Flirt @ Arthouse Hotel: Sat 4th August 2012

On August 4, 2012, in Arthouse Hotel, RnB, Top 40, by James Tran

Promoters have launched a new event at the refurbished Arthouse Hotel! Lets check it out – Here we go!

Flirt @ Arthouse Hotel – 4th August 2012
Assessment Time: 10:00PM – 2:45AM
Opening Hours: “10:00PM” – 4:00AM. The quotes are subject to how long it takes for these guys to setup the DJ equipment and venue for the event. People were let in at 10:30PM.
Lockout: Unknown
Address: 275 Pitt St, Sydney (near Town Hall Station)
Venue Website: http://www.thearthousehotel.com.au
Event Website: http://www.fb.com/flirtsaturdays
Promoters: Urban Agent in conjunction with 1nitestand, VIPList, Eso, and others.
Occurrence: Every Saturday since July 2012.
Outside Line: There is a general line and a guestlist line. Nobody lining up at 10PM, so we were the very first! A bit worrying as I expected at least someone to be lining up. When the doors finally opened at 10:30, there were about 30 people in line, and I was literally beginning to shiver – it was bloody cold. I felt a bit sorry for the people behind me in line, as I hear the security guy whisper to his colleague “Let them in 5 at a time – keep it (the rate of letting people in) slow” – So it is true! promoters want to keep a visible presence with people outside, while said people freeze outside. I plead on behalf of us payees, please keep us warm with an outdoor heater or something. A general tip for any clubs with separate lines – if you don’t care about entry fees, line up at the general line to get faster access into the club – security purposely let full fee payers go in as a priority, for obvious reasons.
Dress Code / Door Policy: Tonight the theme is a school uniform party – so ties and shirts were seen, but most just wore whatever they had on. Casual was okay. Girls had their one pieces on and guys were a mix of casual and well dressed. It was more of a casual affair though – my impression anyway. I had some old converse chucks, pants, cardigan with a collared shirt and my old “Class Captain” pin from primary school.
Entry Fee / Cover Charge: $10 if you were in school uniform theme. Free entry before 10:30 if you had your student ID! Well, lucky old me had a student ID, so I got free entry. The promo girls were nice to come outside to give free entry cards to whoever was in line just before the doors open, despite it being after 10:30PM. $20 on the guestlist before 12:00AM, otherwise $25. Bit pricey in general but normal for the Asian events – I would recommend getting your name on a discount guestlist at the very least.
Guestlist: Send lists to your preferred promoter or check the facebook page for details.

Inside: Promo posters advertised 2 rooms to be opened but I don’t think they were informed that the second room was reserved for a private party tonight, so it was only one room tonight. Damn – was really looking forward to a 2 room setup. Anyway, enter the main room and you are at the back – It’s a large, tall, long-ish room – now split it as such. The whole left wall is lined with lounges, tables and stools. The right wall is the main bar to hold about 5 bartenders at a time, with a secondary “shots bar” with a small selection of shots. This leaves a narrow path in the middle for which people line up and mingle. Right at the front the area widens for what is the general dancefloor area to hold about 50-60 people comfortably. DJ is right at the centre front, flanked by corner lounge areas and a podium for two.

All areas are “reserved” for birthdays but there was definitely two or three lounges which were not used at all. Arthouse has gone through a few additions since my last visit, to make it more ‘club’ friendly. There has been a proper segregation between tables/lounges and the mingling area with an open panel wall in the middle – people can dance and others can drink in peace. Also laser lights and squares of LED colour lights have been installed. Let’s also chuck in a few ribbons as well to break up the space – this defintely helps in making the place feel a bit more intimate as the ceiling is like 10 metres high. There is also a common back area for smoking, general chit chat.
Cloak Room: $5 per item. Located outside just past the rear smoking area.
Bar Prices / Line: Prices at the “shots bar” – QF $9, Tequila $8.50, Wet Pussy $9, Jagerbomb $12.50, Patron $12.50
Bathroom Facilities: Pretty clean throughout the whole night, hands free basin yes. Located upstairs via the back smoking area.
Eviction Count: None seen. Crowd looked pretty behaved / sober.
Music Style: Mostly modern RNB, with a handful of Commercial House songs thrown in. Minimal song repeats which I was pretty happy about, despite being here since the start.
Crowd: Approximately 80% Asian-Australian and the rest are a Caucasian or from the BDSM party next door. Most people here would be in their 20’s. I was fooled by a reader who I met tonight whom I thought was 20 years old max, but was actually 25. So I can only say the age ranges here were between 20 and 30.
Ratio: At the start of the night, it was just a shitload of guys. Things got better around 11:30PM when the ratio was more balanced, but only on the dancefloor. The standing areas / lounges remained man dominated.
Entertainment: MC who can beatbox. Also Michelle Phan (youtube makeup tutorial celeb) was scheduled to make an appearance tonight.
Atmosphere: Staff are much friendlier this time around. They are actually going to tables and asking people if they need drinks. On the dancefloor it got reasonably busy at 11:15 where people actually started dancing. Marty and I were dancing earlier with a random white guy with a wall of men staring at us. Hooray. Around midnight it was bloody packed on the dancefloor, so much so it was starting to overheat! There’s no air-con, just the high ceiling which didn’t help – Even just standing in the area was too much to handle – I had to take a few breathers away from the area – either outside or down at the back. Rest of the night it was pretty warm and humid in the dancefloor area – at least people were dancing.

