The Keizersgracht Canal


As I stepped off of the ferry in Rotterdam, I knew this was not going to be any ordinary trip. After all I was not in the Netherlands to see the tulip fields of Lisse or the open air museums of Arnhem; I was there to experience the student paradise that is, Amsterdam.

Amsterdam's famous 'slanting' buildings

Upon arrival I had time to take in the scenery of a city which is undoubtedly beautiful and quirky, especially the picturesque canal running through the city and the tall buildings which benefit from Amsterdam’s “non-straightening” restoration policy. But upon remembering that I was in a city where prostitution and marijuana are legal, I was keen to explore the mischievous side of the Dutch capital – the side that sees students flock in their droves all year round eager to experience the surprises this small city with a big reputation has to offer. So upon leaving my bags at the hotel I ventured ‘behind the scenes’ and was soon exposed to the numerous sex shops, brothels, sex cinemas and “coffee shops” that have made the city famous, and of course wanting to immerse myself in the culture I made sure to sample the local “coffee”…

Street entertainer in Dam Square

Emerging from the back streets in a rather relaxed haze I continued my tour, not missing out on the souvenir shops – which were in essence an Ann Summers store with the addition of drug paraphernalia and clogs – before finally ending up on the infamous red light district. This was definitely just as I expected but nonetheless shocking.Women (this was often questionable), stood behind red-lit windows barely clothed while tourists and locals surely enough, window shopped. Visitors wanting a bit more could witness a live sex show and as charming as that sounded I decided to bi pass this and settle on a highly intellectual and cultural tour around one of Amsterdam’s most prestigious museums…the sex museum. Eventually ending the night drinking Dutch lager in a bar which boasted a hole in the ceiling as its smoking ventilation, “Is this your first time in Amsterdam…this definitely won’t be your last” said the bar man, and that is probably true, I can see why the city attracts returning visitors year upon year.

Bikes are the most popular form of transport in Amsterdam

Of course there is a lot more to Amsterdam than the obvious student attractions and keen to venture a little deeper the next day I was soon introduced to the world-class museums, cafes and culture that Amsterdam has to offer, taking a break from the thrill seeking and hustle and bustle to unwind with the locals in the stunning Vondelpark. Later as I boarded the coach and began to head back to the ferry port I could slowly feel the buzz of Amsterdam fading into the quiet towns and fields surrounding, and reflecting on my experience I could not help but admit I had fallen in love with the city. The beauty of which is somewhat masked by preconceptions; preconceptions that are not always misplaced however, as Amsterdam is still definitely not for the faint-hearted.

Madame Tussauds

Places to visit
Dansen bijJansen (the only student club in Amsterdam)

Amsterdam Centraal Station

 Getting to Amsterdam

Easy Jet flies from Robin Hood Airport Doncaster Sheffield directly to Amsterdam, prices vary depending on the date of departure. Visit www.easyjet.com or www.robinhoodairport.com

P&O ferries run a ferry to Rotterdam with a coach transfer to Amsterdam, from Hull only. Again prices vary depending on the date of departure. Visit www.poferries.com




A music festival is without doubt the staple of many students’ summer calendar. Hot and crowded, muddy and rain sodden, they are a music lover’s paradise in which people will travel to all corners of the globe to experience. But where are the students’s of Sheffield planning to pitch their tents this year?


The largest green field open-air music festival in the world, Glastonbury festival is perhaps the most renowned of its kind in the UK with people from all over the world donning their wellington boots for a piece of the action – Lilly Allen attended her first when she was just 5 months old! Set in 900 acres of Somerset farmland, the annual Glastonbury festival has seen its main stage graced by everyone from Bruce Springsteen to Jay-Z, and this year is not set to disappoint with U2, Coldplay and Beyonce all confirmed to headline.

For more information go to http://www.glastonburyfestivals.co.uk/

Tickets for this years festival sold out in 4 hours however a resale of cancelled or refunded tickets will take place at 9am on Sunday, 17th April 2011. For more information on tickets go to http://www.glastonburyfestivals.co.uk/information/tickets/

Leeds/Reading Festivals

Flying the flag for the Yorkshire is Leeds festival and along with its southern counterpart of Reading, offers its audiences a true taste of the indie, rock and roll festival experience. With an average of 2 million pints of lager sold over the weekend it is no surprise that students flock to the field of .. 2008 saw Sheffield’s finest the Arctic Monkeys headline the main stage along with Kings of Leon and Radiohead, and this year My Chemical Romance, The Strokes and Muse will follow in their footsteps. Other acts gracing the main stage include Madness, Enter Shakari and the Pigeon Detectives.

Here Sheffield Hallam students Sam O’Connel, 19, Lucy Caroll, 25, and Joe Sinnet, 20 tell us why they are heading to Leeds and Reading this year.

