POCKET: Nights out

Are nights out actually ever really worth the cash?

Holly Platt-Higgins

Who can resist!facebook/Rumboogie/Ballare

As much as Cambridge students can boast the wealth of academic opportunity and beautiful architecture which our university experience includes, it would be a challenge for us to say the same about the evening entertainment the city has to offer. While we might have four A*s to our name, only four clubs to choose from is a less impressive statistic.

I grew up in Kent; I am not necessarily a club connoisseur. Yet, I have on occasion ventured away from the fields and elderly conservatives into the more exiting streets of London. And, it’s fair to say, Cambridge cannot exactly compete with the nightlife on offer for those at the likes of UCL and LSE.

Now, I’m not pretending I don’t regularly visit Cindies on a Wednesday and Life on Friday and Sunday nights. But I’m not going to pretend to be happy about it either.

"And, it’s fair to say, Cambridge cannot exactly compete with the nightlife on offer for those at the likes of UCL and LSE"

“A very small amount of my self-respect seems to disintegrate every time I’m clutching a bunch of VKs, singing along to Taylor Swift and calling upon the photographer to document my shame”

It’s not because I think I’m edgy and I should exclusively be at ArcSoc rather than on the same sweaty dance floor, among my inebriated peers, week after week. It’s simply that Life and Cindies are actually shit. Even when you’re advertised a night of 90’s classics, you’ll end up, at 3am, listening to some of the most intelligent people in the country, shouting out the same infamous lines from the Lion King. The smoking areas are always packed. The queue for the girls’ bathroom, often gets pretty contentions and the lack of loo roll is a familiar travesty to many.

And because the week-to-week options are underwhelming, to say the least, the basic laws of economics come into play when something more stirring hits the Cambridge scene. Avant-Gardening, Grandma Groove, Turf; these are all pretty sought-after events and, as we know, the higher the demand, the higher the price can be. I recently paid something like £20 for a Turf ticket, which although is a great night, it’s still the equivalent of a weekly shop or seven loads of clean washing.

The problem is, if you go to the good nights, you’re going to be shelling out for your ticket and if you go to the regular nights, you’re going to be shelling out on the drinks; to try and disguise to yourself, the fact that you’re back on the Cindies dancefloor, again.

I’m partly blaming the clubs for being out of pocket, but I’m also partly blaming contactless. Contactless payment, while a friend to me when in a rush or checking out at Sainsbury’s, has been betrayed me on many a night out. If I’m too drunk to remember my PIN or type it into a card machine, I should not be allowed to purchase any more jagerbombs. And yet I have quite honestly moved my bank account from being in positive to negative numbers after a night in Cambridge. (I’m not sure there was more than thirty quid in there, but it’s the principle that counts.)

On the one hand, yes, OK, this does to some extent make drunken-me ‘irresponsible with money’. At the age of 21 I should probably be able to assess for myself whether I need another drink or whether it’s a good idea to buy that person that I don’t know and have never spoken to before a drink. But, while I accept partial responsibility for the unnecessary expenditure, I would like to protest that this isn’t entirely my own fault.


Mountain View

Are you a 21-year old Disney lover? There’s a St John’s ticket for you

If the clubs weren’t so horrendous there would be no need to order that next round of drinks, you would just be able to enjoy the music, the atmosphere and being out with your friends. The Cambridge clubbing scene, in combination with Cambridge winds on winter months, fundamentally makes an alcohol jacket entirely essential if you’re looking to extract any enjoyment from the evening. And on top of that, you are slightly hoping that after just one more Tequila shot, you will finally be able to quell the voice in your head, the one reminding you, that your essay due at 11am still isn’t actually finished.

Ultimately, a night out in Cambridge always seems to end in you having spent too much; either on getting into the club or getting drunk in the club. Then, you’ll inevitably end up spending more money on cheesy chips or a chicken burger as you venture back to the safety of your bed. Where you will wake up, smelling suspiciously of Red Bull and ketchup, with a savage headache; looking at club pictures which you swiftly need to untag yourself from and a hole in your bank balance that you are not proud to have and, more worryingly, not quite sure how you managed to obtain.