Throughout though, the atmosphere felt relatively flat – there were a handful of audio problems during peak dancing time which didn’t bode well with people. Not even the MC could settle the crowd during the the worst of it – a 5 minute glitch which probably felt like forever to the DJ trying to resolve what happened. Despite this, the rest of the night went without a hitch and some party tunes got the mood going again at the front. The addition of the laser lights and more functional separation of seating/dance areas helped as well. Quite loud at the dancefloor – friends had ringing ears, but that’s in all clubs (I wear ear plugs). Otherwise it was a respectable turn out. During peak flow, about 70% of the club space was filled. Could do with a better ratio though outside of the dance area. Guys are surprisingly allowed up to have a dance on the podium – no dedicated security guy to dictate who gets to dance – nice. Most of my night was just spent dancing about.
Video: Event Timelapse
Note: A lot of the snippets were taken from the bar area where you don’t really dance, so just use this video as a source of the type of music played. The dancing action was primarily just on the dancefloor tonight –
YouTube Preview Image

Timeline
Youtube celebrity time
Michelle Phan is here! Says the MC. I was expecting a ginormous cheer from the crowd but honestly people just kept dancing. Was I the only one who was kind of excited she was here? I stare at the DJ area but Michelle doesn’t appear. She actually is here but she was not going up to the front. It’s time to play a game – lets play “Find Michelle Phan inside the club!”. It took a while but eventually I found her in about 30 seconds. She sits in a reserved area, with:
– A large bottle of vodka
– Two minders/friends
– Ritchie from Urban Agent, and
– Photographer

Theres a girl here as well, who came tonight just for Michelle – so we hitch an ingenius plan to get Michelle’s attention and a photo with her – My friend Marty was to wave his hands as much as he can and yell and scream. The guys are trying to ignore the waving lunatic but eventually acknowledge we can get a photo soon, but we could only have ONE photo each. Fair enough as there were only two of us waiting.

Michelle comes up and since we weren’t allowed inside the area, and she couldn’t step outside – the compromise was to have a photo with the table in between, separating us. LOL :

with Youtube celeb Michelle Phan

Me: “thank you so much”.
Michelle: “you’re welcome”.
Holy crap she spoke words to me! Aaaahhhhh!!! <3 <3 <3 <3

Most of the time it appeared she didn’t seem like the type who was into the club scene, as she was just chilling out. Minders were pretty protective. She left soon after to go to the other Urban Agent clubs, perhaps she had a better time there, or maybe she needed more friends to be with her.

After she left, we caught the photographer sneakily eating pieces from the fruit platter on the table. Hahahaha. I would probably do the same.

I thought clowns weren’t allowed in clubs
I’m happily in the urinal pissing away. Security marches right in and starts kicking the shit out of toilet door behind me –
Security: “Open up!”
Guy in cubicle: “Why?”
Security: “because you can’t have 3 of you inside there”

Haha, definitely something sexually suss going on. I wonder if it was two girls involved or was it two guys?

The door opens up and two guys come out. Devils threesome. Who was the girl? A third guy comes out. LOL. Whaaaa… Oh what? Wait! A fourth guy comes out too. Hmm.. Ok they were taking some illicit substance now FOR SURE. Hold up – A fifth guy now calmly walks out. WHAT? How is that possible to fit 5 guys in a tiny ass cubicle? Definitely a rogue group of men from an asian clown circus. You thought it was over when suddenly, a wild sixth guy appeared! Holy macaroons! Six people in one cubicle, hahaha, that is ridiculous. One of them had to be standing in the toilet bowl or something. The evidence was already flushed away when security lifted the lid.

 

Arrivederci
Left the place at 2:45AM. there were still people on the dancefloor but it was becoming a brofest.

Final Thoughts & Recommendation
The last time these guys came to Arthouse (2 or so years back under the “Fame” banner) it was a bit of a disappointment but tonight was a major improvement since then. Overall I still was a bit iffy – probably because I was hoping to have the two rooms open tonight. If both rooms were open though, would this have made the atmosphere better or worse? I can’t help think about that.

Overlooking DJ issues, the crowd atmosphere was good at times and a bit flat at times. Hard to notice though if you are with a group of friends, and this is just me nitpicking. That said, if you do come here, bring friends! I wouldn’t be coming here alone.  Here is hoping it picks up later when winter passes though. The renovations here give it a bit more potential, but I can’t recommend this event yet – i’m borderline on this event.

 

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One Response to Flirt @ Arthouse Hotel: Sat 4th August 2012

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