As freshers’ kicks off, this year will be a little different than expected. With social distancing in place, the nightclub scene in Southampton has changed to keep in line with government guidance, but that does not mean that this will always be the case. Some of our writers reminisce about their club experiences to give you their top pick of where you should be hitting post-COVID. It could be in a few months or a year, but make sure you check out the below clubs when you are studying here at University of Southampton!
Switch is home to the best club nights in Southampton. From their bouncy castle on Switch Fridays to their ABBA nights – Switch has all club nights covered. Switch has a variety of nights that range from techno music, Drum & Bass to cheesy pop classics and thankfully due to having two rooms – Main Room and The Bunker – you are covered!
My favourite is Triple Cooked – their funky themed nights from jungle to winter wonderland. The best part is The Bunker – you can see upcoming or local DJs perform sets that remind you of your innocent youth. Not to forget Triple Cooked always has musicians playing in the smoking area so no matter where you are in the club you never miss out on the action. Switch Fridays are also an incredibly fun event – it is the cheapest night at Switch and there is sometimes a bouncy castle, DJs performing EDM to a Drum & Bass remix of ABBA and most importantly cheap drinks. It’s a great club and expect to spend at least a quarter of your degree here!
Being a student who is not an avid clubber is sometimes difficult. However, that all changed when I went to Café Parfait for the first time. It made me realise why some people love clubbing, but also reminded me of why I tend to hate club nights.
Entering through the doors, I was instantly hit by the cheesy hits playing. Cheesy tunes are definitely a divisive topic, and they’re a lot like Marmite: you either love them or you hate them. I love them as it means I can sing along to all the words without being judged. Or, so I thought.
The tracks they were playing were fantastic, I could scream out Justin Bieber lyrics at the top of my voice with my friends. But I just remember feeling weirdly judged by those around me. And if you can’t sing your heart out at a club, where can you?
Maybe it was the fact I sobered up, or the fact that I wasn’t in the usual club attire (I was carrying around my big winter coat after just having come from Spoons on a cold night), but Café Parfait didn’t feel incredibly welcoming to me. However, the sweets were great and made my night. The prospect of an open bowl of sweets to share with strangers in a sweaty club is something that I cannot ever imagine returning in any post-covid environment, though.
Freshers is a whirlwind of club nights which although appears at first overwhelming, is a brilliant chance to make friends with those you will be spending most of your year with! One night, you find yourself in some (questionable) UV ‘rave’ in a club you have never visited since and then the next, you end up in Portswood discovering the depths of the grotty pub scene of Southampton.
For me, Oceana (aka Ocies) became *the* place to go during the freshers fortnight for no other reason than the cheese room dance floor. Being able to have a boogie with your new flatmates to the old-school throwback tunes you all know and (shamefully) love is the best way to bond, throwing yourself straight into the student lifestyle. Nothing beats drinking a £2 VK whilst breaking out some horrendous but hilarious dance moves to S Club 7. My first club night consisted of an albeit expensive night at Ocies, but two years on my housemates and I still love a trip to the over-commercialised space purely for the excitement and nostalgia it brings.
Alright, I must admit I have been to a fair few of the Popworld clubs up and down the UK in my ripe old age of 21. What can I say? I’m a Popworld fanatic! You could spend a night out in our rival city – Portsmouth, and still go to Popworld but the Southampton one is bigger and better. Oh, and it has a stripper pole on a platform. Just do not start stripping, or you will get kicked out!
Most of the songs played are a bit before my time, but without a shadow of a doubt, I will know EVERY word to those cheesy hits. I have fond memories of my debut Southampton Popworld on my 19th birthday… well, what I can remember anyway. The tunes, the laughter cheap drinks and the company – that really made my night. Of course, I have been back since with many people and still enjoyed every time. Heck, I have even done it sober at least five times.
Popworld have an amazing Halloween night – I have been every year and I would not miss it for the world. I love to dress up and what better legitimate way to go out in public dressed like a creature of the night than their special club night? Or when they put on a One Direction night and having your drunk Bulgarian friend serenade you. I would never want to miss this. I’m just sad that I live so far away from Popworld as a busy final year student.