WHERE CAN I PARTY AFTER 4AM?
We’re not going to tell you! There are places that are open between 4am and 10am, but they are illegal and could be dangerous. For more information, try and make friends with someone that has the glazed look of a long-term party-goer. Failing that, you can go to the casino or a friend’s house.
WHERE CAN I SEE UP AND COMING BANDS?
So you want to watch live music in Glasgow but have no idea where to start? Lucky for you, you now live amongst one of the most vibrant music scenes in the UK. Glasgow has so much music and of such a variety that I could keep writing till my dissertation is due and I still wouldn’t cover it all, so here are a few select tidbits of the juiciest musical locales in Glasgow!
For big shows, SWG3 is a swiss army knife of independent venues, hosting big out of town bands in its 1000+ capacity venue alongside smaller bands in its four other spaces.
Barrowland Ballroom: It’s a classic, it’s been around for several ice ages, your dad probably saw the Cure there once in 1984 and won’t shut up about it, but he has got a point. Unlike the shiny, sleek, aerodynamic affairs of modern venues, the Barras is an experience; from the blaring neon sign out front, to the well worn bannisters and toilets stained with generations of urine. It’s also got a bouncy floor.
St Lukes: It’s a venue, in a church, need we say more?
If you’re after smaller venues then Broadcast and Stereo are the ones to watch, they often put on indie/alternative bands and both have great bars upstairs.
King Tut’s is another Glasgow stalwart. Small, but puts on big name bands for those shows where you want to see the whites of your favourite band’s eyes.
Though a little further out from the West End in Trongate, Mono is well worth a visit; not just for the outstanding roster of live music but also for the cafe and community space that is used for all sorts of events from Art showings to Zine fairs. In particular I highly recommend checking out the Freakender events that are on every year in September.
Hug and Pint: Come for the music, stay for the food (and the music). I cannot recommend this venue enough for a dinner/gig combo, and it’s really close to Uni, located on Great Western Road.
For local music, you can’t go wrong with Nice n’ Sleazy, plus chances are someone from your university accommodation will put on their first night there.
The other great local spot is The Old Hairdressers, which can be a little confusing as this bar has no indication there is any music going on when you walk in. But if you weave your way upstairs you will find a great little space that specializes in putting on Glasgow’s best local bands.
WHERE CAN I FIND MY LGBTQ+ FAMILY?
Don’t! Go! To! Polo! While it is totally possible to have a good time there, as an institution they are bad and don’t deserve your support. They are well known for exclusively catering to cis, white, able-bodied, gay men. New scandals happen regularly with just one example being their recent booking of a drag queen who’d proudly performed at a Tommy Robinson demo!! It’s also part of the G1 group who own half of Glasgow and are the literal worst. If you don’t believe me ask basically any people of colour/trans people/women about their experiences there. Basically, what we’re saying here is that they are well overdue a boycott.
You’re generally better off going to specific nights. Shoot Your Shot is a reliably great monthly staple, especially popular with women and trans people. The music is always good and so are their performers like resident drag swamp beast Shrek 666. They also make sure to have gender neutral toilets wherever they host a party. Hot Mess is popular with boys who like to dance with their tops off and is generally welcoming and inclusive. Bum Notes is a queer karaoke night and a personal favourite. Other ones pop up all the time so keep your eyes peeled, join the Queer Events Glasgow Facebook group and if you just want to go somewhere fun with gender neutral toilets where you probably won’t get harassed, then whatever’s on at The Art School is usually a good bet.
GENDER NEUTRAL TOILETS
Not many bars or clubs in Glasgow have permanently gender neutral toilets, although most will if they have an event where the promoter asks for it (if you are a promoter please do this). Most cafes do (generally because they only have one toilet anyway), but the only drinking/ club establishments with permanent gender neutral toilets are the Art School, The CCA and Bananamoon. All very nice places but a little pricey. Places like Bloc+ and The Flying Duck make a point about their toilets being trans-inclusive, but that’s not quite as helpful for non-binary people.
I LOVE TINGLE AND I DON’T CARE WHO KNOWS IT.
Tingle is a shot bar in town that has the most incredible section of 1.50 shots and other cheap drinks. The place is always packed so you can’t last long but it is my last stop before heading to any of the clubs in town. While I’m professing my sins. I love Driftwood too. It’s beside clubs off sauchiehall st like Berkeley Suite and Art School. The drinks are 89p and the music is like a DJ at your aunts wedding.
WHERE CAN I PARTY WITH THE COMMUNITY?
Glasgow Autonomous Space (GAS) is a space mostly used for community and leftist groups to gather. They also sometimes host all kinds of events including gigs and parties where the proceeds go to help fund the space. They are usually really nice, and fun, and worth going to. Civic House is another community orientated space that puts on nice parties, gigs, workshops and educational activities that are very worth going to. They also do ridiculously good lunch tues-fri for only £5!
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