It calls me everytime I drive by the sign… Jamrock! it says. JAMROCK! When would I ever have a chance to check it out ?

Prelude: We’re lining up at Civic Hotel for the “Taboo” event for a friends’ birthday. Marty is caught wearing a t-shirt, which is deemed too casual and he is rejected – AFTER he paid for cloak room services for his blazer while lining up. Paying for cloak room and then being rejected is pretty shit, when I was allowed in with a collared blazer with a t-shirt underneath.  A group of about 20 guys for a bucks night were also not going inside, because one of them didn’t have a collared shirt. This event was actually enforcing their dress policies! They are being picky on finding reasons to cut the high numbers of men attending the Taboo events (as my sources say anyway).

We can’t leave Marty behind in the cold so .. this provided the opportunity to visit the Jamrock! event, so here we go!

Dance corner (12:30AM)

Dance corner (12:30AM)

Jamrock! @ 202 Broadway , Sydney

Assessment Time: 11:40PM – 02:30AM
Opening Hours: 9:00PM – ~3:00AM
Lockout: No lockout
Address: 202 Broadway (Corner of City Road and Parramatta Road, Broadway, Sydney)
Venue Website:
Promoter Website: Event Group on Facebook – ; Website –
Occurrence: Every Saturday since January 2010
Outside Line: No line, we got in right away.
Dress Code / Door Policy: Hats allowed. There was no dress code encouraged by the promoters, so it was a mix of everything tonight from very casual to smart casual. Being close to winter, most people were rugged up in jumpers/jackets if they weren’t in their t-shirts or one piece dresses. You would definitely stand out if you put on a LBD in here.
Entry Fee / Cover Charge: $15 during peak hours while it turns to $10 after 2AM. Entry also includes a mix CD of the current month’s latest compilation of contemporary Reggae / Dancehall music. Pretty cool.
Guestlist: or see Facebook page.

Inside: Walk inside to face the right side of the club. It’s a large room with bar in the middle occupying most of the space. On the right corner is the dancing corner where there’s an elevated podium for the DJ as well as some room for brave people to come up and dance. On your left is a pool table corner, while scattered around the other walls are stools to sit. Around the perimeter of the bar there was only about 3-4 metres of standing room. The door out the left wall of the club is the smoking area. Previous times the downstairs was open with a second floor but this does not appear to be so tonight.
Cloak Room: None
Bar Prices / Line: You would have one or two orders in front. With only 2 or 3 staffing the bar, the wait could be about 10 minutes.
Eviction Count: None spotted. Everyone is well behaved.
Music Style: My brother constantly plays reggae / dancehall at home, so there were definitely some popular songs being played that I recognized, though I had no idea what they were called – my brother would be ashamed of me. The songs were all being played in their entirety, with pretty much not much mixing effort at all. This reflects on the mood of the crowd who are pretty much ambient, if such a word can be described about a group of people. Don’t expect it to be like a proper RnB or House club where tunes are mixed and played to keep people dancing on the floor. There was also overzealous use of the Air Horn (Multi shot ) and Laser Gun sound effect throughout the night. The laser was also heavily used on the mixtape CD – It gets quite annoying once you pick up on it but I suppose it is what makes contemporary Reggae/ Dancehall music what it is. Later in the night (after 2ish am) the tempo slows down music wise.
Crowd & Ratio: About 70% of people here are of African descent. The rest is a mix of Caucasian, Aboriginal, and even other Asians were here besides us. I was expecting a totally dominant crowd of Africans but I was genuinely surprised how many people were into this kind of music. Ages ranged from young 20’s to pretty much people in their 30’s and 40’s – skewering to the older ages. Nobody was being judged here and people of all shapes and sizes were here too. Ratio wise was about 60:40 Guys/Girls.
Entertainment: DJ/MC commenting between songs. Also a booty / dancing competition which provided some later in the night entertainment.
Atmosphere: As mentioned earlier, it’s quite a relaxed vibe here. When we walked in, it wasn’t a blaring-music-pumping-out-of-the-speakers affair – it was cut down so you could still hold a conversation somewhat. You still have to raise your voice but not to yelling point. Also it was unusually well lit for a dance event – you can see people all over the room, as well as the good and bad features of the venue. So when you dance, you’re dancing for everyone to see – but nobody really minds so there isn’t anything to be embarrassed about.
Initially it was way too relaxed – only a handful of people were dancing, while the rest of the entire club was just standing around chatting or doing not much at all. It was kind of strange. It was only until about 12:30AM when people were more into the dancing mood and where the dancing area got much more busy. People are pretty friendly here in general as well if you’re looking for a chat or a regular non-creepy dance.
Video: Music Sample
YouTube Preview Image

Dedicated to the ladies
MC announced that “This song is dedicated to da ladies!”. Cool. The song after that was also “dedicated to the mammas!”. Two songs after that was also “dedicated to the ladies!” ad nauseam. Kind of funny.

Relaxed is everyone
Have I mentioned that it’s so chilled out here. If this was a RnB club you would think the place was dead, but when you remember it’s a Reggae club, then it’s quite normal. After the competition the club is pretty much gotten everybody dancing around. A drunk older man came up to dance with me. Then he said “Look at those ladies. Lets go!”, and drags me to dance with two larger ladies. They are easily not amused and walk away. He moves on and cracks onto any woman in sight.. it was entertaining.

The never ending story
Outside in the smoking area I’ve somehow struck up a conversation with a woman easily in her 40’s. She’s had a few but is good enough to hold a conversation. She starts talking about her daughter and her friends, and how bad Kings Cross is for clubbing. It was interesting but after about 10 minutes of monologue I honestly got a bit bored, as it was the same topic, and I wanted to go back inside to dance. The drunk guy from earlier comes up to her and tries to chat her up, but she tells him to pretty much “f*ck off!”. It didn’t phase him, and he relentlessly continues chatting up. I think after the 4th “f*ck off” he eventually moves on. All my friends meanwhile managed to sneak away and get back inside, leaving me out in the cold with the lady resuming her role as Canterbury in Henry V . I eventually had to cut the conversation off and wished her goodbye and good luck with her daughter who lived life on the edge at Kings Cross.

We were a bit tired at 2:00AM but stuck around to see if the tempo bounce up again but it didn’t – we left at 2:30AM.

Don’t be afraid to come here if you’re of a non-African background, its quite okay here, but do come after midnight as before that time it would not have picked up yet. Cheap entry and friendly atmosphere makes for a safe night out.

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3 Responses to Jamrock! @ 202 Broadway: Saturday 14th May 2011

  1. Anonymous says:

    This event has now moved to Mr B’s Hotel

  2. James says:

    They can’t make up their minds! It’s now at Bar Hermann at Sydney University Wentworth building. It’s quite the venue change, but its close to the old 202 Broadway venue.

    Note: 202 Broadway is now closed.

  3. […] Special note on the phrase “put your fucking hands up“. Wow I must have heard that 10-15 times in the space of an hour. Each time it was played, I obediently put my fucking hands up. Then I realised how tiring this was, and everytime the DJ plays “Put your fucking hands up”, it became just sooo annoying putting my hands up. I never realised until tonight how one phrase can be so, so repetitive. Once in a while is fine, but omg, this is almost as bad as entering a Reggae club and being subjected to laser beams, horns and the MC yelling “this one is for the ladies“. […]

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