Birmingham. The UK's second-largest city with a population of around 1.15 million. The birthplace of Cadbury's Chocolate, HP Sauce and Typhoo Tea, and the home of everyone's favourite fictional Brummie gang - The Peaky Blinders. It's a city that's undisputedly got a lot to shout about, but what can be said about its nightlife scene? Can it really match the status and grandeur of Thomas Shelby and the gang? Are there any student-friendly nightclubs, music venues, pubs and bars worth checking out? And Freshers - There's got to be plenty of parties happening, right? The answer is yes.
A whopping 40% of the city's entire population is made up of under 25's, making it the youngest city in Europe, and with a vast majority of those being students, it should be little to no surprise that Birmingham has something of a reputation amongst UK scholars for its outstanding nightlife. It's a go-to destination for undergraduates across England seeking some of the best hospitality and nocturnal entertainment that Britain has to offer (You can literally travel to any destination in the UK from Birmingham in under 4 hours - Fact).
From all-night raves in capacious warehouse venues to opulent nights out sipping on fancy-schmancy cocktails, live and rowdy music in dive bars and venues and so much more - Birmingham has it all. Trust us, if you've chosen to study in the capital of the Midlands for the next few years, you won't be disappointed.
To help you uncover all of the city's best spots, and the events taking place within them over the coming weeks and months, we've compiled a list of some of the most frequented student haunts with a little information to boot. Scroll down to read more and click or tap on the links provided for tickets to upcoming parties.
Location: Trent St, Birmingham B5 5NL
Quite possibly one of the city's biggest and best-known nightclubs, LAB 11 is nestled underneath the archways of the old victorian viaduct that runs through the heart of Birmingham's creative quarter - Digbeth. A converted warehouse space now consisting of multiple rave arenas and a newly refurbished outdoor terrace, the venue also boasts an arsenal of lighting and sound installations and some of the best events and parties in the UK. Although not explicitly a student club, it's where many former and future students have and will continue to enjoy nights out.
For fans of raving all-night-long, catch some of the most celebrated dance brands putting on events at the popular nightspot - the likes of TRMNL, GLAS, Magic Door, Acid Experiment and more.
To discover more about LAB11 and find tickets to upcoming events click or tap - here
The Mill Digbeth
Image credit: Luke Deakin
Location: 29 Lower Trinity St, Deritend, Birmingham B9 4AG
Another night club situated in the centre of all the action, in the Digbeth creative quarter, The Mill Digbeth has a reputation amongst the student population for frequently presenting some of the best lineups and musical talents from across the UK and beyond. Recent selectors and artists, for example, who've recently shown off their skills at the beloved club/venue/bar included The Streets, Amelie Lens, Rudosa, Kanine, King Of The Rollers... we could go on.
A visually impressive destination, again burrowed under the same victorian viaduct, it has a mezzanine floor offering great views over the dancefloor all the way to the stage and an outdoor rooftop garden where revellers can dance through the day and into the night.
Did we mention they're hosting Chase & Status at their sister venue this weekend? Tickets for Carnival Magnifico at the Digbeth Arena can be found and purchased - here.
To discover more about The Mill Digbeth and find tickets to upcoming events click or tap - here
Location: 52 - 54 Dale End, Birmingham B4 7LS
Some of you students returning for your second or third year reading here might recognise this nightclub/venue...
Formerly the legendary Hummingbird, whose previous roster of performers includes Bob Marley and Amy Winehouse, and more recently the O2 Carling Academy, the newly opened Forum Birmingham has a brand new look and feel and boasts all the bells and whistles.
It's got a fully stocked bar, a brand new wrap-around mezzanine floor, an enormous dancefloor and stage, a mega D&B Audio Technik line array sound system, a giant LED screen and much, much more.
Freshers parties look to be coming to an end at the venue but there's still a surplus of mindblowing events to get to with your newfound uni pals. Performing over the next few weeks are noteworthy names the likes of Folamour, HAAi, Palms Trax, Joy Orbison and Floating Points to name but a few.
To discover more about Forum Birmingham and find tickets to upcoming events click or tap - here
The Tunnel Club
Location: Livery St, Birmingham B3 1HL
Located under yet another archway (there seems to be an abundance of them in Birmingham), The Tunnel Club is a mecca for bass music enthusiasts. Drum n bass is regularly heard blaring out of this moody and atmospheric warehouse venue at a decibel level which is known to induce both involuntary skanking and an overusing of 'the trigger finger'.
A popular port of call for students, the club is well-known and favoured for its extensive drinks menu and student-friendly prices. A great choice for those already feeling the financial strain.
Check out the video above, promoting The Tunnel Clubs upcoming Halloween special - The Purge ft. Congo Natty - Tickets are on sale now.
To discover more about The Tunnel Club and find tickets to upcoming events click or tap - here
Hare and Hounds
Location: 106 High St, King's Heath, Birmingham B14 7JZ
The Hare and Hounds is Birmingham's most celebrated live music venue, welcoming huge names and upcoming stars of the future through its doors and onto its stage basically every week. Once again, it's not necessarily known as a student club. However, we guarantee a large portion of those present at any given gig will be studying at one of Birmingham's eight universities.
