Underground Level: Dancefloor

This event had all the hype, and it pretty much drove my curiosity insane! Take my money you sneaky little promoters, its time to visit this event – here we go!

Volar @ Civic Hotel (All 3 levels)
Assessment Time:12:35AM – 03:30AM
Opening Hours: Unknown the exact time of opening for the club levels – probably 10:30PM. The club levels close at 04:00AM
Lockout: Unknown, but throughout the night it seemed to be okay to slip in and out of the venue, so long as there isn’t any trouble going on.
Address: 388 Pitt St (It is on the corner of Pitt St and Goulburn St between World Square and Mr B’s Hotel)
Venue Website: http://www.civichotel.com.au
Promoter Website:Primary Promoter: http://www.urbanagent.com.au alongside with ESO.net.au, 1nitestand.com.au , viplist.com.au, Z3nent.com, EpikEntertainment.com.au, G6
Occurrence: Every Friday since March 2011. (Tonight was the third week open)
Outside Line: The line was pretty short when I arrived (I did arrive a bit late), but earlier it was reported to be much longer.. to at least 50 deep. I waited about 5 minutes or so to get in.
Dress Code / Door Policy: Smart Casual is recommended, but it does appear that pretty much most attire is accepted tonight. A hat was spotted worn inside the club, so I assume hats are okay. I wore a black t-shirt, jeans and clean white sneakers and got in without a problem.
Entry Fee / Cover Charge: $25 is the full charge tonight….$20 on the guestlist. Guestlists closed at midnight.
Guestlist: Email volar@urbanagent.com.au or submit via the website. The guestlist submitted was not recognized at the door when my friend Marty came up, which was unfortunate. Alternate addresses are volar@z3nent.com and volar@epikentertainment.com.au
Inside: It’s promoted as three levels of clubbing. Upper/Rooftop level, ground level, and Underground.
Inside Upper Level: Otherwise known as the Rooftop level, walk into enter an area with a bar to your left and lounges to your right. The bar has three sides to it, to line up maybe 15 people comfortably. A narrowish path leads you to the other side of the room, where the open space serves as the dancefloor. In the corner is the DJ area and 2-tiered podium for dancing. The podium holds about 10 people. The immediate clear area for dancing holds about 40-50 people, while people can still dance a bit further back near the entrance or on the other end near the VIP area. Tonight the VIP area was roped off. On the diagonally opposite corner of the room is the smoking area, where people sit around on marble/wooden seating arrangements and smoke and talk. The area is ‘roped’ off by a thin stream of water, similar to the Cool Zones at Town Hall station during afternoon peak hour.
Inside Ground Level: Enter the ground level from Pitt St and be presented with a bar to your left spanning half of the floor. Roughly the same size as the Rooftop level bar. DJ area in the corner with a small dancefloor for 20 or 30 people. Stools and lounges dot the walls. No podiums and minimal lighting exists here, but there is a disco ball.
Inside Underground Level: It kind of feels like you are walking to the bathroom going down the stairs. Then you realise, that there are actually toilets here. However, there is also an entrance to the Underground room. Walk in here to be faced immediately with the side of the bar, about the same or smaller size than the other two bars above. On the right are saloon like seating arrangements on the wall, with a mirror running along around shoulder height on the side. On the far left corner is the dance area. It is actually a sunken squareish area about 50cm below the floor level here. The area holds 50 comfortably upto 80-100 squishily in my estimation. Rails border the sunken dancefloor so that observers can watch on by. Right in front of the dancefloor is the stage area at floor height. The stage could hold 20-40 people. This room also holds one of the most well recommended sound systems in the Sydney club scene.
Cloak Room: Located in the Underground level room. Pricing is unknown. Marty got inside at midnight and discovered that the cloak room in the Underground level was at capacity! That’s crazy! It’s not a very big cloak room though. It would be hard enough to cater for one full level full of people, let alone 2 full levels of people. Keep this in mind and put stuff in the cloak room ASAP for this event.
Bar Prices / Line: Upstairs is a nightmare to get drinks. Just like the Taboo event on Saturdays here, you still have to wait at least 20-30 minutes to get served, if you don’t push in. Ground level, there generally isn’t a line or a very sparsely populated line – the sole bartender here was a testament to that. In the Underground level, the line wasn’t as bad as rooftop – the line was 2-3 people deep with about a 10-15 minute wait during peak times. Pricing unknown – I didn’t drink tonight.
Music Style: The poster at the time was that the Upper level was dedicated to RnB, which was true. The poster mentioned the bottom underground level was dedicated to House music. This was kind of true. Some house was played, but easily the majority of music played was that of RnB/House mashup. The promoters had to cater for the crowd here tonight. Every time a house song came up (even if it was commercial house) which did not even have a hint of RnB in it, the dancefloor would pretty much clear out, and people would head upstairs to the other room. It’s quite the sad story for the Asian House music lovers. Then, when an RnB song or a pop song came on.. the TB’s would come RUNNING back to the floor to have their little dance. The music sounded pretty freaking awesome though with the sound system. very crisp even though it was pretty loud. I guess i didn’t appreciate it as much last time I was here due to me not appreciating the type of music they were playing that night. The Ground level was a designated ‘chillout’ area by the promoters, but there is some Retro music playing here with matching dancefloor. Typical Retro from the 70s and 80s would be played here, from my time in this floor.
Crowd & Ratio: (Upstairs and undergound levels) The majority .. maybe 85% were of Asian descent. It would be a mix of Asian Australian and Overseas based Asians. The rest of the populace consisted of Caucasians, some Europeans/Middle Easterns and Indians. Upper level had the distinct advantage/disadvantage to have a prominently more dominant male crowd, for whatever reason I dont know why – maybe they didn’t like the house/rnb mashup music in the underground. Either way, I personally didn’t stay up here too long. The Underground level also had heaps of guys at peak, but as the night went on.. the ratio started to become more balanced – Quality was good on both sexes, so nothing to complain about here. Ground level, it was pretty much mostly Caucasians of mixed ages, who were appreciating the music.. and the odd handful of Asian folk who came here for a bit of a rest. Nothing special here. Overall, I am guessing tonight is a mix of young crowd and old… I would hazard to say there weren’t too many TB’s to be honest, but the crowd in general is young. 
Entertainment: MC’s on upper and underground levels. A bottle water dump competition (aka cleverly disguised wet t-shirt contest) was on the cards followed by a booty shake competition. Oh wait, what’s that you hear? Oh yes, its me dropping the V-BOMB – The VIDEO BOMB of BOTH competitions for your viewing! Booyah!! Go on and watch it… you perverted scumbags
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Atmosphere: Underground Level Was pretty packed in the dance area, since most of the happenings and going ons were here. The sound system impressed me well enough to stay here the majority of the night. People are pretty much constantly dancing here the entire night. Only about after 1AM then did some space free up for us other people to have a chance to dance, but it still kept busy. I mean, there were less and less people, but it didn’t feel dead as people were still dancing and enjoying themselves.
Atmosphere: Upstairs/Rooftop Level It was extremely packed as well, but the amount of guys there compared to Underground Level didn’t encourage me to try to slice through the crowd. I’m sure girls with thick skin and a propensity to enjoy the act of rejecting the advancements of men would love it here. Later on in the night the population does decrease significantly after 1:30AM, as people realise downstairs is much more better.
Video Montage
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Timeline

