A birthday at Arthouse tonight. We kind of debated for half an hour outside in the cold, outside the venue, to whether we should go in or not. Of course, we went in eventually. A second visit for tonight’s event, let’s see how it fares:

AJ Rafael performs (1:30AM)

Flirt Saturdays @ Arthouse Hotel – Saturday Night – 11th August 2012
(some content will be similar to last week’s review)
Assessment Time: 11:35PM – 3:55AM
Opening Hours: “10:00PM” – 3:55AM. The quotes are subject to how long it takes for these guys to setup the DJ equipment and venue for the event. 
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. When we were debating whether to go in or not, there was a line of about 10 people. After deciding to go in inside, the line had been cleared by then – we got in without trouble.  Considering the rain, at least they put one small table canopy up for whoever was standing in the front of the guestlist line. 
Dress Code / Door Policy: There was no enforced theme/dress code, so casual was definitely okay. I had a long jacket with a double layer t-shirt (Breaking some fashion crimes there) with cardigan, jeans and casual shoes. I looked very daggy, but I was cold, and I didn’t care how I looked today.  Half the crowd were casual and half were dressed smart proper. 
Entry Fee / Cover Charge: $20 on the guestlist before 12:00AM, otherwise $25. I would recommend getting your name on a discount guestlist. 
Guestlist: Send lists to your preferred promoter or check the Facebook page for details. 
Inside:  Main Room: Enter via the cashier entrance and you are at the back of the room- 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 40-50 people comfortably. DJ is right at the centre front, with a sight adjustment tonight – there is a large-ish podium in the middle. This was to be reserved for AJ Rafaels performance. Guys and girls were not allowed up on here. 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. 
Inside: Second Room: Again, the second room had a private party! Luckily the party was to end at midnight so I had the chance to finally get my grubby feet into the House music. Enter the room via cashier entrance and you are at the front. DJ on your right and bar on your left on the far end wall. In between is just dancefloor with lounges lining one wall, with large barrels (literally those barrels you see on pirate ships) along the middle length of the dancefloor to break it up. Also a tall room, and its pretty dark in here.

A busy crowd at Midnight

Cloak Room: $5 per item. Located outside just past the rear smoking area. 
Bar Prices / Line: Prices at the “shots bar” (based from last week)- QF $9, Tequila $8.50, Wet Pussy $9, Jagerbomb $12.50, Patron $12.50. Lining up for drinks was a little busy during peak times – you had about 3-4 orders in front of you. 
Bathroom Facilities: Pretty clean throughout the whole night. Impressive for two weeks in a row. Located upstairs via the back smoking area.
Eviction Count: None seen. Crowd looked pretty behaved / sober. 
Music Style: Mostly modern RNB and Top 40, with a handful of Commercial House songs thrown in during the majority of the night. Last hour in the main room the DJ just played Progressive Trance, Dance, House/”Trouse”, Dubstep, whatever got the crowd going – fine by me. In the second room, it was mostly the same story (House, Trance, etc but no RnB)
Crowd: Approximately 90% Asian-Australian and the rest are Caucasian or other. The crowd is not baby-face young but not old either, its a good mix. Met some people tonight 30, but they looked pretty young.  Ratio dropped considerably at just after 2AM.
Ratio: Similar to last week in that the girls were mostly around the dancefloor. This time around there were a few more spread thoughout amongst the bar mingling area and couches too. 
Entertainment: MC hosting, and AJ Rafael to appear for a few songs. 
Atmosphere: In the main room people are dancing about. This podium in the middle made less room but in the same way created a more cosy atmosphere. That’s what I thought anyway. Nobody dares to dance right in front of the DJ at the start. It’s always ‘lets form an outer wall and wait for some crazy guy or a group of girls to jump into the middle’. This podium solved that problem. Anyway, people seemed friendly (50/50) and staff were very friendly and kind. Cannot give enough kudos to them. Crowd again was dancing about on the floor and chatty around the bar area. The rest of the folk were scattered all over the walls with their own private conversations.