A truly eclectic place of music, featuring performances from DJs, bands and solo musicians, it's also a great little spot to enjoy some responsible day drinking, emphasis on responsible, and exudes those cosy, old-world, traditional pub vibes.
Upcoming performers at the well-frequented venue include Willie J Healey, Liz Lawrence, Mr Scruff, Beardyman, The Lounge Society...
The images above are from a recent event at the venue, courtesy of photographer Monica Martini and underground party-throwers, Leftfoot UK.
To discover more about Hare and Hounds and find tickets to upcoming events click or tap - here
The Sunflower Lounge
Location: 76 Smallbrook Queensway, Birmingham B5 4EG
A niche and compact independent music venue modelled on the edgy dive bars of New York, The Sunflower Lounge offers high quality live entertainment and a great location to meet up with your classmates, roomies and newfound friends for a laidback drink and a catch up in the city.
The team behind the popular venue and watering hole pride themselves on showcasing the best underground and local talent, no matter the genre, across both their basement bar and main bar. A long-standing feature of the live circuit in Birmingham, The Sunflower Lounge has been hosting intimate performances for over 20 years and has seen the likes of Foals, Wolf Alice, Royal Blood, and Dua Lipa come through its doors.
To discover more about The Sunflower Lounge and find tickets to upcoming events click or tap - here
Be At One Birmingham
Image credit: Be At One Birmingham / Facebook
Location: 21-22 Stephenson Street, Birmingham, B2 4BJ
Cocktails, cocktails, cocktails. If you enjoy a luxurious, lavishly dressed and presented beverage, Be At One Birmingham is worth adding to your list of places to visit on a day or night out.
Renowned for the extravagance of their creations and their in-house team of skilful bartenders, some of the best in the city, Be At One, it would be fair to say, really take the art of mixology to the next level. It must be said, however, that the prices of drinks here can be on the pricey side, alike most cocktail bars. But don't worry, there's always the happy hour to take advantage of.
A cracking night out for those looking for a slower-paced evening, completed by a great soundtrack and an even better atmosphere.
To discover more about Be At One Birmingham and find tickets to upcoming events click or tap - here
Location: 182 Broad St, Birmingham B15 1DA
A students playground, PYRZM is a party destination for undergraduates from all over Birmingham and the surrounding towns. An enormous city-centre super-club comprised of four different rooms of music, all armed with cutting-edge light and sound production, PYRZM regularly brings in the big DJ names four days a week, with events running from late evening until the early morning.
Said to offer one of the best clubbing experiences in the inner city, the venue also boasts some of the lowest drinks prices. Another reason for you students to make a visit. And just in case you thought they could be doing more to attract the student crowd, they also throw their own student party, aptly named 'P.A.R.T.Y', every Thursday night. From what we hear, you can get your hands on a beverage at P.A.R.T.Y for as little as £1.80. Say no more. We're there.
PYRZM are set to host their Big Freshers Lockdown event in association with Boohoo this weekend. Follow the link below for more details...
To discover more about PYRZM Birmingham and find tickets to upcoming events click or tap - here
The Boogie Shed
Location: 11 Exeter St, Birmingham B1 1NH
A relatively new addition to Birmingham's bar and club scene, The Boogie Shed promotes nothing but feel-good vibes in addition to an attractive menu of lavish drinks and mouth-watering dishes.
Located in the city's Jewellery Quarter, the venue is pretty hard to miss. Those of you reading here thinking of attending won't require the services of Google Maps (other navigation apps are available). Instead, you'll need only to keep an eye out for the 15-foot giraffe that stands at the entrance of the building. Yes, that's right, a 15-foot giraffe. Once inside The Boogie Shed, you can expect to find two floors of entertainment, with the basement floor offering a spot to 'boogie' to the best cuts in soul, funk, house and disco until 4 am on Friday's and Saturdays.
A student-friendly establishment, this is up there amongst some of the best places to party in the Midlands.
To discover more about The Boogie Shed and find tickets to upcoming events click or tap - here
Location: 21 Bordesley St, Birmingham B5 5PJ
Another very recognisable clubbing destination and student-friendly drinking spot, SUKi10C can be identified by its colourful and pretty spectacular outer layer, covered from top to bottom in graffiti.
Rubbing shoulders with the bounty of venues stationed in and around the Digbeth Creative Quarter, the unique nightclub opens its doors every weekend and provides both the student base and local rave contingent with a programme of top-notch dance events.
Featuring regular performances from the best in drum n bass, house, techno, psytrance and more, this grassroots venue is a real gem and most certainly worth attending at least once whilst completing your degree or studies.
A fun little fact about SUKi10C - It's one of very few eco-friendly music venues in the UK that's powered completely by wind farm-generated electricity. It's also won awards for recycling 100% of its waste. The uncontested, sustainable party palace of Birmingham, right here.
To discover more about SUKi10C and find tickets to upcoming events click or tap - here
Find even more bars, nightclubs and music venues in and around Birmingham by heading to our What's On Guide. For upcoming Freshers Week events happening across the city, try our Freshers Week Inspire Me page.