Meadowhall student lock-in

Over 15,000 students attended ‘the UK’s biggest shopping event ever’ on Thursday September 29th.

Apart from exclusive shopping discounts, the lock-in promised live performances, fashion and makeover workshops and free giveaways. We went to Meadowhall to have a look…

When we arrived at Meadowhall, we were overwhelmed by the number of students queuing to receive their discount wristband.

Over 15,000 showed up for a night of shopping and entertainment at the UK’s biggest ever student lock-in shopping event last week.

More than 80 shops offered exclusive student discounts on the night, ranging from 10% to 30% off.

As we squeezed our way into the centre it was difficult to decide where to head first.

Music was blasting from all directions and people were pushing, shoving and forming clusters around stalls offering free goodies. When the rush of visitors hit its peak, queues for the tills were so long they almost reached the shop exits.

Danielle Hunt, a second year student at the University of Sheffield, said: “The lock-in was the perfect opportunity for me to start updating my winter wardrobe. Some of my favourite stores started their 20% discount promotion early so I bagged all the things I wanted by the time the masses descended on Meadowhall. It was a really cool event to have on our doorstep, but the crowds eventually got the better of me and I left quite early.”

Joel Jessup, also at the University of Sheffield, agreed: “I felt quite rushed the entire time, but there were good discount opportunities if you were willing to brave the crowd,” he said.

However, the evening was more than just an excuse for a massive shopping spree. For one night, Meadowhall was alive with a party atmosphere as live music, dancers, games, competitions, fashion workshops and makeovers took place.

Many entertainers performed in aid of charity including Meadowhall’s Charity of the Year, Helen’s Trust.

Our favourite part of the evening had to be the mad hatters’ tea party at Fancie.

For £5 each, visitors could take a break from shopping and enjoy 30 minutes of all-you-can-eat baked goods, tea and coffee.

And if endless amounts of cake weren’t tempting enough, tea party participants got to dress up in Alice in Wonderland fancy dress and were seated at a table beautifully decorated down to the smallest detail.

Other special attractions included makeovers at The Body Shop, local artists customising TOMS shoes at Office and a student scavenger hunt organised by TopShop.

We also noticed everybody talking about Krispy Kreme doughnuts. To promote the opening of their shop at Meadowhall, they were giving away entire boxes of doughnuts during multiple flash mobs!

As the night came to a close at 10pm, we saw few people leaving Meadowhall empty-handed.

Gemma Noble, Communications Executive at Meadowhall, said the night was a huge success.

“We wanted to mark the start of the new academic year with a grand gathering. We’re delighted to have welcomed so many students to the centre for the lock-in event and hope that they are delighted with the deals they managed to pick up. We are already planning for next year’s event.”

Fellow Lifestyle & Travel Editor, Fay Guest, and Station Manager of Forge TV, Katie Whittaker, presented Meadowhall TV for the student lock-in…

Check out the photos from the night…

Photos: Paul David Drabble/Meadowhall & Ina Fischer
Video: Meadowhall TV

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