Newcastle, being similar in population to Malmo, is the home of two universities: Northumbria University and Newcastle University. It’s been almost three weeks since I came here, and I’ve been asking people what was so special about Newcastle in the context of all British cities. Surprisingly (but only when I heard about it for the first time), everyone mentioned the nightlife. People were talking about “girls with almost non-existent skirts”, masses of students occupying the city center, cheap drinks and all this fuss, starting on Friday night and ending on early Monday morning. So, exactly one week ago, I went out to see whether it was true, and to discover it (however it was) myself.
Newcastle University’s Student Union looks like an old red-brick building, but the life inside it could not be better-fitted for what it’s there for. Not only it is the home for over 60 student societies and shops (everything from food, press, clothes to Starbucks and Subway), but also has a student pub and a very modern, big, and recently refurbished bar/nightclub in the basement, which is well-known for its Saturday events.
After visiting that place, the first thing that surprised me was the cultural difference (compared to Sweden) in when the parties start and end. The event only started at 11pm and went on until 3am. Moreover, the theme was also something I have never heard of before (well, I have, but not for parties!) – Stock Market. So, the more popular the drink was, the more expensive it got, and every 20 minutes the market ‘crashed’ and everything started from the beginning, which meant that you never really knew how much you would pay for your drink. Unfair in a way, but how catchy! The club got crowded in only half an hour from the beginning of the event, and everyone seemed to be having a lot of fun, good music playing really loud and the floor getting very sticky from the alcohol. The clothing varied from casual to theme outfits in bigger or smaller groups, the “non-existent skirts” and very fashionable styles we are all used to seeing in fashion journals. Finally, the students seemed to be enjoying themselves and engaging in conversations with us more easily than I have ever imagined people could.
So, long story short, even though Newcastle is always crowded with students who are having a good time, it seems like the city has so much more to give and show when the sun goes down!