Despite the economic climate, student nightlife in Lancaster is booming. Lancaster University Student Union’s nightclub, the Sugarhouse, has witnessed a growth in both income and attendance in comparison to this time last year.
This term, Sugarhouse attendance records have been demolished. Friday Fury, an event involving a bar crawl around campus which finishes in the nightclub, achieved the highest attendance on record in Week Three with over 1,800 students through the doors. This record stood for just two weeks until 2,000 students turned up on Saturday 31st October to join in with the Halloween festivities. The huge success of the Halloween night has paved the way for an entire Halloween weekend to be planned next year.
Andy Johnston, LUSU VP (Finance, Events, Democracy and Societies), commented on the Sugarhouse’s success: “It is quite evident that a lot of clubs in town are closing [Walkabout Night Club ceased trading last month due to financial difficulties] and finding it really hard. It’s not the fact that the Sugarhouse isn’t finding it hard too, because we’re hit with the same problems as other clubs are. It’s just the fact that we have got a good student base, a really loyal fan base.”
With weekly socials taking place, the Sugarhouse is able to build direct relationships with students as well as organising meetings with JCR officers to generate feedback from the student community so they can meet expectations and create the right service.
When asked why he believes the Sugarhouse’s popularity is on the rise, Johnston stated: “It’s just a mix of different things. We’ve really struck a cord this year with really good value but also really good entertainment and atmosphere.”
Events on campus have proved popular with Lancaster students too. The Comedy Central Nights, hosted in Cartmel Bar, allow Lancaster students to enjoy comedy from all over the UK. Tickets for the events frequently sell out with up to 400 students in attendance each night. Next term, the comedy nights are to be continued by popular demand with a bigger star joining the line-up in week 5.
This term also saw the launch of an International Night in Fylde Bar, which was established to problems with international students engaging with the university lifestyle. The night welcomed over 400 international students with plans to make the event into a monthly social next term.
In contrast to this, college Christmas balls have had trouble selling all their tickets; some are struggling to meet the minimum number required to cover costs. With some colleges’ tickets costing up to £40, it seems that students are not willing to spend such a high price for one night of entertainment.
With just one week left before students depart for the festive season, the Sugarhouse has made sure to end the Michaelmas term in high sprits. On Friday 11th December, Sugarhouse will be hosting a Festive Snow Party followed by the legendary ‘Drink The Bar Dry’ on Saturday 12th December.