Fresh after ceasing the Flow Fridays @ World Square Event, the promoters have moved their Friday nights to Pontoon bar, resurrecting the old ‘Perfect’ tag as their event name, I suspect to continue with their love of alliterations. I wasn’t too big a fan of Pontoon Bar in the past, but tonight they had the upstairs open as well, which I hadn’t seen yet. It also coincidentally is my friend’s birthday here tonight.. so it’s the ‘perfect’ (ha!) reason to give it a visit – here we go!

Perfect @ Pontoon - Punking it out

Perfect @ Pontoon - Punking it out

(Event Name Resurrection) Grand Opening: Perfect @ Pontoon Bar (Level 2 only) Darling Harbour Sydney
Assessment Time: 11:30PM – 02:00AM
Opening Hours: Unknown. From past experiences at Pontoon it should close at 03:00AM. Opening time unknown.
Lockout: There was no lockout at 2:00AM, but it might have been put into place later.
Address: Listed as 201 Sussex St, but access to the place is more or less via The Promenade at Darling Harbour’s Cockle Bay Wharf. The main level is not ground, but the upper level. It is accessed externally via a set escalators in the courtyard area of Pontoon Bar. (It almost is like the old World Square Pub venue, isn’t it). Ground level doesn’t receive so much attention here.
Venue Website: http://www.pontoonbar.com
Promoter Website: Run by Syndicate Events in conjunction with Colab Entertainment, and Intouch events- specialised webpage at http://www.theperfectnight.com.au
Occurrence: Tonight was Grand opening night, and is set for a weekly Friday occurrence.
Outside Line: A line of approximately 20 people were outside. Luckily some friends of mine had lined up prior and were close to the front. We waited about 5 minutes before getting in.
Dress Code / Door Policy: Hats allowed. Theme is to dress to impress. Guys: Smart Casual recommended. It was strongly advised that all men must wear collared shirts or entry would be denied. I did see some guys inside with t-shirts on, so I am not sure how strict the policy is. I had a t-shirt but with a blazer which got me in, but I took off the blazer once inside. Girls: Recommended to dress sexy/chic, and so happy to report overall almost everyone dressed well tonight.
Entry Fee / Cover Charge: $25 full price. Kills me every time, but appears to be standard for the Asian oriented nightclubs. $15 on guestlist before 11:30PM. No midnight love tonight. I think ground level was free entry for the public to dance their socks off, and that only upstairs was charging. Do correct me if I am mistaken.
Guestlist: Expires 11:30PM. Send guestlists to perfect.pontoon@gmail.com or colab.entertainment@gmail.com – tell ’em I sent ya!
Inside: The event covers two levels, but the focus is of the upper level, with the ground level not getting much love.
Downstairs: Walk into the back of the dance area for about 100 or so people. it is just a roundish room with DJ in the far back wall. To the left is the open bar area for all users with tables, lounges and what not taking up half of the ground floor area.
Upper Level: Outside pontoon is a courtyard area to which patrons can sit down and relax. Escalators from here take you upstairs to the upper level. Walk inside to see a view of Darling Harbour to your left. This immediate area is of lounges and chairs, for people to mingle but not dance. Probably for 40-50 people. Move in to the right where there are a zone of 2-3 small lounge areas for birthdays or what not, then followed by the main areas – dancefloor on the left to hold 80-120 people, and a single bar to the right to hold about 15 people along its length. At the furthest end is the cloak room and bathrooms.
Cloak Room: I did use it but I don’t remember the price. It was reasonable, so I would say it would be $5 or less.
Bar Prices / Line: I didn’t drink, so pricing was unknown. However to get water, there was no simple jugs of water to be around, so I had to line up. After about 10 minutes I gave up, because the line did not move one bit! People were coming in left right and centre to get a piece of the bar action. I could have had better luck going downstairs to use the bar there, but I was too lazy to go outside in the rain. A friend of mine stayed in line for a drink, and she reported it took her 30 minutes for a glass of water. That is really messed up. I secretly hope that future events will have easy jugs of water at the bar, or even better – someone running around with buckets of bottled water giving it away. Oh wait, that did happen! A man came by with a bucket of bottles of water, handing it out for FREE. He was definitely the most popular person of the night. Seriously free – usually bars charge $2 or something for a bottle of water. Am sorry that we didn’t get to see the bottle guy for the rest of the night.

