I'm going 'out out' in Leeds tonight and I'm ready to dance the night away - YEP Comment

I'm going 'out out' tonight.

Saturday, 24th July 2021, 4:45 am

And it still doesn't quite feel real, that in a few hours I'll be dancing in a packed nightclub with bass vibrating through my bones. I can hug my friends, chat to strangers and get lost in the music for a night.

I'm off to Mint Warehouse, one of my favourite clubs in Leeds for the first time since February 2020. It's the Ruckus24 opening party, which organiser and DJ Josh Demello promises to be a "monster night."

There's been some big changes at the venue since I last partied there - the 1,200 capacity club underwent major renovations just before it was forced to close its doors. It now boasts an industrial main room with a Funktion One Eno 7 sound system, as well as the smaller Loft and Boiler Room spaces.

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Mint Warehouse (Photo: Elliot Young)

Mint Warehouse, like the rest of the nightclub sector, has relied on virtual events for the last 17 months and DJs and promoters have been left fearing for their livelihoods.

It opened at 0.01am on 'freedom day' and I was avidly scrolling through my Instagram stories, watching the joyous faces of people who haven't partied in 17 months. There will be some 18 and 19-year-olds who have never been to a club until this week.

I'm sure they will show me up and I'm not sure I can remember how to dance at this point (could I ever?) but the thought of hearing the music I love on a massive sound system is making me shiver with excitement.

There's been a load of new music released over the last 17 months that has never been played how it was intended - at full blast to a packed crowd waving their hands in the air. As much as I've tried to recreate this in my car or bedroom, it doesn't come near to feeling the energy of the crowd as the DJ tears the roof off.

Like many 20-somethings in Leeds, clubs were my social space pre-pandemic. You'd catch me in the middle of the packed dancefloor without a care in the world, bumping shoulders with whoever was unfortunate enough to be dancing next to me.

I'm expecting it to feel different tonight, and I am a little nervous. A post-social distancing world still feels like an alien concept and it might take some getting used to the crowds.

There are mixed views on the easing of the last lockdown restrictions which is understandable after the year we've had, and there are many who won't be ready to return to clubs just yet. Or maybe they were never your thing.

But I know I'm ready to let my hair down and dance like no one is watching.

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