While Durham itself has little experience in LGBT nightlife, just a hop skip and a jump away the city of Newcastle pulses with a vast wealth of variety catering to many different flavours of the LGBT pallet. After a mere 15 minute train journey (chance to have a calm natter before the action begins!) you are greeted, right on the very porch of the train station, by the lights and sights of the Gay Village, more affectionately known as the delightful Pink Triangle. Boasting a myriad 15 different LGBT-friendly pubs and nightclubs within a fiveminute walk, it would take even the most excitable of students several visits to fully appreciate what’s on offer.
We try to organise regular trips to Newcastle as an Association, often liaising with the nearby universities of Newcastle and Northumbria. Last year’s great QBall, our end of year formal, culminated in a throng of students descending on the scene in full formal regalia and glittered, painted faces.
Bars (Scotswood Road)
The Eagle is one of Newcastle’s more “niche” bars. Catering to the leather fans, the bears, the smokers, some might say that the Eagle is not for the faint hearted, but it makes for a fantastic place to peoplewatch. Known for its dark room and weektime strippers.
The Bank stands proudly in the entertainment side of the Triangle. Hosting acts ranging from drag to poetry, comedy to karaoke, the Bank is for those looking for a relaxed and even cultured side to the nightlife. And if that’s not enough, cheap drinks, pool table and loud interculture cheese music!
Switch is widely considered to be where it’s at, so to speak, and is usually favoured as a warm up before jumping through the side door into Loft (see the Club section). If you’re careful with the drinks, whose price tends to leap a little towards the end of the night, then the chic design, clubstyle dance floor and personal DJ will keep you coming back for more. Another drunk karaoke favourite!
The Yard and Heaven’s Above come as a couple, and are in fact the two longest established gay venues in Newcastle. Below, the Yard offers a relaxed and friendly atmosphere with regular karaoke nights. This is believed to be the place to go to make casual friends. Up the stairs throbs Heavens Above, energetic and pulsing with music, and known for its gender mix and pole dancing.
Bars (Times Square)
Baron and Baroness is situated in the heart of Times Square, attracting a wide and varied clientele due to its proximity to the popular club Digital. The Baron is one of the most popular sites on Venue due to its location and unique gothic feel. With a myriad of music styles, a resident DJ and the odd cabaret act it’s a good thing there’s ample floor for dancing!
Like The Baron, Twist is gayfriendly rather than exclusively gay, and as such attracts a mixed crowd. Relax in the comfy seats and enjoy the top end techno video systems.
The Dog is a personal favourite for starting off a good night. Quiet enough to chat but with good dancing music, the Dog tends to be more a bar for the ladies but will attract everyone for its eclectic and cheap drinks. Memorable nights have seen us drink from a bowl, pitcher and teapot. Upstairs from the bar there is a peaceful karaoke room with a smaller bar, perfect for making friends.
Recently inheriting its place in the scene from old Camp David, Eazy Street offers a trendy alternative to the scene. Live entertainment is very common with cabaret and drag acts promising to put a smile on your face. Drinks are also rather cheap with Monday setting trebles at a headspinning £2. Tends to attract some straight people.
@ne (or At One) is the place to go for some funky house music! With comfy seats and great drinks deals we expect to see you there for the BOGOF cocktails, Sunday to Thursday.
Loft can be found above Switch and is Newcastle’s only gay club open 7 nights a week! The cheap and cheerful atmosphere makes it very popular, as does the peaceful roof top terrace. Should you be feeling daring, try their weekly dating game, Monday’s “Shag Tag”, where drinks are only £1. Saturday sees £2 drinks all day.
Powerhouse is not only a personal favourite, but stands up for its name by being the key player when it comes to Newcastle nightlife. Seeing in the night to 4 o’clock, you can expect to see most bar crawls ending up with a dazzling crescendo in the multicoloured lights of the dance floor. While the nightclub stretches over 4 floors with a quiet outdoors terrace, dark velvetine dance bar and mysterious VIP room you’ll probably spend most of the night in the main room. Perhaps the only place around where you’ll find that cool sixties litsquare dance floor, the music tends towards high energy remixes of pop, R‘n’B and dance music, though the odd mass conga and hokey cokey keep things original. Often has appearances from Zlist pop stars, X Factor rejects and 90s comeback bands. Remember your campus card for discounts!
For the Queens Campus Students Middlesbrough scene is only a short trip of a few minutes from the campus. Don’t worry though, we do our best to organise intercampus trips to both Newcastle and Middlesbrough when we can.
The Oak lies across from Middlesbrough bus station. It has a traditional feel with a relaxed atmosphere and pool tables during the day, and magically turns into something approaching a gay venue at night. Tuesday night is “Pop Tarts”, local bands play on Thursday and there are various DJ nights at the weekend.
POUT is a gay night held on the last Friday of every month at Onyx Rooms, a universal nightclub with student nights on Wednesdays. POUT is known for its pride in eclectic and outstanding music.
SATURGAY is a gay night held, unsurprisingly, on Satudays at the Cornerhouse on Exchange Place. Choose between new and old house and dance music in one room, and 90s cheese in the second room, affectionately known as “The Camp Lounge”. We recommend this for late nights after a trip around the bars, as it may only open at 11 but the party goes on til half three!