It’s our last day in New Zealand, and we got to be at the airport at 4am – So instead of sleeping, we have decided to pull an all nighter clubbing! Excellent plan, I say. We actually asked a taxi driver where drunk people can be found on a Saturday night and he highly recommended Club 22. After the disappointment of a dud club/bar last night, we hope tonight is better, so here we go!

with a local

Saturdays @ Club 22, Papanui, Christchurch, New Zealand

Assessment Time: 11:00 PMish – 1:30AM
Opening Hours: 8:00PM – 2:00AM
Lockout: Unknown, but we were told at 1:30 we were not allowed back in if we left.
Address: 22 Harewood Road, Papanui, Christchurch, New Zealand
Venue Website: There are no other websites.
Promoter Website: Self Promoted
Occurrence: Every Saturday since the club opened in April 2011. Club 22 is also open on Thursdays, Fridays as well. 
Outside Line: I don’t recall any line there. We got in after showing our Australian Passports. Security were friendly enough to give us some flack for being Aussie 🙂
Dress Code / Door Policy: The dress code was promoted as casual. Pretty much anyone can get in wearing their pajamas if they wanted to. Most people dressed casually or dressed smart casual. There were a handful of guys who had top hats. Marty has my punk wig on and it seems to be accepted. After 5 minutes inside the club I got asked by a second security guard if I was allowed in with wearing of my pirate hat, and I said yes. I was pretty sure I was targeted for being too sexy. So the hat policy is questionable. 
Entry Fee / Cover Charge: $5 for both men and women after 10 O’clock. Before 10PM it was free entry tonight. Not sure if this was a short promotion or a permanent entry fee thing. Regardless, as I have mentioned in another post, $5 is ridiculously cheap compared to $20/$25 in Sydney, but the locals still don’t like it, as every single other bar/pub/club in the area country is free entry. The club is still also haunted by the scandal of $22 entry fees for guys and free entry for girls when it first opened. 
Guestlist: Unsure, but very unlikely as entry is only $5. You can try and ask if they have bookings, but what would be the point. 

Inside: Walk inside to enter the main open room. Bar right on the opposite end staffed by 2-3 personnel, and to the right along the wall is an elevated area for about 8-10 lounges. The ceiling is quite high and on the far right wall is a floor-ceiling dance pole. Smoking and seating area is behind here as well. There is little barrier between the smoking area and the immediate area inside the club, so you will get a whiff of the smoke if you hang around here. The main dancefloor is contained within a room to hold approximately 160-200 people. Entry is via two doors, one at the entry and one near the bar. Within the room there is a second bar attended by 2 staff members. Along one of the walls is a bench but it pretty much is used as a podium. DJ booth is on the opposite wall to the bar.
Cloak Room: Cloak service is available according to the website, but I couldn’t find a cloak area. It is probably done at the bar, but I can’t tell, as I didn’t use the services tonight.
Bar Prices / Line: I didn’t drink tonight, but I did have to line up for water. The wait at the main bar was quite long at about 10 minutes. Inside was the same story. It was just a matter of waiting it out. We were told by some of the regulars that if you knew some the bartenders then you could get lucky and get a bit of extra alcohol for your buck! Oh damn.
Bathroom Facilities: Appeared quite clean, I didn’t have to wait.
Eviction Count: There were a handful of evictions that I did see, in particular one of a guy who was just drunk, and standing against the wall with his beer in his hand. Security were quick to kick him out, even if he wasn’t causing trouble. Me and Marty had a bit of a dance outside the main room as well, in the general bar area – but we danced a bit too vigorously and were asked by security to basically slow down the pace of the dancing for the sake of other people. Haha to be asked to stop dancing in a club.. amazing, but I guess it had to be done for the sake of the general public who weren’t here to dance. Theres quite a heavy police present inside and outside the club – the club has been noted to attract a lot of drunk people who wander the streets, urinating on innocent residents property, as well as to start trouble.
DJs: Resident DJ Mike T all night. Hooray for no song repeats!
Music Style: This was a mix of house and rnb i believe. Unfortunately my camera ran out of juice so I couldn’t sample the music tonight. Later in the night it was mostly house a mix of commercial and unknown stuff. It kind of turned me off when I wasn’t familiar with the tunes, and I wasn’t going to hang around in the stuffy room.
Crowd: Mostly a younger crowd here teenagers, low 20’s kind of crowd. The majority, if not everyone, are locals here, not many backpackers / foreigners were here. This is truly also a mixed crowd – Indians, Africans, Kiwis, us Aussies, Asians, Wogs, whatever goes, goes.
Ratio: A tremendous sausage fest ratio early in the night, but it did get a little better as the night picked up. Initially the girls were in the dance room but nearing the end of the night they were more in the lounge area of the club.
Entertainment: Hired professional pole dancers go up and do a show for us, and the way they dance… Oh My Lord-Of-The-Rings, they are good at what they do. A must see.
Atmosphere: initially early on in the night there isn’t much going on. People are slowly tricking into the club, and it only starts to seriously pick up in the dance room at around midnight. The whole venue is indeed purpose built for a club-like atmosphere. The lounges are here, the strobes and flashy lights, loud soundsystem, no smoke machine though. In the main dance room, the ventilation is quite poor here, and combined with the bustling crowd it gets pretty hot, very quickly. Just standing around and slowly swaying left and right is enough to get you sweaty and uncomfortable when the place gets packed. People are generally quite friendly and here to dance and have a good time. Outside in the lounge its more chilled, people are generally chatting or just .. chilling out.

