Sticky-floored Wetherspoons and over-priced drinks in the cheese room are great every now and then, but they’re by far the only choice available for Freshers studying in Bristol.

for those new flatmates feeling a bit more adventurous

We’ve put together a small selection of varied events taking place around the city for those new flatmates feeling a bit more adventurous. So, memorise the answer to ‘those’ three questions (“I’m from Hull, I’m studying Biology I came here through clearing. I’m from Hull, I’m study…”) and get prepared to fall in love with Bristol through these Freshers alternatives:   

Bristol Burlesque Festival 

This celebration of burlesque takes place over three nights, each with its own distinct theme and set of performers. With a global lineup, headline acts hand-picked to showcase that night’s theme (Radicals, Outlaws, or Rebels), and a range of styles from drag to cabaret on display, this is one not to miss for fans of the saucier side of alternative entertainment.

19 – 21 Sep // 8pm – 12am // £15 each // Bristol Improv Theatre
Tickets //

Bristol Gaming Market

Looking to set up some activities to help the house procrastinate a little early? Bristol’s Gaming Market has you covered; stalls teeming with retro consoles, games, import oddities, board games, merchandise and, you get the gist. Just be prepared for a year arguing about who is better at Street Fighter and settling kitchen disputes in Smash Bros.

22 Sep // 11am – 4pm // £2 – £5 // The Passenger Shed //

Donuts Fresher Party

Free donuts. Thekla’s monthly exploration of soul, funk, hip hop and sugared treats returns with the students, re-launching with this Freshers’ special. Featuring everything from Slowthai to Brockhampton, drinks deals – and it takes place on a boat. Also, did I mention free donuts? 

23 Sep // 10pm – 3am // £3 – £5 // Thekla
Tickets //

Captain Jamaica & The Mellotones 

Playing in a gorgeous curio bar on Gloucester Road, this local supergroup promise to bring a bunch of reworked rocksteady classics, a few originals, and, if past The Mellotones shows are anything to go by, a whole lot of groove. Perfect if you need a more relaxed night to get over any growing tinnitus you received over the weekend.

24 Sep // 9pm – 11.30pm // Free // The Gallimaufry

Mella Dee Presents: Warehouse

Motion’s sister venue plays host to UK producer Mella Dee this Freshers. Mella’s hypnotic and dance-guaranteeing rhythms will be joined by German DJ Sally C’s 80s hip-hop and 90s acid filled mixes, with a few more sets to be announced.

25 Sep // 10pm – 4am // £7.50 – £15.10 // Marble Factory
Tickets //

Harry and Chris 

Fresh from winning The Guardian’s Pick of the Fringe in 2018, appearing on Russell Howards TV show and selling out shows up in Edinburgh, the duo are lending their meld of comedy, jazz, and rap to Bristol for the night. Critical darlings for the all the right reasons, seeing this duet play songs about everything from Christmas to the end of the world will be a night well spent. 

26 Sep // 7.30pm – 10pm // £16 // Redgrave Theatre
Tickets //

Black Parade – 00’s Emo Anthems 

The Black Parade tour returns to The Fleece for Freshers, after a sell-out success earlier this year. If you and your flat are in the mood for some tasty nostalgia and some big sing-alongs to the likes of Fall Out Boy, Paramore and Panic! At the Disco, this is definitely the event for you.

27 Sep // 11pm – 4am // £5.50 // The Fleece
Tickets //

Alternative Freshers Fair 

BIMM, UOB, UWE, and dBs Music are getting together for Bristol’s Alternative Freshers Fair, where the focus is on independent local businesses. Joining the plethora of local stalls, you’ll also get some free swag in the form of pizza, beer, donuts, and haircuts, so remember to bring a few zip-lock bags and load up on food for the week while you’re down there. Nitelife will also be there with copies of the new magazine for everything going on throughout October, giveaways and free keepsake photos for the kitchen fridge, via the Fotomatic photo booth.

29 Sep // 2pm – 5pm // Free // Thekla


Photo: Captain Jamaica & The Mellotones by James Koch

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