For all information on Leeds and Reading festivals including how to get tickets go to http://www.leedsfestival.com/2011/ or http://www.readingfestival.com/2011/

V Festival

Traditionally seen as the less celebrated relation of the British festival scene, V festival never the less fails to attract revellers in their masses. The first festival to be split over two sites: Chelmsford and Stafford, an idea spawned in 1996 when Pulp front man Jarvis Cocker announced he would love to play two outdoor venues, V Festival has since grown into one of the biggest in the UK. 2004 saw the Scissor Sisters take to the stage alongside friends in a variety of crazy animal and monster outfits, and 1999 saw former Spice Girl Mel C booed off stage by crowds after a risible cover of the Sex Pistols Anarchy in the UK. Acts hoping to avoid the same fate this year include Eminem, Rihanna, the Arctic Monkeys and Plan B.

Sheffield Hallam students Luke Chapman, 19, Ellie Davey, 19, and Mark Copley, 21, tell us why they chose V Festival this year.

For more information on V Festival including how to get tickets go to http://www.vfestival.com/


Started in 1998 in Winchester, UK, Creamfields was the driving force in bringing the unlikely factions of dance, indie and camping together with a mix that could see such acts as Eric Prydz, Paul Van Dyk and Kasabian alongside each other on the bill. The crown jewel of dance festivals Creamfields has now become a global phenomenon staged in countries including Spain, Chile, Brazil, Ireland, Mexico, Poland, Czech Republic, Portugal and Argentina with this years headliners including Tiesto, Calvin Harris and David Guetta.

For more information on Creamfields including how to get tickets go to http://www.creamfields.com/lineup/sunday/

Beach Break Live

Beach Break Live describes itself as bringing together everything we love about festivals; “great music, frivolous fun, and a strong sense of community” – and all without the usual added element of muddy boots as this festival now has a permanent residence on an 8 mile beach of Pembrey Country Park, Whales. Strictly for students, Beach Break Live has grown massively and this year the headliners include Tinie Tempah, White Lies and Example.

Steel City’s Scoop’s very own Elliot Morgan tells us why he is going to Beach Break Live this year.

For more information on Beach Break Live including how to get tickets go to http://www.beachbreaklive.com/en-uk/content/view/11

Here’s a few of the other festivals students of Sheffield are attending this year:

Sophie Spencer, 21, Tom Pie, 20, Tim Thorp, 21, Karl Thomas, 19



The Royal wedding is fast approaching, with the nuptials set to take place at Westminster Abbey on Friday 29th April. Of course the only real reason most of us students want to watch the royal wedding is to see Kate’s dress or to take part in the Royal Wedding drinking game which has swept Facebook, but for those who wish to celebrate, here’s how you can do so here in Sheffield.

 Bar One: Royal Wedding Garden Party

The University of Sheffield student bar, Bar One will be screening the Royal Wedding from 10am with a BBQ in the beer garden, and you can also enjoy free cucumber sandwiches, as well as Royal jugs of cocktails and Pimm’s, and £2 Jagerbombs until 11:55pm.

Varsity Pre-Wedding Jitters Party

Want to start the celebrations early? Varsity are hosting the Pre-Wedding Jitters party on 28th April with two for £3 on Jitterbug shots, or for £7.99 you can try their Dutch courage cocktail pitcher.

For more information go to http://www.varsitybars.com/events/pre-wedding-jitters-party/?VenueID=28

Royal Party with ‘Laughing Gravy’

The New Barrack Tavern on Penistone Road, Sheffield will be hosting a Royal Wedding party from 9pm, with entertainment from international Blues buskers  Laughing Gravy.

Host a street party  

Any excuse to throw a party is a good one and the Royal wedding is no exception. With thousands of street parties planned up and down the UK why not indulge in a game of pin the tail on the Corgi, or a glass of Pimm’s and organise your own here in Sheffield.

Go to http://www.sheffield.gov.uk/out–about/street-parties for information and guidelines.

Stay at home

The ceremony will be screened on terrestrial television so you could always take this opportunity to watch the proceedings unveil in the comfort of your own home, even if it is just so you can play the Royal wedding drinking game.




Students from the Univeristy of Sheffield who performed a So-Ran Bushi performance

Sheffield students came together yesterday (March 20th 2011) to raise money for the Japanese Tsunami relief fund, with their annual ‘Japan Day.’

Organised by the Japanese society of the University of Sheffield in conjunction with student fundraising organisation ‘Save Japan’, ‘Japan Day’ is a celebration of all things Japanese, with all proceeds from this year’s event going to help the victims of the 9.0 magnitude earthquake and resulting Tsunami that hit the county on 11th March 2011, leaving more than 4,300 people dead and more than 440,000 homeless.

Japanese children dressed in traditional clothing

Although the event had a somewhat sombre undertone, the atmosphere was never-the-less upbeat with students eager to immerse guests in the Japanese culture. Aswell as being treated to a So-Ran Bushi performance (traditional Fisherman’s dance) by the student Japan Society, guests could also enjoy various Japanese music performances, a Japanese sword performance by Doshinkenyukai and finally traditional Japanese drumming by from musician Joji Hirota.

The Japanese sweet stall

The organiser of ‘Japan Day’ international student Sonja Bobrowska, 21, from Warsaw, Poland said “we have organised Japan Day since 2005 and this year we have organised it jointly with Sheffield Hallam Univeristy. Our aim to to present Japanese culture to people who have never heard of it but to also for people who are already interested in it so they can enjoy it together.

