WOW @ Martin Place Bar: 20th August 2011

On August 20, 2011, in Martin Place Bar, RnB, by James Tran

We had just left a dress up party, and simply put this was the closest place nearby for a dance… a guestlist was sent a day earlier – here we go!

1AM - Taken from the DJ Podium

1AM - Taken from the DJ Podium

WOW @ Martin Place Bar , Sydney
Assessment Time: 12:10AM – 4:00AM
Opening Hours: Unknown (Probably 10:00PM) –
Lockout: Unknown
Address: 51 Martin Place
Venue Website: http://www.martinplacebar.com.au
Promoter Website: http://www.urbanagent.com.au http://www.facebook.com/WOWSaturdays http://www.ohsnap.com.au
Occurrence: Every Saturday since Winter 2011. This replaced the previous “Bamboo” event running for the 6 years prior. It’s run under the same promoters though. At time of writing it appears the “Bamboo” event will make a return under a new venue.
Outside Line: It was quite the long line our late arrival after midnight. We ended up waiting about 25 minutes before we got inside the club. This is typical for a busy event. I would try to get here before 10:30 if you want to have shorter lines – but in return you’re going to get a dead club upon entry.
Dress Code / Door Policy: “Strict” no hat policy was advertised, but it was weakly enforced. I had my hectic punk hair on. Someone else was dressed as a Chef, complete with a Chef’s hat. Most guys and girls were dressed at minimum smart casual and dressy/chic/sexy.
Entry Fee / Cover Charge: $25 full entry was paid. Discounted entry before 12:30AM if you sent in a guestlist prior.
Guestlist: wow@ohsnap.com.au I sent a guestlist the day before but there was no confirmation – however it did turn up on the list while people before me entered. Sadly enough when I got to the cashier it was too late. 
Inside:
For people who previously visited Martin Place Bar for the ‘Bamboo’ events – “How is the setup different from Bamboo?” you wonder. The previous entry via the glass doors at the front is closed off. The cashier table has been setup outside near the corner, and patrons are asked to walk around the NE corner, through the outdoor/smoking area to the Eastern doors where they may enter the dancefloor from the side. In this way the people dancing at the front aren’t distracted so much anymore by people leaving and coming into the venue. When you actually enter the room you are facing the Western wall where the bar lines most of the wall. On the right is the DJ/main dance area, while more lounges and dance area are on the left. Dancefloor area can hold 100 or so people comfortable, 150-200 squishily. Previously where the cashier used to be at the front, has now been converted into a lounge corner, where sofas dot the walls and people can sit down and watch everyone else dance around. The extra room at the front created has also been used to put up a dancepole . The DJ booth has moved a bit to the Northern wall at the front. Podiums dot the Eastern wall for the flaunty types.
Cloak Room: $5 an item I think. No cheaper
Bar Prices / Line: It wasn’t as busy as I thought it would be at the bar, but it was after 1AM – The wait was about 5 to 10 minutes each time to get an order. Prices unknown – was only grabbing water tonight. Outside I was freaking hungry, and since there was nothing open nearby, these guys had a monopoly on the BBQ food prices (Mcdonalds was closest at about 10 minutes walk away) – I paid $6 for a hotdog.
Music Style: Primarily modern Commercial American RnB. Some Commercial House mashup throughout the night thrown in as well. They switch DJ’s throughout the night, so there is risk of song repeats here – boohoo! People dance to it anyway.
Crowd Dominantly Asian. A handful of Anglo-Saxons here too. Ages vary – most the local Asians here look like they’re in their low 20’s/teens but its hard to tell. The International Asians here are varied in ages and can range from 20 to 30ish. Even I am finding it hard to distinguish Asian ages.
Ratio: It was pretty even at the back, but as you approach the front near the DJ area, you hit what I like to term “The Great Wall of Chinamen” – it is as you read it – where all around you is .. men. Kind of scared me, but just like David Copperfield, I slowly got through to the otherside. There was nothing on the otherside though, except for the dancing pole. I didn’t dance on it.
Entertainment: Tonight is a Tattoo theme night – at the back was a tattoo artist giving out free fake tattoos. Later there was also a real tattoo contest were girls step up and show some tattoos to try and win some money.
Atmosphere: Quite busy upon entry. Packed at the front with little dancing room except on the podium and near the dance pole in the corner. Outside is more relaxed, you could find your own spot to have a chat then get your clothes and skin contaminated with cigarette smoke. Smoke rule also applies even if you were inside the club near the doors – to prevent overheating the glass walls have been opened up to allow all hot air out, but unfortunately smoke also come in.

Video
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Timeline
Overzealous Cameraman
It’s quite normal during opening weeks of a busy new event for a cameraman to roam around to take footage of patrons and the club in general. Tonight was one of those nights, and since we were in fully fledged costumes, we got quite a bit of camera action, to the detriment of other patrons who wanted to dance in peace but couldn’t, since there was a huge ass 50,000W light right in their face as well.

Of course, as part of any promotion, you need to tell people in the outside world that the club is full of chicks, so the cameraman pretty much videotaped any girl dancing. He really, really, really liked his job. Though, not all girls were ok to be filmed, even after a bit of coaxing. I hope that footage of me was put to good use.

Jason
The biggest recurrent thing that wasn’t here was Jason, everyone’s favourite Korean dancer, always up on the podiums. I’m sure he is just taking a week off tonight. If you don’t know him, you should ask someone who works there. He is a legend.

Girls - bamboo wow saturdays martin place bar

With dear readers of this website

Anyway a group of dearest readers hath found me in disguise! Was happy to have a chat and dance – Though they did think my name was Jason – if I could only earn a dollar everytime someone called me Jason I could retire, haha.

Arrivederci
Left at closing time. A testament to the crowd giving its all throughout the night.

Final Thoughts
We were pretty adamant about going in, but I’m thinking this place would be better for a dance than Verandah, as that place has gotten a bit too successful. Each to their own. More room certainly helps with congestion within the dancefloor. I would suggest if you are going with friends to send a guestlist and get yourself cheaper entry. Also, do keep the crowd type in mind – there are quite a number of non-local Asians here. Overall it’s not as bad as it used to be, but I still despise going home smelling like cigarettes.

Post-observation – if you had your photo taken, don’t be surprised it it doesn’t show up on the promoter facebook page. I couldn’t find myself in any photos. You have about a 500% better chance if you’re a chick.

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