London might be pricey, but its nightlife needn’t cost a thing thanks to the capital’s host of free clubs, says Chris Peacock
It’s no secret that London offers one of the hottest clubbing scenes in the world. But this often comes at a price, with extortionate entry charges and ticket prices that can sometimes end a night before it’s even begun.
Still, it’s possible to hit the capital’s clubs without making a huge dent in your finances. Away from the pricey glare of superclubs and pretentious pubs, there’s a growing free scene of venues putting on renowned nights and big names for nothing but the bar bill.
Wedged in the middle of bustling Brick Lane, 93 Feet East is open seven days a week, with free entry for its ‘90 Free Friday’ nights. With three rooms plus a huge cobbled courtyard that’s packed in summer, it offers a wildly eclectic range of sounds and vibes — from electro and alt rock to psych-pop and deep house.
Still in Shoreditch, ‘Free Fridays’ at Cargo provides a host of scintillating DJ sets, with the venue’s cavernous arches keeping the mood suitably intimate but raucous into the early hours. The street-food cafe isn’t half bad, either.
For something more central, check out The Social on Little Portland Street. This daytime diner and DJ bar was set up by Heavenly Records a decade ago, with a free entry policy for its portfolio of parties, including ‘Hip Hop Karaoke’ and ‘Pop Head’. Drinks are reasonable; pints around £3. The best things in life really are free.
Road distances to London are measured from Trafalgar Square, where you can find a brass plaque marking the "centre of London" near the statue of Charles I.