For you, it really is just two levels of clubbing, not three.
While the Upper and Lower levels have proper DJs and a bustling crowd and crew of promoters making sure everything is okay, the Ground level, counted as part of the “three” levels of clubbing in promotional flyers, isn’t really a destination for the Volar Asian crowd. This is probably because The DJ is playing some mightily retro tunes, with matching older Caucasian crowd dancing along. You wouldn’t feel this is your type of music at all.

The ground level is actually open to the public, so anybody can come in here. All 10 patrons on this level seemingly are having a good time, but it was quite dead here otherwise – the Upper and Lower floors require a stamp to gain entry. So remember, ground level is just the chillout area, but isn’t as exciting as it is promoted to be. Anyone remember the “four massive arenas” of Brooklyn Hotel? :)

Anyway, looking at the latest promotional poster, it has evolved to 5 rooms over 3 levels, and the music styles have switched rooms which probably means they are still tinkering with the formula or wording, and arrangement of DJs over the three levels.

Aggressive mailing list building
“can you please add your name to the list?” she asks. You know.. the pretty girl standing outside in the freezing cold getting paid to collect email addresses.

I kindly told her I was already on the mailing list, but she didn’t take that as an answer.

“NO. Put your details down anyway. We need it.”

No way you don’t. She really looked like she didn’t like her job or probably was sick of guys cracking onto her. Maybe she’d rather spend time snuggling with the boyfriend. Who knows. Why do you want my email twice! You guys already have my details! She wasn’t being understanding at all about it. Maybe she got a sick satisfaction of seeing people sign up twice to the mailing list.

Fake details were given.

Tried and never true
I saw some girls and well.. I used the old classic
“Are you guys _____?” line. I know, I know.. how sad. In this case, I actually thought they were Korean. 
“No, we’re Chinese”
FML.

It’s another bum dancer
Surprised not to see Jason the Korean bum dancer tonight. However there is another Asian guy here dancing very feministically. I dont know his name but he was very sweaty and pretty much up on the front stage the entire night pulling out his moves. Entertaining but he doesn’t pull it off as well as Jason – it kinda comes off as wierd. Well, he was happy to take a photo though!

Jason II and Marty

Jason II and Marty

Sitting down is great for meeting girls.. not
I sat down.. and you know.. a girl who gets tired of dancing sits next to me. It’s kind of strange hey. Talk.. talk.. talk.. and the next thing you know.. she was very keen on leaving with me. So we begin to leave.. and then suddenly her guy friends stop her. Where on earth did they come from? Apparently they were watching me the whole time! My goodness. As they scold her, I made myself disappear very quickly. Another potential lifelong romance gone.

The girls point of view
So I had some girls tonight with me.. and i was upstairs, where all the guys are. The guys are pretty respectful thoughout, letting us have our own space. But I have to run downstairs. I left for about 15 minutes. Came back and the girls have reported that pretty much at least 5 guys have cracked onto them. I think they were being ‘wingmanned’ but failing repeatedly as so happens so often in Asian clubs. I think the word to describe them was “vultures”.

 Arrivederci
And so finally at around 3:30AM, we left, after some mental dancing and what not.

Recommendation
The girls I were with didn’t enjoy upstairs, and didn’t spend any time downstairs, as it was too packed. I agree.

As it got later in the night, I did enjoy it more as there was more space to move around and dance yet still plenty of people around. It just wasn’t possible to do anything earlier in the night as it was so packed.

So be prepared for the adventure that is being a sardine for an hour or so, before you have a bit more room to wiggle around and mingle.

Volar @ Civic Hotel: Rooftop Level – 4/10 – Sausage much?
Volar @ Civic Hotel: Underground Level – 7/10 – only as I love the sound quality here, and I am a fan of my house / house-rnb mashups that were being played here. No hardstyle, thank god. Also met a few nice people here.

Gallery

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