Embassy Club @ Zeta Bar Sydney

On April 19, 2014, in Hip Hop, House, RnB, Zeta Bar, by James Tran

The promoters for the old popular Saturday nights at Zeta Bar called it a day, and the gap has been filled by Urban Agent et al, for tonight’s event. Let’s check it out!

11:50AM

11:50AM

Embassy @ Zeta Bar

This review encompasses multiple visits: Grand Opening night (May 2013), various visits in between, and a 19th May 2014 full visit.

Essentials:
Opening Hours:
09:00PM – 04:00AM

Address:
Hilton Hotel, accessed via 488 George St. Zeta Bar is on Level 4, but you need to wait outside in line as the elevator is guarded by security.

Venue Website:
http://www.hiltonsydney.com.au

Event Website:
https://www.facebook.com/embassysydney/

Promoters:
Urban Agent, et al.

Occurrence:
Every Saturday since May 2013

Dress Code / Door Policy:
Encouraged that collared shirt and dress shoes for guys, and at least decent dresses for girls. Not too casual. Quite a number of guys were very suited up / dressed well. No homo.
I got in most recently (20/4/14) with a t-shirt, jeans and my running shoes. I was not planning to go clubbing this particular revisit.

Entry Fee / Cover Charge:
$25 Standard entry if you are coming off the street
$15 before 11:30PM if you submitted a guestlist. Grand opening, I got the $15, then the week after I sent my own guestlist a day before and they didn’t find my list on the night, so I had to pay $25 second time round..

Drinks
I didn’t purchase drinks here.

Bottle Service
$330AUD for a bottle of 750mL Grey Goose with unlimited soft drinks – Only available for reserved tables.

Passouts:
No passouts before midnight.
Lockout laws in place.

Guestlist:
[email protected]

Cloak Room:
$5 for any item in the cloak room. The cloak room is just as you walk in on the left wall, at the realms of the dancefloor.

Tonight:
Assessment Times
:
19th April 2014: 11PM-03:00AM
10th May 2013: 11:30PM – 1:30AM
3rd May 2013 (Grand Opening): 11:20PM – 2:30AM

Outside Line:
(19/4/14 ; 11:30PM) Took about 10 minutes of lining up.
At 11:20PM: (3/4/13) It took 5 minutes to get to the front of the line, but at that point in time, the venue reached “capacity” at 400 people. I had to wait a further 20 minutes (11:45PM) before I could be let in. No idea how long the people behind me had to wait but it would have to be had been quite some time.

Inside:
The layout has remained exactly the same. Elevator to take you up to level 4. Come out and turn left to enter the near front of the narrow, marble stone, hallway-like venue. On the right is the DJ set with dancefloor (for about 50 people) and “fireplace” which isn’t really on. There is also the largest of the reserved areas, which is the same size as the dancefloor.

Turn left and walk down the hallway to the rear. On your left is the long main bar which serves cocktails and standard drinks. It can serve probably 15-20 people.

At the far end is the second bar, to hold 10 people at the frontline. In this rear there is a second, “minor”  DJ playing beats separate to the main area at the front.

On the right are small curtained off reserved areas for people who like sitting down in a nightclub.There are about 2 large reserved areas and 3 smaller, non-enclosed areas which are just like sofas. On the far left is the outdoor smoking area / terrace overlooking george st.

It’s quite the long and narrow place and almost resembles Martin Place Bar (where the same promoters used to promote) but more relaxed and classier.

Bathroom Facilities:
Pretty well maintained. The kind where there is a permanent person in the washroom giving you paper towels.

Music Style:
Mostly Rnb, Top 40 and some daring trance / house / EDM tracks. Lots of hands in the air kind of tunes.

Crowd:
(19/4/14) Mostly Aussie Asians. Mix of ages, but mostly people in their mid-20′s late 20′s.
(2013)Opening night it was a mix of Asian and non-Asians who thought it was a regular night. The following week there was pretty much all Asians.

Ratio:
Not too favourable. There were plenty of guys to go around the place. Best guesstimate 1 girl to 3 guys.