We still had out outfits from New Years Eve – Wheres Wally, Punk Wig, Captain Jack Sparrow. It was the last night so we might as well dress up for the fun of it, ahha. Martin dons the Pink punk wig and I go for Jack Sparrow, without make up. I really wish that they had a socially accepted man version of eye-liner, but unfortunately they do not have such items yet. Regardless, the sole purpose of the outfits was to rip it up the only way we know how and leave New Zealand, before New Zealand makes us leave. Needless to say hooray these simple little costumes work wonders, and we are the life of the party damnit! Not only that, we created the damn party since everyone else wasn’t dancing at all. 

A brief history of Club 22 (as summarised by the many people who shared their stories with me)
– Earthquake hits Christchurch. Nightlife is gone
– Club 22 opens, 22 being the location on the street as well as the coincidentally the date of the earthquake
– Initially $22 for guys and Free for girls. A few weeks later it was $5 even after government intervention. Patrons have never let this down and the stigma still lingers, that that this club is out to get your money.
– Lots of drunk people can be found outside
– Huge fight late 2011 resulted in an increased police presence for patron safety.
– This is still the only good club in Christchurch.
– Some of the people don’t like coming here, but have no other choice and come here anyway. Whether people love it or lump it, they won’t forget this club for sure.
– We arrived.

Once Upon a time in Christchurch
This entire trip, pretty much every club that was visited in New Zealand was all Caucasian with perhaps some Maori people. However tonight was the first time we saw A GROUP OF ASIANS. Not just one group, but MULTIPLE GROUPS OF ASIANS. It only took until the last day of our trip to find out that Asian people were also hiding in Christchurch! What amazement. Imagine not eating rice for 10 days, and then suddently you see rice. (Obviously this entire paragraph only makes sense if you are Asian. Otherwise replace the word “rice” with your ethnic food of choice, be it savlouki, kebabs, hot dogs, samosa, etc. ) You can’t help but say hello.

I had to talk to these rice people, so we did. Later we find out one of the girls is from Sydney, CABRAMATTA… of all places! Amazzzing! hahahahaha it was almost like we were having a conversation with a random girl at Verandah Bar or Martin Place Bar on an Asian clubbing night – because there was a bloody good chance she would be from Cabramatta or Bankstown. LOL Her guy friend wasn’t from Cabramatta, but judging by the way he was giving us dirties, he might as well have been! My lord of the rings, he wasn’t friendly at all, even though I tried my best. So after about 5 minutes of one-way dirties, I think we made the wise decision to mingle somewhere else, before we got glassed or something.

We also met a handful of Internationals here, and they are exactly the same as in Sydney: “No English” is the reply when you talk to them. Ah yes, the universal phrase of “go away” exists here too.

Eventually the stuffiness of the room was too much to bear. The ratio also dropped considerably after 1AM, so it was just a matter of dancing and making the most of it. We gave up trying to keep dancing while sweating, and left at 1:30AM.

Final Thoughts & Recommendation
This was the only purpose club we could find here in Christchurch, so definitely come here for a dance. If you aren’t a fan of the occasional drunk person, stuffy rooms, or cover charge, an alternative venue is the Running Bull about 10 mins drive away, but not much else.

Despite all this, if you are able to take care of yourself and are with a group of friends who want a serious dance, then come here. I wouldn’t mind coming back here as I had a nice time, but only as there isn’t much else – do keep in mind the place doesn’t pick up until around 11:30ish, but the non-drunk crowd is quite friendly and ready to party in this somewhat city still trying to rebuild.

Rating : 6.5/10

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