Review of:

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On December 8, 2012
Last modified:August 19, 2014


The overseas event Pacha has come to Sydney to open up their event in Ivy! Along with raving reviews the word is that dress code has also been dropped. So it was logical to suit up – so I grabbed some friends and got some tickets. Here we go!

Just before midnight in the main room

Just before midnight in the main room

Pacha Sydney @ Ivy Bar (Sneaky sound system, Denzal park)

Opening Hours:
Aaround 8:30PM – 4:00AM+

Ivy Bar, 320-330 George St, Sydney

Venue Website:

Event Website:

Every Saturday night since November 2012. Tonight was the third week of opening.

Dress Code / Door Policy:
Ivy isn’t as uptight as it was before on Saturdays – Dress code now is less strict. People with t-shirts and jeans can come in tonight. The Pacha promoters even encourage costumes and dress ups! Just no thongs or shorts thouogh. The actual dress of the crowd was a mix of very casually dressed folk with people who were smart casual. I went for the suit which was in hindsight a bad choice.

Entry Fee / Cover Charge:
Tickets can be pre-paid online for $35 first release. $40 for second release, and $40 at the door (usually) It’s more expensive than that of Marquee Sydney ($30 standard) and makes Pacha the most expensive regular nightclub ticket in Sydney. I told a friend about it and he was instantaneously put off and refused to spend so much. Despite this, first release tickets usually sell out.

Contact your preferred Pacha promoter for a discount. Otherwise there is no email address to send names to and you will need to pay for tickets directly from the website.

Cloak Room:
$3 per item. The cloak room is on the ground level in building 2, opposite to where the elevators are. Easiest way to get there is rather than turn left to go upstairs after getting past security, go straight ahead and you will hit the cloak room

Assessment Time
: 11:25PM – 3:45AM

Outside Lines:
The line is not from George St but you need to go around to the back alley lane to enter Ivy. There are three lines:
1. Pre-paid ticket holders: The fastest moving line. Took us less than five minutes to get 6 of us all in. Used my phone showing the ticket email attachment as my “ticket” and I was let in fine.
2. Guestlisters: A shorter line but not as fast.
3. General line: For everyone else who wants to pay at the door: Slowest line of them all and quite a number of people lining up.

After passing the cashier / counter and getting your stamps, there are three ways up to the different areas of Ivy open for the Pacha event tonight:

1. Stairs to Main Floor Area
Walk up the flights of stairs and enter the rear of the venue. Bathrooms and Bar to the left. Two bars on the right and far right corner behind the stage. The configuration of the Ivy has been changed since it first opened. Instead of a slightly elevated/closed off area for seated tables and chairs in the middle, this has been cleared altogether for an Elevated DJ/performer stage with the rest of the space left for the dancefloor.

Also on the far above the DJ area is a large LED screen spanning the height of two storeys. At the rear of the dancefloor, just in front of the staircase, is the technicians area for lighting, LED, etc. Around the rest of the dancefloor are some seats and sofas. Walk up the stair case to reach the garden area with another bar and balcony looking out to the main floor. Overall, the main room setup here is almost exactly like the main room at Home Nightclub in Darling Harbour, except its outdoors with giant pot plants and some nice looking shrubbery.

view of Pacha Sydney crowd

View from level 2

2. Lifts Direct to Level 2 (“The Den”)
To the left are elevators which take you to level 2. Walk out the doors on level two and you are inside the enclosed portion of the level known as The Den. There are reserved VIP areas here for each walk-out balcony. Plush seats abound in this enclosure with two bars are on this level. Far end the second bar area is playing Slow Jamz / RnB. The room here has a DJ, bar and lounges but there is a huge marble table in the middle, thereby providing room for only ten people to dance at the same time. I suppose dancing is not encouraged here. On the other side is the staircase that leads you back down to main level

VIP area - balcony and sofa

VIP area – balcony and sofa

3. Building 2: Taking the lifts to the Pool Club / Change Room level.
I didn’t have time to visit the Pool Level tonight, but from previous experiences you take the elevator up and you are taken to the Pool Club level, where you can walk up to the actual pool area with surrounding seating areas. Small bar in the corner for drinks. Anybody is permitted to swim in the pool. You can also remain to stay “underground” where there is a smaller “Change Room” dance room with DJ and cosy booths to snuggle/make out. It’s quite dark and is a quick escape from the outside. Check this area when you get the chance.

Bar Prices / Line:
$8 for standard spirit drinks. (eg Vodka Lemonade). The wait at the bar was not very long upstairs, you could always manage to get an order right away. Downstairs you may have had to wait one or two orders.

Bathroom Facilities:
The line for the girls bathroom is long. So long that when I walked into the Gents, there was a girl inside, just waiting to use one of the urinals because she was too lazy to wait in line at the Ladies. She was promptly kicked out by security, lest another ivy bathroom scandal happened tonight. When i walked out of the men’s bathroom, there was a line as well about 4-5 men long. I am surprised it was kept clean thus far.