Entertainment:
No extra MC’s or dancers

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Taboo Saturdays @ Verandah Bar (Grand Opening)

On March 22, 2014, in Verandah Bar, by James Tran

Since Kinki @ City Hotel stopped, two events have popped up. Fabric, and tonight’s review – Taboo. We were at a booze cruise earlier, a bit tired but still keen to club. Lets check it out!

Taboo @ Verandah Bar, Sydney

Taboo used to run, years ago, down beneath Mr B’s hotel, then I think it popped up at Equilibrium / World Square Pub,  before going into hiding again. It’s finally made a return to Verandah Bar.

DJ booth

DJ booth (yes that’s a purse)

Essentials:
Opening Hours:

9:30AM – 4:00AM (?)

Address:

55-65 Elizabeth St
Entry is only available from Elizabeth St for the club event.

Venue Website:

http://www.verandah.com.au

Event Website:

http://www.fb.com/TabooSydney

Promoters:

Kick On Entertainment, Got Game Entertainment, X, As One Ent, B Diamond

Occurrence:
Tonight is the public grand opening. There was a VIP only soft launch the previous week. The event aims to run every Saturday from March 2014

Dress Code / Door Policy:
“Strict Dress Code Applies” is encouraged.  I got in with black pants, shoes, and a daggy striped jumper. My female friends wore simple black dresses. One wore flats, other heels.

Entry Fee / Cover Charge:

Paid $25 at the door full entry.

$20 on guestlist. Unknown what time the guestlist expires, but typically a guestlist will end at 11:30PM or Midnight.

Passouts/Lockout:

1:30AM Lockout applies tonight to this venue

Guestlist:

[email protected]

Table / Bottle Service

Available on enquiry. Prices unknown.

Cloak Room:
$5 Cloak per item, $2 for recheck

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It’s a grand opening, some friends were going and I had some time – so let’s check it out!

#Fabric Saturdays @ Martin Place Bar

It appears the promoters Syndicate Events and their friends have decided to end the old Kinki event and go with two separate events next door to each other. Tonight let’s suss out the offering at Martin Place Bar – #Fabric (One assumes the hashtag is silent)

2:15 // Main Room

2:15 // Main Room

Essentials:
Opening Hours:
10:00PM – 3:00AM(?) unconfirmed

Address:
51 Martin Place

Venue Website:
http://www.martinplacebar.com.au

Event Website:
http://www.fb.com/ClubFabric

Promoters:
Syndicate Events, Colab

Occurrence:
Every Saturday since March 2014

Dress Code / Door Policy:
There is no longer a dress code recommended or enforced tonight as per previous events here. Half the crowd was casual and the other half, smart casual. I got in with just a t-shirt, pants and shoes. My friend Marty got in wearing his hat. It would probably be too much to ask patrons to dance to EDM in a business shirt. Or is it?

Entry Fee / Cover Charge:

$20 Full cover charge, and $15 for guestlist entry! Wow, no longer $25 entry? $20 is back on par with other ‘premium clubs’ (barring Ivy/Marquee) but these guys were previously charging  $25 for other events. Perhaps people are getting tired of clubbing, or perhaps there is lots and lots of competition. Perhaps they make all the money with bottle service.Perhaps paying $20 for a small venue like Martin Place Bar is more appropriate.

It’s probably a mix of these factors and, in the end, the average tight ass punter wins. 

Passouts/Lockout:
Passouts/Stamps to re-enter are fine. However 1:30AM lockout laws apply to this venue.

Guestlist:
Visit the Facebook page for details.

Cloak Room:

$5 for checking in your item
$2 for recheck.

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Saturdays @ 80 Proof

On March 8, 2014, in 80 Proof, EDM, House, by James Tran

After attending Future Music Festival, it was time to continue the party. We wanted to keep it cheap, so let’s check out the ‘new cheers’, now known as 80 Proof. Here we go!

80 Proof Sydney Punter

80 Proof Sydney Punter

Saturdays @ 80 Proof

Cheers Bar underground is traditionally, the last resort bar of many a drunken clubber in the city. With previously free entry, any unpleasant or tight ass person was allowed in. The place has traditionally smelt like urine and the music playback was poorly played. It was pretty much somebody’s iPod being played on show. It has since switched management and has had a makeover, including the renaming of its underground club from Cheers to 80 Proof.

