So, you’ve started the University of Southampton, and you’re now deciding what clubs to hit when they inevitably open back up. You think the city is your oyster with choices like the DnB heavy Switch, the painfully average Oceana or the clubs that were great at home but suck in Southampton like Popworld (Reading’s Popworld is much better). However, all I have for you is one word – Jesters.
Ahhhh Jesters, The Palace of Dreams, Southampton’s local swamp and unarguably the best cheese dancefloor in the whole of the city. The only place where it’s acceptable to wear wellies to a nightclub, a place that diabetics are warded away more effectively that a vampire confronted with garlic, and a place that every fresher must become acquainted with to appreciate it fully.
Jesters is an excellent place for a multitude of reasons; however, the greatness starts way before you even hit the steep decline into what most would have assumed is some strange sex dungeon. As you get yourself ready for a great night out, you’ll find yourself tracking down the worst pair of shoes you own (which will become unanimously known as your “Jesters shoes” in the coming days) and trying on a bunch of clothing that looks like it has had better days. A top tip: never wear anything you like to Jesters as it will be ruined by the time you leave. The great thing about Jesters though, is everyone looks like they have been mowed down in a sweat-driven filthy accident – and WE LOVE IT.
Upon arrival, the first mistake anyone can make is seeing the immense crowding around the bar and thinking its best to hit the dancefloor first. The first reason that’s wrong is that your first thought wasn’t “I need a drinky-poo” and that means you’re not drunk enough for Jesters. The second: if you thought the bar was busy, then oh boy, wait till you hit that dance floor. So, go over, buy a brightly coloured drink (we recommend a Jesticle), think to yourself “a drink shouldn’t be that colour”, and then take a sip and process everything around you.
From UV lights, a floor submerged in an inch of questionable liquid, toilets without doors, cubicles with two toilets so best friends can hold hands while peeing, and much more – all of these little traits are part of the charm in Jesters. But the real magic happens when you hit that dancefloor. You’ll find yourself trying to edge your way onto a dancefloor smaller than most people’s living rooms as you precariously hold onto the sloshing pink liquid called a drink. Feel yourself become submerged in a kaleidoscope of sweaty bodies and bad BO as you try to move in some semblance of a way that is only best described as interpretive dance. With enough alcohol, you’ll feel like you’re featuring in something plucked straight out of a Disney movie, except the backing tracks are pop music’s greatest dancefloor hits from Britney Spears or Beyoncé and even a little bit of Smash Mouth. The hours will soon trickle away with enough alcohol, and before you know, the Baywatch theme tune will mark Jesters approaching closure as an entourage of men rip off their tops and wave them in the air like they just don’t care.
With a final few songs, a great night at Jesters is brought to a close, and you’ll find yourself leaving at a respectable 2 am, ready for that 9 am lecture that you’re most likely going to miss now. A degree you say – what’s that? I only heard you say, Jesters!