I’ve always walked by this event and wondered how it was inside, and why there was always a line outside. Did the Establishment really hold an event this good? Tonight is the night to find out. Too lazy to submit a guestlist (there are no easy instructions to do so) so I just kept the night free, brought some friends and rocked up to see how it was like. Here we go!

Sienna @ Establishment - Dance area and seating area behind

Sienna @ Establishment - Dance area and seating area behind. Actual dancing area width spanned from the white pole on the right of the photo to the middle pole. Length was double this picture.

Sienna @ Establishment Hotel

Assessment Time: 11:30PM-01:30AM and 02:30AM-03:00AM. I spent one hour in between to visit Brooklyn Hotel and Jackson’s on George.
Opening Hours: 09:00PM – 03:00AM
Lockout: No lockout.
Address: 252 George St, Sydney
Venue Website: http://www.merivale.com/establishment/hotel
Promoter Website: http://www.rnbsuperclub.com , http://www.facebook.com/sydney-australia/sienna
Occurrence: Every Saturday
Outside Line: The line appeared to be pretty long. Maybe 20-30 deep. Then when you think about it, it wasn’t that long of a wait. We waited about 15 minutes before we were let in. The line moved faster than we are used to at the Asian events.
Dress Code / Door Policy: You pretty much have to dress nicely to get in, or at least fit in here. Pretty much all the guys here have collared shirts, and many have vests and ties to match. Girls equally are dressed immaculately.
Entry Fee / Cover Charge: 2 for 1 entry before 10PM, if you printed out their flyer or had a promotional card for this month. Otherwise it was $15 for the entire night. I was expecting to pay at least $20 but was pleasantly surprised to see $15 for non-guestlist pricing. I wonder how much it was to be on the guestlist..
Guestlist: These need to be submitted via the promoter website, or you can contact on the facebook page.
Inside: The entrance of the venue is more of a chillout area where lounges to the left and right hold 30 each. The entire venue is a long, long room, with a long, long bar to match most of the length of it. The bar eats up about half the space here in the main room. People will need to stand around on the left hand side to mingle with some room to dance. The left side of the bar area could hold 100 people or so. On the far end of the bar, the DJ is located not on the right hand side, but on the left hand side near the window, which was surprising. The immediate dance area next to the DJ can hold another 100 or so people.
Cloak Room: The cloak room was available but surprisingly all I saw was an empty rack of coathangers – I don’t think not even one soul used the cloak room that night.
Bar Prices / Line: Didn’t drink tonight, but the line up for a drink was very short, and half the time the bartenders are looking around looking for someone to serve.
DJs: The entire time we were here, DJ Def Rok was playing, but other DJ’s listed on the site include G-Wizard, Lilo, Eko and Troy T – they could have been playing earlier. The obvious benefit of having one DJ for the majority of the night is that there are no repeated songs!
Music Style: As stated, no repeated songs. RnB is the primary choice tonight, and its a good selection, always keeping the crowd up and about. The style of RnB wasn’t all American African based RnB, there was a very strong latin fused theme going on tonight regarding the songs being played here tonight. Think of Daddy Yankee, Pitbull, Shakira… there was a lot more of this ‘summery’ style of RnB being played. There was also the occasional house mashup as well. DJ mixed well, no complaints.
Entertainment: No extra entertainment.
Crowd & ratio: A good even mix of guys and girls here. Mostly young 18-low 20’s. Nothing to complain about .. there might have actually been more women here than men when i think about it. Dominantly a wog euro crowd from locally around here. The rest are Aussie, with a very small minority of Asians and what not. Also this is the first warm weekend after the previous washouts, and on top of this its the end of semester for uni students and the end of year 12 for all the others – its a big one.
Atmosphere: I’ll leave this in the words of M who was with me: ‘Although Establishment is quite a spacious bar, the impractical layout inside drastically inhibits mobility. The enormous bar in the centre of everything means all traffic is funneled into two streams moving around the bar. The problem with this is that people do not co-ordinate their movements collectively. So you have people who are trying to move to the back obstructing the people who are trying to access the main bar at the front and those who are trying to leave moving in the opposite direction; the people queued at the bar stretch perpendicularly across the walkway obstructing people moving in any direction; and the people dancing occupy every other remaining space. To make things worse, long tables and chairs are lined along the centre of the walkways, constricting the already negligible traffic flow even further, as the people seated at these tables do not move at all until their bottles are empty. After a frustrating crawl through the crowd at the bar, and another crowd at the DJ stand, we finally find some reasonably unoccupied space at the back in the outdoor lounge area. The music is perfect with fresh tracks and the DJ is mixing it together well. Most of the people around the DJ stand are dancing and having a good time and unafraid to enjoy themselves.’ I would agree with the thoroughfare issue – it’s a very busy area along the side; the majority of people were on the pretty packed dancefloor. Atmosphere is also very vibrant amongst the patrons while not overheating thanks to the high ceiling. I liked it.
Video: Walkthrough video of the entrance, walk along the length of the bar, through the busy dancefloor and into the back area where a second bar resides.
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Video: 360 of the dance area
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No fun in the main dancefloor area
As written above, we kind of found ourselves a non-crowded spot behind the DJ area in the back bar area, where we could expressively dance with our feet, hands and any other bodily gestures that would have otherwise not been possible in the main dancefloor. I did try to dance for a bit in the main area, but you were only stuck to bopping up and down in the same spot and not being able to spin without hitting somebody. half the time in there was spent making way for other people to pass through anyway.