Essentials:
Opening Hours: (DJ Hours)
10PM – 5AM

Address:

561 George St, Sydney (beneath Cheers Bar)

Venue Website:
http://www.eightyproof.com.au/nightclub.html

https://www.facebook.com/80ProofSydney

Promoters:

Self promoted

Occurrence:

Every weekend since May 2013

Dress Code / Door Policy:

Fairly relaxed dress code. I got in with a plan t-shirt and disgusting denim vest, black pants and black indoor soccer shoes. Everyone else was a mix of smart casual and casual. 

Entry Fee / Cover Charge:

$10 Full price entry. Keep an eye on the Facebook page for the guestlist details to get $5 off. 

Passouts:

No passouts after 1:30AM (by law)

Guestlist:
Refer to the Facebook page for guestlisted events.

Cloak Room:
There is a cloak room beside the bar, in the far left corner. Pricing is unknown.

Tonight:
Assessment Time
:
12:15 AM – 2:00AM

Outside Line:

No real line outside

Inside:Walk down the stairs to enter the right-rear of the club. To your left is the single bar and square sized dance floor area holding 80-100 people. At the far front is the new DJ booth. On the walls remain various chairs, stools, lounges, and carpeted areas. It’s a small club.

Bar Prices / Line

Didn’t drink tonight, but the order wait was no longer than 2 people

Bathroom Facilities:

Relatively clean. No urine smell. Big improvement since the Cheers days. 

DJs: This was the biggest change the venue needed – an actual DJ playing and mixing up songs, instead of some boring playlist which would play songs in their entirety with matching video clips glued around the walls. It’s worked well, with the crowd now more huddled to the front where the focus is, rather than the middle of the dance floor where you could be judged for your lack of dancing skills. DJs playing tonight were DJ Nick Kim. Other resident DJs include DJ Dutto, WE R DNA, DJ Day and David X.

Music Style:
Primarily EDM during my time here, with some Top 40 also. No complaints here. The crowd didn’t mind either and danced along.

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Kin.ki @ City Hotel

On January 19, 2014, in City Hotel, RnB, Top 40, by James Tran

A birthday tonight, its time to revisit this place!

James Tran and Mario Sydney

Kin.Ki @ City Hotel (updated 2014)
(Review combines visits on 20/5/2012 and 19/2/2014)

About: Coming from the same promoters who do the “Perfect” @ Pontoon / “Flow Fridays” event, the name “Kin.Ki” is based on its location on King St. Regardless, word was that this place was getting popular, so here we go!

Assessment Times: 12:10AM – 3:30AM (20th May 2013), 11:25PM-2:30AM (19th Jan 2014)
Opening Hours: 10:00PM – 3:30AM (on expected busy nights it may extend to 4:00AM-5:00AM)
Lockout: Unknown
Address: 347 Kent St (Corner of Kent and King St)
Venue Website: http://www.cityhotel.com.au
Event Website: http://www.facebook.com/Kinki.Saturdays
Promoter Website: http://www.syndicateevents.com.au
Occurrence: Every Saturday night since February 2012
Outside Line: We arrived a bit late, but lucky for us the line is barely there, and we got in within 5 minutes. (We did try coming here on an Easter Weekend, and the line was about 2 hours long and we gave up – so be careful. ) It was quite cold tonight and I was pretty happy to actually pay this amount, just so I could get out of the cold. If you were on the guestlist, you had to actually wait a bit longer (to time you out of discount entry).
Dress Code / Door Policy: Guys are expected to wear at least collared shirts and jeans/pants to fit in. Girls are expected to look “chick”. i.e. dress your best. Most are dressed well. No hats, thongs, singlets, runners or dirty shoes allowed. Clean sneakers appear to be okay. I had jeans / sneakers / skinny tie / collared shirt.
Entry Fee / Cover Charge: Guestlist entry $20 before midnight. I paid $25 full entry. For a special guest appearance night (e.g Mario) it is $30.
Guestlist: Send them to your preferred promoter (not me) or [email protected] ,
Inside: Walk inside to the atrium area where there is a second room up the stairs on your left. Seating and the main bar are right in front of you and serves as the non-smoking chill out area, while the DJ and dancefloor are on the other side of the bar. The bar is of circular configuration against the right wall. It takes up about half the width of the floor space.

