A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
Live music is one of the great joys in life, and while I may not be at all musical, that doesn’t stop me enjoying it! As part of a New year plan I’m trying to find and attend more live music, however it can be difficult to find these events. I’m having some success with trawling Facebook events and checking posters at bars to find this. Sites such as Soundcloud can be a useful way to find artists, and Sofar promises intimate and unique sessions in Leiden, Amsterdam and The Hague.
Through Facebook I managed to find a night called “Unplugged”, described as a semi-acoustic monthly night, with a different bar hosting each time, and Meneer Jansen hosting the most recent. It’s mostly original songs, with sounds ranging from classic acoustic indie and pop, to more jazz styled pieces, however the eclectic nature still managed to sound harmonious in the space.
Despite its small size, the music scene in Leiden is still vibrant, both from the range of artists present, and the people there. Meneer Jansen always has a very cosy atmosphere and this combined with the crowd and the music itself created a very special-feeling night. The beer at Meneer Jansen also deserves a mention, with the taps changing regularly to fit the season, and an exceptional range of bottled beer. I sipped a glass of a honey dark, which sadly seems to have moved off tap, however I’ll be looking out for it again!
Other notable firsts for me this month have included my first night out with LUPride (Leiden University LGBTQ group). After many promises to attend events, this term I actually made it to the 1st borrel, and I’m extremely glad I did! Hosted in the GayCafe de Roze Beurs, this turned out to be a delightful night where I got to meet lots of new (and lovely) people.
While it can be intimidating to attend LGBTQ events at first, I really recommend it, especially to international students, as it’s such a wonderful community to have around you. GayCafe de Roze Beurs is also delightful, with really friendly bar staff and an excellent atmosphere. The committee of LUPride did a really good job of making sure everyone felt included, and I’ll definitely be attending the next one.
Both these events are running again later this month, with LUPride holding another borrel on the 15th February again at de Roze Beurs, and the next Unplugged session on the 21st at De Twee Spieghels. I highly recommend both, and hopefully I’ll see you there! If you have any music nights or venues that you recommend, let me know and hopefully I’ll be able to feature it here next!