View of the bar (lit by the purple light) and the crowd line

View of the bar and the crowd line (11:50PM)

DJs: Edo, Moto, Bonniez, Flipsta, et al.
Music Style: Mostly contemporary commercial RnB tonight.
Crowd & Ratio: Upper Level: Pretty much mostly Asian Australian here. There are some Caucasians and Indians in the mix, from either downstairs or here for birthdays. There were a slight more number of guys than girls, but that said, a lot of the guys were lined up at the bar, presumably buying drinks for themselves or for some girls – so that left the rest of the venue in a kind of even-ratio.
Entertainment: Just the MC to keep things going. Also CD giveaways were had, and a friend won a copy. Awesome :)
Atmosphere: Upon entry it was pretty busy, it took a while to cut through the crowd to get to the other side. This included the dancefloor, where people are dancing their hearts away. On the dancefloor itself, there is not much room to dance, but it isn’t sardine packed, it is what a typical busy dancefloor is – enough room to have your own little circle, some simple dancing and that’s about it. Throughout the night it was indeed at least busy on the floor – but somehow , I had the feeling the lounge areas weren’t so alive – people were sitting around being .. people. At the time of departure the place was still indeed busy. Throughout the night even though there were a sizable amount of people, it never got heated up and sticky as in the previous venue, so props to the promoters for that. The vibe was pretty good throughout the night.

View of the dancefloor

View of the general dancefloor area (12:30AM)

Video: Walkthrough the main area and music sampling from the night:
YouTube Preview Image

Timeline
Cheer up, emo kid
You may have seen the picture. I was at a function earlier and decided on having a hectic mohawk on tonight with matching make up (a female friend did it for me). It was pretty much a hit, with people commenting how good it was… touching it (carefully of course) followed with my detailed explanation of keeping the hair straight up, haha. Some people discovered the ruse and had a go themselves at trying it on (always be careful when letting others wear your stuff – they shall be inclined to steal it), but others were fooled throughout the evenings proceedings.. No harm done :)

Not much chance of a dance
Not much dancing going on tonight.. just really talking to people who wanted to talk about the mohawk. It was fun and all, but its also kind of surprising how friendly people are when you are a punk, I thought it was the other way around. Imagine that you were a normal guy without punk ass hectic hair, people would just brush you off. It’s funny how the world works. Well anyway, it was pretty hard to dance as well, cos the spikes would simply hit or slap people in the face.. haha. So I resorted to just bobbing up and down, which is what I could basically only do anyway with the limited room.

The ground level is open to the public
Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to enter the ground level, but it was definitely almost a separate system to the upstairs club level. I’m also pretty sure it is free entry and open to the general public, similar to the ground level arrangement at Volar @ Civic Hotel, a few blocks away. From what I could gather, the crowd here wasn’t very “Asiany” at all, and had a mix of Caucasians of mixed ages. I didn’t have a chance to go inside but the ground level is certainly open for patrons upstairs to freely enter, but people from downstairs would need to pay to go up. 

Arrivederci
Birthday boy got kicked out for being drunk. I honestly didn’t think his dancing around the table in our reserved area without affecting other people is considered drunk. However the decision was made by security in case it got worse, and we left.

Recommendation
It’s a nice venue, and I was surprised as I did come in with low expectations. If you’re here for the RnB and Asian crowds, don’t expect to go downstairs, as you will probably stay up here the majority of the night with your friends or whoever – but remember you are of course welcome to go downstairs for some dance, and probably a much, much shorter queue at the bar to get your drunk on. The bar lines upstairs are ridiculously slow. Free water was a bonus, but maybe come around more often? It was also pretty busy on the dancefloor, so don’t expect to be able to pull off your b-boy skills here. 

Perfect @ Pontoon Bar (Upper Level) – 7.0/10

 

 

 

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