Whether you’re a local, a student in town or you’ve dabbled in Bournemouth’s nightlife at some point over the last twenty years, the Old Fire Station on Holdenhurst Road will undoubtedly be on your radar. As a Grade 2 listed building, it’s a grand venue steeped in history and this just adds to its unique appeal. This former fire station building (Bournemouth Central Fire Station 1902 – 1991) was transformed into a club venue in 1995 run by Bournemouth University Student Union but it is available to hire and often hosts events for the general public too.
The beauty of having a venue on this scale is the fact the Old Fire Station can be all things to all people. Even on one single night you’ll find the three dance floors packed with people who have found the music or the vibe that appeals to them. There are four bars spread around this cavernous venue, as well as plenty of cubbies and crannies where you can arrange to meet or congregate with your mates.
The Old Fire Station has a regular and diverse line-up of club nights – with dance, electronic, D’n’B, house, pop and alternative music regularly scheduled on the events calendar. While it predominantly delivers events for students on behalf of the union, the Old Fire Station has also been known to draw in global artists like Ed Sheeran, Groove Armada, Dizzee Rascal, Pendulum and David Guetta on their live music tours. In fact, it must be a lucky charm for certain up-and-coming acts who once played here to promote exposure to their music., with Bloc Party, The Strypes, Hadouken, Dandy Warhols, The Horrors and Chase and Status all previous visitors to this intimate – and remarkable – venue.
The club also has a thriving stand-up comedy night – Comedy Nation – attracting touring names from all around the country. The nature of the venue means you’ll probably never see another stand-up show as close up, with prices pitched at the standard student pocket too.
Club night favourites
A week in the life of the Old Fire Station is marked by three key events; District, an alternative night on a Monday, TNB (pop and R’n’B) on a Tuesday and Lollipop, an iconic evening of pop anthems every Friday during term time and the longest running student event in town. Saturday nights are the reserve of one of a number of club nights hosted by the Old Fire Station but brought in by independents. These nights include We Are Your Friends, Dub Optic, Get Satisfied, Enter, The Block Party and One Love and each has a reputation on the UK clubbing scene that has promoted this attractive building to a real venue.
If you’re after a great venue to hold your own event, look no further than the Old Fire Station – a versatile space for many types of occasion. Book out the whole club for your large party (from 100 up to 1200 capacity guests) or reserve a room for social events like markets, conferences, sporting or business bookings, award nights, dinner dances and film screenings.
Throw your own!
The club can give you access to its own specialist sound and lighting systems, offers day and night bookings, a dedicated events team and access to the Student Union’s own marketing channels to help you reach the right crowd.
The Engine Room is a smaller venue within the club with a 150 capacity for parties, socials and receptions. It can be booked daytime, evening and late night and runs as a café and bar between 11am and 6pm during the week if you fancy popping in for a swift refreshment.
While being a striking and unique venue, attracting a diverse array of party nights and events, another part of the Old Fire Station’s appeal is its convenient Holdenhurst Road location. It’s just a short walk from Bournemouth’s main train station, on a road lined with bus stops and taxi ranks, loaded with parking options and surrounded by tempting late night eateries!