The dancefloor itself is just a big square floor with lounges along the walls with the DJ booth in front. Overall it is  of medium size, but compared to other “Asian” oriented events, the floor relatively larger, and can enough to hold about 150 people or so. Continue onto the rear outdoor smoking area where there are numerous more tables, couches and a second mini bar on the outside serving limited variety of shots.

Front of the dancefloor

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A friend and I have flown into Singapore just to attend the ZoukOut festival this weekend. It’s the biggest turnout out of its 13 year history with 41,000 people attendence and a relatively strong line up. Also with the cancellation of Alesso for the Stereosonic Australian Music Festival shows, it would be a great opportunity to see him. So let’s put on some onesies and see how it is!

ZoukOut Music Festival 2013 @ Silosa Beach, Sentosa Island, Singapore

ZoukOut Festival

ZoukOut Festival

Essentials:
Opening Hours:

Friday: 8PM? – 5AM
Saturday: 8PM? – 8AM

The times suit the climate of Singapore, as it often rains during the daytime, while at night there is a lesser chance of rain occurring. Both nights the weather at night turned out clear.

Address:
It’s held on Silosa Beach, Sentosa Island

Parking:
Pretty much everyone caught a taxi here or caught a shuttle bus from a nearby MRT station. If you were lucky you could have booked a hotel on Sentosa.

Venue Website:
http://www.sentosa.com.sg

Event Website:
http://www.zoukout.com

Promoters:
http://www.zoukclub.com

Occurrence:
Every year since 2000

Dress Code / Door Policy:
Pretty much anything is allowed, bar being nude. A guy even brought in a blow up doll without any troubles. I wore my bumblebee onesie, which turned out to be one of the worst decisions made in a humid place such as Singapore.

Beach pre drinks

Beach pre drinks

Entry Fee / Cover Charge:
Two Day Festival Pass: $168 SGD
Day 1 Happy Hour (entry before 10PM): $88
Day 1 Advance [1st release]: $98
Day 1 Standard [2nd release]: $108
Day 1 Tickets at the event: $118

Day 2 Happy Hour (entry before 10PM): $98
Day 2 Advance [1st release]: $108
Day 2 Standard [2nd release]: $118
Day 2 Tickets at the event: $128

Each day is assigned a separate wristband. My friend got caught out and we assumed the wristband applied for both days (as per Stereosonic). He didn’t bring his ticket for Day 2 and the guys at the counter would not accept a wristband and online receipt as official acceptance of payment – he had to sit out Day 2.

Passouts:
So long as you had a wristband you were able to go in and out of the beach as you please.

Cloak Room:
Yes. $20 SGD

Tonight:

Outside Line:
Day 1: Quite fast
Day 2: Quite slow. Loads more people attended Day 2 and a lot of cutting the line was involved.

Inside:
Entrance is on the East Side of Silosa beach. Various bars and stalls are scattered around the beach. The Star Stage is the first big stage on the right, while the Main Stage is on the West Side of the beach. There are other smaller areas with swimming pools and ‘VIP’ areas to hang out which have views of the stages. The best VIP area would probably  be the Citibank area, with well a lit decor and front Pool, while being near the Main Stage on the Western side.

Strawberry

Strawberry

Bar Prices / Line:

The wait was about 10-15 minutes for a drink on average. This year saw the introduction of the pre-paid card system for drinks, which is becoming the standard for most music festivals.

$10 for all Mixed Vodkas, Gins, Bourbons, Whiskeys [Mixed with Green Tea, Coke, Sprite or Soda]
$5 for Redbull, Soft Drinks, Green Tea.

Tip: As in most Asian countries, the cheapies (including myself) pretty much got their pre-drinks from 7-Eleven and drank outside on the beach before going in. There was only one 7-Eleven on the way to Silosa beach and it was packed. The 7-Eleven employees were just dishing out the alcohol and beers, while people queued for drinks.