After 2:30AM most people have gone home, the people who remained were people who were into the music being played – primarily being the progressive trance/house music. Everyone is truly shuffling here including the girls. Not as good as Masif @ Space event but you know, good enough for not having to pay entry for a separate event.

The second room was a different story. It seems that only a small percentage of the Asian RnB loving community are crossover lovers of house/trance music. there were no more than 10 people in this room dancing including myself. There was so much room I was able to do cartwheels – my favourite (albeit poorly executed) dance move. It’s a shame because the DJ picked some quality tunes. 
Video: Timelapse
YouTube Preview Image

Podium blues and a reader!
Went up to dance on the podium with the only white guys. We had a bit of a grind to the crowds delight before being kicked off. Boo! Can’t believe they enforced this rule again. Not even girls could dance up on the front podium. Coming down, a reader said hi! She was actually only here to see AJ Rafael.

with a reader!!


AJ Rafael
AJ Rafael is here! Says the MC. Well he has been here most of the night but he’s here now on the stage! Unlike last week when there was no cheering for Michelle Phan, there was excitement and buzz for AJ! There were people actually were here for this guy. He made his big entrance to the cheers of the crowd and performs some songs, touching hands of waving fans, melting hearts etc etc. It was a good performance and a nice break from the thumping music.

AJ Rafael and I

It was also so much way more easier to get a photo with AJ compared to Michelle. He was walking around and you just asked. He seemed happy to do so. After the performance he stayed for a bit as well for drinks amongst it all.

Where has etiquette gone these days?
1:50AM Someone dropped out the raunchiest fart known to mankind. My nostrils were being raped and my entire chest automatically tightened up so that it would not inhale anything. I pointed at a guy also covering his nose and told him “IT WAS YOU!”, haha, well it wasn’t him but it was worth a try to suss out who did it. Everyone else was walking away too covering their nasal orifices. To whoever farted: I hope a  bloody huge elephant comes into your room at night, drops a huge fucking fart and quickly tramples away without you knowing. 

Uncontrolled lack of etiquette
That reminds me, we were here for my friends birthday. We, being good friends, plied him with alcohol. By about just after 2:00AM, he was very drunk and at risk of being kicked out at any moment. I told him to stand in the corner and to NOT MOVE. So he stood there, but he looked waving around looking drunk still. I then grabbed his hands and put it in his pockets so he could look kind of cool in the corner, because he was unable to lift his own hands. “Keep your head up and keep your back straight” were my words imparted. Should have taken a photo, it was quite an interesting look.

So, I left him there, looking cool in the corner and I continued to dance. Returned 10 minutes later and he was, not surprisingly, vomiting inside his mouth trying to hold it in. Gross!! His hand was covering his mouth but it was not good enough to hold the pressure in- there was puke fluid dripping out between his fingers. Fuuuuuuuuuuck! Yelled at him to run to the bathroom immediately and to not pass out. Could not risk going to the bathroom with him lest he be evicted. Later he emerged, mission completed. Ten minutes later, he passed out on a sofa and got kicked out. LOL. Should have made him stay back in the corner.

Left the place at closing time.   

Final Thoughts & Recommendation
Last week was to put it in a word, lacklustre, but tonight I thought it was much better. Having the second room helped me enjoy the experience more as I got to switch between rooms whenever I got sick of one room, or if I guess some people here preferred house music over RnB (there were not that many in the house room – would not be surprised if future iterations of the event will have some modifications to this setup). Most people though spent their time in the main RnB room. Keep in mind though that past 3AM its just going to be no more RnB, so your RnB night ends here.

Friends who came with me last week also agreed it was better than last week as well. I asked some randoms as well what they thought, and they quite enjoyed it as well, so here’s hoping that the rising trend continues. If the nights continue as such then I would have no qualms coming here again for a birthday or whatever.

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