In between performances guests were invited to experience traditonal Japnese food such as Sushi, Tofu and traditional Japanese curry aswell as browsing the several different stalls and workshops available which included Calligraphy, Origami, Matsuri game stalls, fortune telling and free face painting; the sixth year that stalls such as these have been available to guests of ‘Japan Day’ since the event started. New this year however, were boards bearing images of the destruction currently happening in the country.

Hokuto Nakasone 20, an exchange student from the University of Tokoyo, who’s family still live in the city, told us: “luckily my family are safe, but my friends parents are not safe now and she can’t contact them so I am very worried about that.”

The Univeristy of Sheffield hosts 200 Japanese students, with a further 40 Sheffield students studying in Japan – all of which are reported to be safe.

All profit made from ‘Japan Day’ will be donated to the Japanese Red Cross Society.

To donate directly to the Japanese Red Cross Society go to http://www.jrc.or.jp/english/index.html or to donate to the British Red Cross Japan Tsunami appeal go to http://www.redcross.org.uk/Donate-Now/Make-a-single-donation/Japan-Tsunami-Appeal

Watch a video of the event below




“To me, to you!” Yes, the Chuckle Brother’s are back…and this time they’re hitting our screens in 3D.

Children’s entertainer Barry Chuckle, 66 (right) – real name Barry Elliot – recently revealed plans for a Chuckle Brother’s movie, and now it seems that the film, described as a horror spoof, is set to be released this year. He told Digital Spy “we’ve always wanted to make a film. A Chuckle Brothers movie. It’s going to be in 3D, which is another first for us. We’ve never been in 3D before.”

The Chuckle Brother’s – made up of Barry and brother Paul, 63 – are best known for their BBC show ChuckleVision which celebrated its 21st anniversary in March 2010. However the duo from Rotherham have also found success touring the UK in various stage shows, and recently appeared on Celebrity Coach Trip in November 2010, wining the show. The pair however, are now eager to hit the big screen.

Barry Chuckle also told Digital Spy, “we’ve got a lot of student fans and older guys and girls as well. They don’t come to our shows because they know that there will be lots of kids there. But they would love to come and see a movie.”

Student fans who would love to see a movie? Of course we all enjoyed watching the slap stick exploits of the duo in ChuckleVision when growing up, but is a movie a little too “oh dear, oh dear” for us now?

Would you go and see the Chuckle Brother’s 3D movie? Let us know below…





The second heat of the Live Wire student band competition kicks off TONIGHT and I speak to excited hopefuls Nice One Greg.

Formed three years ago, Nice One Greg consists of 5 students from the University of Sheffield; Chris Arnold (bass), Oliver Spicer (saxophone), Ed Donnellan (lead vocals and guitar), Rob Moore (drums), and Ben McGovern (bass and saxophone).

Describing their music as “ska and reggae with a bit of swing” the band was formed after two of the members met again whilst studying at the University of Sheffield. “Ed came up to me and commented on a t-shirt I was wearing, and we realised we’d done a gig alongside each other before at home, so we came together and decided that we should do a band here.” says Chris. From there Nice One Greg was born and the band has since progressed and evolved, admitting that in the beginning they performed a somewhat questionable cover of “Toxic” by Britney Spears which made them “a little bit notorious for a while.”

The band will be competing in the second heat of the Live Wire student band competition tonight alongside The Contingents, Hot Flux and The High Castles. The event gives aspiring bands the chance to perform and win free recording studio time, and a supporting slot at a gig with Leeds based indie rock band The Sunshine Underground. However the band insists it is all for fun. “We’re excited. Battle of the bands shouldn’t really be taken too seriously, they are good fun and it’s a good opportunity to play” says Chris. So why should you go and support Nice One Greg? “We’re a good time. We have a good time, we don’t take ourselves too seriously and we’re quite tongue in cheek.” they say.

Of course you will be wondering where did the name come from and more importantly who actually is Greg? If you are expecting a rock and roll meaning or hidden message you will be rather disappointed as Ed says simply; “we had no other name and we just thought that would be funny,” revealing the identity of Greg as an old friend from their first year of university; something which is equally as important to them. “We don’t really let it (music) get in the way, if we’ve got exams we don’t play and we’ve turned down gigs actually quite a lot if we have exams” says Ed, who is completing a Master’s degree in Cognitive studies.

It is clear that the boys are simply normal students who are enjoying performing together and sharing their love of music with Oli describing it as “a great hobby that that keeps us busy,” joking, “I’m sure we’ll still be playing pubs when we’re 60.”

Nice One Greg will be performing on the following dates:

Thursday 24th February 2011 at Raynor Lounge. For more information go to http://www.shef.ac.uk/union/subsite-event.php?contentID=12314&contentFolderID=517

Saturday 26th February 2011 at Redhouse. For more information go to http://www.kulone.com/GB/Event/1932031-THE-PSYCHEDELIC-SOLUTION-BERTIE-LEES-NICE-ONE-GREG!-WAYNE-SEALEY

Saturday 24th Match 2011 at The Fusion. For more information go to http://tickets.sheffieldstudentsunion.com/ents/event/1431/


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