DJs: (Internationals listed here, but there were also many other local acts)
Day 1: 12th Planet (US), Benga (UK), Afrojack (NED), Example & DJ Wire (UK), Ferry Corsten (NED), Krewella (US), NERVO (AUS) ,Otto Knows (SWE)
Day 2: Teal / Nitelist Music (WOMB, TOKYO), Alesso (SWE), Danny Avila (SPA), Dash Berlin (NED),  Kölsch (DEN), Lee Foss & Anabel Englund (US), Martin Solveig (FRA), Seth Troxler (US), Solomun (GER), Zedd (GER), Cyberjapan Dancers (JPN)

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I’m on holiday. It’s a Wednesday. I lost my phone at the last nightclub and I had it returned. It’s time to celebrate at Luxy Nightclub tonight. So here we go!

Wednesdays @ Luxy Club, 

Opened in 2003, Luxy has become a staple nightclub for foreigners to visit. It’s one of the most known and I think the oldest running nightclub in Taipei. Often big international acts come to play here. It is also popular among some locals as well.

View from the front looking to wards the back

View from the front looking towards the back

Essentials:
Opening Hours:
22:00PM – 04:00AM

Address
5th Level/Floor, No. 201, Sec. 4, Zhong-Xiao East Road, Taipei, Taiwan 106
You walk into the building and the entrance is on Ground floor. You will then be whisked up the elevators to the proper club level.

Venue Website:
http://www.luxy-taipei.com/

Event Website:
https://www.facebook.com/luxy.taipei.fans

Promoters:
Self promoted.

Occurrence:
Every week since 2003.

Dress Code / Door Policy:
On Wednesday night, there is not real enforcement of any dress code. Friends got in with hoodies, hats. However inside it’s a mixed bag of well dressed guys with collared shirts and dress shoes to the casual person (myself with my running shoes, jeans, and collared shirt). Girls are also just as guilty with a mixed combination of nice dresses towards casual

Entry Fee / Cover Charge:

$500NTD ($20AUD) to enter. The entry fee includes 2 free drinks.

Passouts: N/A
We got in at 10:45PM, saw how dead it was and left. There was no problems with leaving.

Guestlist:
See website. You can also contact 0955 904 600

Cloak Room:
Luxy has self-serve lockers. Rental of a locker is $20 NTD (Just less than $1AUD)

Tonight: Wednesday is ladies night..

Assessment Time:
Dropped in at 10:45PM
Returned 12:45AM – 4:00AM (closing)

Outside Line:
Pretty much 3 or 4 people at the time. No waiting time.

Inside:
Luxy is on level 2. Enter the ground floor for security checks and head up the elevator.

Upon entry into the lobby, you’re in a laser beam light room. It’s a bit confusing when you first encounter it.

Elevator Lobby Green Lights

Elevator Lobby; Green Lights

Don’t leave the laser too long in your mouth, it actually heats the inside of your mouth up, and probably kills some cells along the way.

Head on to enter the back of the Luxy nightclub. The complex is one big room with a balcony at the back, overlooking down towards the dance floor. The circular bar is at the back and is well-lit. Surrounding the bar areas are the various lounges which are reserved for bottle service customers.

The Main Bar at Luxy Nightclub

The Main Bar at Luxy Nightclub

At the front is the dance floor, sunken from the rest of the venue to hold about 50-80 people. There is also a long dancing pole, while the DJ is an raised stage away from the rest of the crowd. I assume that the stage is used more for big bands or acts to set up and play on here while maintaining distance from the crowd.

3:00AM on the Dance Floor

3:00AM on the Dance Floor

Bar Prices / Line:
$200 NTD per shot (Approx $7-$8AUD)
Bottle service pricing: Unknown.
We did what most other smart people did and had pre-drinks at 7-Eleven, about ten minutes walk away.

Bathroom Facilities:
Little to no line at all. Clean toilet facilities

DJs:
Unknown, I think just the resident DJs playing tonight

Music Style:
EDM Tunes, RnB, Top 40. Mostly all the party tunes that people are familiar with.

Crowd:
There are quite a lot of foreigners. I met Russians, Singaporeans, Japanese, Chinese, and of course Australians. I didn’t really interact with any local Taiwanese people here as I can’t really speak Mandarin.

Ratio:

10:45PM – 12 guys when we initially had a sneak peek. Left after five minutes for pre-drinking somewhere else.
12:45PM – Girls were here! Ratio was still poor at probably 4 guys 1 girl.

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