I dunno
Hey, some girls saw me dance, and dared one of them to dance with me. So I dance back, and then they were kind of creeped out. I seriously didnt’ do anything. No grinding or nothing. Ok, maybe a few ‘woohoos’ and ‘yeahs’ but that was it. Strange.

Newtown’s first law of motion
This other girl saw us dance and joined us in the fun. Where are her friends? They’re sitting on the two tables next to us, STARING. Just staring at us dance away. “Get your friends up!” I demand. She tries, but none of them want to even try to stand up and dance and do stupid things. They were so sober.

Planet of the dancers
Random dude came up to me and did a mini dance, which is best described as two gorillas jumping up and down, with their arms in fist formation waving crazily. haha kinda funny.

Wax on..and stays on (by M)
“So I lean on the table for a breather, and the piece of furniture promptly inverts itself into the air spilling its contents everywhere! Smooth. Needless to say I was quite startled and quickly set the table right, but the damage was done – the candle holder that had been on the table spilt wax along the back of my coat. No amount of rinsing could remove it either despite a sustained and frantic effort in the restroom, leaving me with a suspicious looking prominent white stain on my black coat.”

Hahaha, no sympathy from me.

Performance Anxiety (by M)
“The interior design of the restrooms at Establishment was rather poorly thought out. They have full length mirrors lined along every wall, including the walls adjacent to the urinals – an unfortunate glance in the wrong place when first coming into the men’s room and the reflection of another bloke’s junk would hit you square in the eye. Just saying.” 

We left twice – first time at 1:30 to visit Jacksons and Brooklyn, and then after at 03:00AM closing time. Another hour would have been great.


I definitely liked the atmosphere, and the crowd was really good here tonight. A great selection of music, but do keep in mind you will need to tolerate more of the Latin style rnb, which I am not too much of a fan of. With a relatively cheap cover charge, you should definitely check it out with friends at least once, so long as you can put up with a crowded small-medium dance area. Otherwise non dancing friends can just relax on the many seating arrangements on offer.

Sienna @ Establishment Hotel – 8.0/10

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One Response to Sienna @ Establishment Hotel: Saturday 20th November 2010

  1. […] a break from Primary venue Sienna @ Establishment tonight to visit Brooklyn Hotel. It was dead, so I decided to came […]

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