After a short period of refurbishment (to which Sweet Saturdays moved to City Hotel as the event), Civic Hotel upper level reopens with a new event. Let’s check it out!

Midnight crowd. DJ corner in the far right.

Yolo (You Only Live Once) Saturdays @ Civic Hotel (Rooftop)
Assessment Time: Midnight – 3:15AM
Opening Hours: Unknown (probably 10:30PM) – 4:00AM
Lockout: Around 2:30AM
Address: 388 Pitt St (oppposite World Square)
Venue Website:
Event Website:
Promoter Website: Unknown, but it could possibly be self promoted???
Occurrence: Today is Grand Opening night and it is to run every Saturday.
Outside Line: Didn’t appear to be a line. We got in right away without much trouble.
Dress Code / Door Policy: Nobody was wearing hats, except for the MC, so not sure on the hat policy. Guys are generally a mix of casual and collared shirts – you could get away with most clothing here. We were also a large contingent of mixed guys and girls and got in without issue tonight. Girls were dressed with their casual dresses and only a handful wore body tight dresses.
Entry Fee / Cover Charge: One of my friends knew someone, who knew someone else, who got us free entry. So lovely of them. Standard cover charge ? we had no idea, but based on past history of Asian clubbing events at Civic Hotel and the cross promoting before the event launched, I would make the educated guess that it was $25 standard entry, with $5 discount if you were on a guestlist, and entered the premises before perhaps 11:30 or midnight.
Guestlist: , or check the facebook website for mobile phone contact details

Inside: Civic Hotel was briefly closed for a few weeks to undergo “renovations”. As far as I could tell, renovations did not amount to much change on this upper level. (I didn’t get to see what else was happening). Upon walking up the flight up stairs, enter the main room (about half the floor sizer) with lounges along the wall to your right. One or two lounges have been removed to open up the extreme right corner up. In front of you is the path to the otherside, where the dancefloor is. On the left is the centre bar of this room. Upon approaching the dancefloor (about half the size of this room – its not very big – it could hold 60-80 people.) there is the DJ is on the far corner, slightly elevated on the podium. More lounges along the far wall here.
The second half of this venue is all about relaxation. One half is a special lounge area for private parties, walled up by a half wall. It has its own bar. The other half of this floor is the ‘outdoor’ smoking area where, well, everybody comes to actually have their conversation. It has a slightly larger bar along the wall here compared to the private lounge. Seats are all concrete. It serves its purpose.
So overall, actual dancefloor is around 20-30% of the place.
Cloak Room: Situated on the ground floor, it is $4 to check in an item and $1 for a recheck. Reasonable.
Bar Prices / Line: Unknown pricing, but strangely tonight you could easily get service if you wanted to. In the past, other events held in this place results in massive long lines at the bar – they must have done something good to fix this problem, or the crowd here isn’t much of a drinking one. I think the latter. Regardless, it was refreshing to know that during the majority of the night, drinks could be quickly bought.
Bathroom Facilities: 50/50 dirty clean. Unisex basins but separate male/female cubicles. No urinals for men.
Eviction Count: Spotted two separate intoxicated men kicked out being followed by his friends. One of them was my friend who had gotten us the free entry – evicted on the basis of being too drunk, rather than starting a fight or groping / hitting on girls inappropriately. A shame.
DJs: Edo, D-Kutz, C-Bu Flipz, Roc Boi, Mike Hyper, Cass etc
Music Style: Lots of RnB, Top 40 / some house mashup music. Songs were definitely repeated tonight, you would think after all the songs that have been released the past few years they would have a decent amount of music to play, but no – it’s all contemporary RnB with only a handful of classic songs to play, at risk of even the classics to be repeated (“If you got a $100 dollar bill put your hands up“, anyone? and let’s not forget the current trend of abusing Avicii’s “Levels” – I counted this song played three times tonight). This will always be a problem at the multiple DJ events but most of the crowd don’t know or don’t care. Regardless, songs are dancable to. Later at night after 2:30AM, only then did some real old school 90’s Nelly etc were being played.
Crowd: Inside it’s mostly Asian Australians. In the courtyard though it’s more like 50% Asians and the rest outside are Caucasian / Euro – mostly the people who are not really into the dancing part of the nightclub. Quite a few people here were aged in their early 20’s or their teens. They either looked it or told us.
Ratio: Around 2 guys to 1 girl during the peak of the night (midnight-12:45AM) and it got progressively more brofested as the night wore on. To make matters worse, even security were hitting on the girls! I’m sure the girls loved the attention.
Entertainment: No extra entertainment. The front podium is for big security guy to stand around as well as staff members to dance on. Members of the public were booted off. No fun.
Atmosphere: It was a surprising turn out for a grand opening at a venue and it did seem that people were all nicely huddled up near the corner DJ for action. It was more 30-40% were on the floor while the rest of the population were spread out over the rest of the venue. The venue has ample lighting so you can see people across the room, and I guess it gives a more open friendly vibe. However again, there weren’t many drinkers! People were sort of friendly tonight, it was 50/50 if they were to be cold or not. People preferred to keep to themselves here tonight. Though on the dancefloor itself there were quite a few guys who were standing around or didn’t know how to dance. By 2AM I was at the front, and when I turned around, I was surrounded by all guys. No girls. At least there was a crowd.
Video: Music Timelapse
YouTube Preview Image

“Everybody put your cups/glasses in the air”
Such is the cry of many songs – So I counted how many people actually participated in raising their cups in the air when the song called for it. The first time the DJ played “everybody put your cups in the air”, only four people raised their cups in the air. Quite an appalling amount. Later on in the night, this particular song got repeated (what’s new), and such was the opportunity to count again. The second time around, ZERO people put their glasses/cups in the air! Fascinating. I guess people were tired enough of putting their hands in the air and waving them like they don’t care, or perhaps since all they do is win, they were also tired of putting their hands up and having them stay there.

I got a little bored so me and Marty started a train!! We went around and eventually…. nobody joined us. Total. Freaking. Fail. It’s a tough crowd tonight. As Marty said, they were probably not well “trained” for the task.

Met a drunk guy
He said he was drunk, I didn’t believe him as he danced quite co-ordinated… until he tripped over himself and fell onto me.  The end.

I left 3:15AM . Place was not holding the crowd anymore.

Final Thoughts & Recommendation
I would probably not visit again.. The repeating music, not so into it crowd as I thought it would be… or it may have just been me getting sick of coming to this venue many times under the many events that have been held here. Though, this was a grand opening night for the new event, it will probably pick up a more interactive crowd as word filters out. If you haven’t been, I would check it out – short lines at the bar, young crowd, good tunes. If you have been though, you are not missing out.

2 Responses to Yolo Saturdays (Grand Opening) @ Civic Hotel: 28th April 2012

  1. ZP says:

    Hi there james, being following your awesome blog for a while now and its really cool so keep it up! My question is what are the best free entry ‘nightclubs’ in Sydney that are free all night? And which ones are free up to a limited time that are also cool? Cheers!

    • James says:

      A fair question – there are quite a few places which are free which would take forever to list – I may have to write an article up on that soon.

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