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A Fresher's Guide to clubbing in Birmingham

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As a fresher in Birmingham, you’ll be getting to grips with the UK’s second largest city by night. After dark, the city is transformed into a clubber’s haven with scenes catering to all students’ tastes, whether that’s dancing in Broad Street’s superclubs or sweating it out in one of Digbeth’s renovated warehouses.

If there’s one thing you’ll learn as a Birmingham fresher, there are plenty of nights out for every day of the week. With so many clubs and bars to choose from, the choice can be overwhelming.

Here’s the lowdown.

Broad Street, almost a kilometre long and a short train or Uber ride from most student halls, is a student clubbing paradise where many of the city’s stylish cocktail bars and superclubs are congregated.

At night, the street is transformed by crowds of club-goers, black cabs, and bouncers, with pounding music spilling out of the clubs onto the streets. On weekdays, the superclubs compete with each other with exclusive student nights, often themed, and offering cheap steals such as one-pound shots and three jaeger bombs for a fiver.

Digbeth, Birmingham’s creative quarter, is your next port of call, where Birmingham’s underground scene thrives. By day, you can drink cocktails while putting holes at Ghetto Golf or sample some Brum’s best grub at Digbeth Dining Club. By night, there are night-long raves rivalling that of the backstreets of Berlin: here, you can expect to dance to anything from drum and bass to indie pop or house anthems inside renovated warehouses with open roof terraces.

On top of Broad Street and Digbeth, the city centre has plenty of bars and clubs within a 10-minute walk from New Street Station, and nearby in The Gay Village, the heart of Birmingham’s LGBTQ club scene, there are unrivalled nights out featuring live lip-syncs, resident drag queens, and countless pop anthems and cheesy classics night long.

These are the clubs you need to know in Birmingham.

Player’s Bar, Broad Street

What to expect: Pop, Dance, Themed nights

Opening Times: 7PM4AM

If there’s one thing that will baffle you as a Birmingham fresher it will be hearing second and third-years talking about “stues” – do they mean stews or are they talking about Stuart?  No, they mean Stuesdays, otherwise known as Stupid Tuesday, Player’s Bar’s value student night which will quickly become your go-to Tuesday night. Every week, students flock to Stuesday to benefit from one-pound shots and three-for-six-pounds VKs. With two long dancefloors, punters can dance to pop music and dance classics or choose to visit on themed nights such as Kanye Night or Beyoncé Night.

Lab 11, Digbeth

What to expect: Drum and bass, House, Garage

Opening Times: Varying

The closure of The Rainbow Venues delivered a big blow to Birmingham’s underground, but Lab 11 is key to keeping the scene alive. A renovated raw-brick warehouse situated in the heart of the creative quarter, Lab 11 hosts the popular TEKTU night with state-of-the-art sound systems and LED lighting. TEKTU sells out quickly with the fresher’s night sold out weeks in advance.

Image credit: Lab11

Nightingale Club, The Gay Village

What to expect: Pop, Party anthems, Dance

Opening times10PM4AM

The crown of Birmingham’s LGBTQ scene is Nightingale Club, a certified crowd-pleaser where you can expect to dance alongside resident drag queens and enjoy all-night one-pound drinks. With three floors and three rooms, Nightingale’s Pounded! Thursdays are a student rite of passage and with friendly vibes through-and-through. Nightingale also regularly hosts shows from Drag Race royalty and other famous faces, making it Birmingham’s one of Birmingham’s most established clubs.

Snobs, City Centre

What to expect: Indie Rock, Alternative Pop, Retro jams

Opening times: 10.30PM – 4AM

For only five pounds, Snobs Big Wednesdays are a classic student night out, packing in some weekly good vibes with all the best tunes from alternative pop and indie rock. Complete with three floors and easily accessible by train or bus, Snobs is a favourite with students and locals alike.

Pryzm, Broad Street

What to expect: House, Dance, RnB, Cheesy classics

Opening times: 10PM - 4AM

Pryzm is easily the biggest name in the country and it’s no different in Birmingham. Hang on to your friends tight, since it is all too easy to get lost in the superclub’s four rooms which each caters to different music tastes. Their new Thursday night Lemon Juice is a hit with students, offering drastically discounted drinks.

Another plus is Pryzm is by far the safest club out there. Expect to be searched upon arrival, airport-style, with metal detectors and face identification screens.

Image credit: PRYZM

Mama Roux’s, Digbeth

What to expect: Indie rock, Alternative rock

Opening times: 8PM-3AM

A more intimate venue, Mama Roux’s is relatively new to Birmingham’s clubbing scene. Its popular student night Propaganda, which recently moved to a new venue, has christened its spot as a student favourite.

Rosie’s, Birmingham

Broad Street

What to expect: Dance, RnB, House

Opening times: 8PM-4AM

A brand new superclub, Rosies Birmingham has quickly risen through the ranks as a student haunt. With five themed rooms playing varied music, the weekly Naughty Horse Mondays combine dancing with a free bouncy castle, candy floss, and even Mario Kart Wii. It’s only three pounds for select doubles, the same price as entry, a cheap way to kick off the week.

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