a pint of Magic (a QMU exclusive drink concoction). This year I went to one of the events at the QMU, namely the band night. This really showcases the best new bands that Glasgow has to offer; many new musical discoveries were made that night. Bands on offer this year were Bwani Junction, The LaFontaines, Kassidy and of course the QMU favourites Twin Atlantic.

But enough of the nostalgia; my freshers week was two years ago (!). This year I had the perspective of someone who was involved. I’m part of a student society known as STaG (Student Theatre at Glasgow) and so we had our own unique freshers week agenda. Our aim was to recruit as many new faces into our society and the best way of doing this is flyering the crap out of the campus. Glasgow being what it is we did this in adverse weather conditions, wearing bright orange t-shirts and asking people to hug the STaG bear (he’s not VERY wet from the rain I promise!) It was a lot of fun to have our own stand and contribute to the wonderful (and vitally necessary) Freshers Fair. In between flyering we would join the vast mob of people rushing to the Dominos van to get our free slice of pizza. One thing I’ve learnt from the varying experiences of freshers week over the past three years is that the Freshers Fair is something that has to be done if you want to make any impact upon the university during your time here. There is almost every society you can think of, from CUT film making to the Jane Austen Appreciation Society. At least go for the free pizza!

It’s quite easy to take the piss out of freshers week, with classically expected “debauchery,” but it is something that we all have to go through. Plus a little bit of ridicule is never harmless when the idea of the week is FUN.

Apart from anything else, this year’s freshers week made me feel incredibly OLD. Has it really been two years since I first came here?  I can’t help but envy every single young person that comes here for the first time and gets the big freshers week hug. I’m jealous of all of you!