Main acts tonight were Sneaky Sound System (11:30-1:00AM) and Denzal Park (1:00AM – 2:00/2:30AM)

Music Style (Main Room):
Before 11:30, I didn’t get to hear much but the music was very .. non party-like. Sounded like deep house / chill-out. It wasn’t enough to get it into a party mood, which was fair enough for people here just starting the night out. My youngin’ friends weren’t really fans of it.

11:30PM – 1:00AM – Sneaky Sound System hopped on. Most of their singles were played along with some covers of house songs with lead singer Connie taking charge of the entire crowd. An enjoyable set indeed, but probably not so much if you were not familiar with the Sneaky Sound System songs. The vibe was still pretty good throughout.

1:00AM – 2:30AM – Denzal Park took the stage with tune after tune of electro, trance with some top 40 hits (remixed of course). It’s well done and the crowd receive it well. The acrobat show to launch the set helped set the party mood.

2:30AM – 4:00AM – I think it was Chris Fraser on the turntables now, but whoever it was, it was a trancefest. Played out like a best of hits from Stereosonic. It was the real trance lovers who were up in the front jumping around, and while the rest of the crowd may not be too familiar with the tracks played, they were still dancing anyway just because the atmosphere was still going off. Typically in a club a 2:30 time meant you went home, but there were still a shitload of people left in this place who remained until the end.

People of all ages but moreso people in their 20’s and 30’s were here, rather than teenagers (the hefty entry fee made sure of that). A lot of people I met were here for Sneaky Sound System and stayed on for a bit, while others were here for hen’s nights, birthdays etc. I guess depending on the main acts the crowd base could vary. Predominantly caucasian crowd, and a handful of everyone else who liked their house/trance music.

Probably 2 guys to 1 girl.

It may vary but the dancers come out at 10:00PM, 11:30PM and 1:00AM on the main stage only for different performances. There were also random staff members walking out of the kitchens with free chips for everyone.

man twirling fire

Fire guy as part of the 1AM show

(Main Room) Amongst the crowd its very crowded and it got pretty warm, quite quickly. You really didn’t have much room to dance most of the night and you really only had space to bob your head or jump up and down. The only people who had room were the dancers, and that’s because they were dancing off the balcony ledges.

(The Den) Very relaxed here. It’s dark and somewhat intimate and most importantly, it’s air conditioned! A great short break away from the main floor madness if you were too lazy to head to the Pool Club. You can choose to dance but it is looked down upon apparently.

Overall it quite is the party vibe, and the staff are all wearing t-shirts with Pacha’s ‘Cherry’ logo. It is also extremely packed. Also since the main floor is an open roof, it is considered an outdoors area, and smokers are more than welcome to light up, thereby giving the rest of us a smelly stench upon leaving the premises. For the people at the front it is quite warmer than the rest of the venue, so regularly free bottles of water are thrown to people here, which is quite nice of the staff.

Video: Walkthrough the main room and ‘The Den’ with music samples throughout the night:

YouTube Preview Image

My own night

To suit or not to suit
A lot of people are dressed casually tonight and I am one of the very few people who thought it was a good idea to suit up. Pretty much right away I was beginning to sweat in the main floor, but then started the dilemma: Should I take off my blazer and show off my armpit and chest sweat patches, or should I just keep the blazer on? Well, logically one would take it off, but I decided to keep it on throughout the whole night, and I also decided to keep the tie on as well. Quite a silly move as my singlet was quickly drenched and I had no choice but to keep this damn blazer on. I would rather look like that crazy guy with a suit dancing around rather than the guy who had that yucky shirt.

An offer I could refuse
Later a non-well dressed guy came up and told me he loved my tie. ‘Why thank you’. He loved it so much he wanted to buy the tie. What?? He wasn’t kidding he says, and he offered $10. Hell no. Then he offered $15. Hell no. This was $50. Then he offered to pay $20 as a final offer. I’m sorry.. I can’t really give you this tie. It was a shame as he was clearly heartbroken and I felt bad about it, until they played the next banging song.

The Artist
What better place to have guys hit on your group than the main dancefloor. So here we are in our little circle of guys and girls, then a guy puts his arm around my shoulder to jump around with me at the same and/or higher energy than me… Great, just great. He wants in with the girls. His posse of 6 guys are onlooking and well, he keeps jumping with me. Sure, I like to jump. So, I keep jumping and he jumps higher so it escalates. So much so he know tries to dance with a friend of mine. She’s already taken and she isn’t keen (with those ‘help me’ glances). We brush him away and we continue. Sure enough he comes back, again the arm around my shoulder. Why my shoulder? I mean, what is so attractive about my back? I want to just take off my blazer show him my disgusting shirt, and rub it all over him, but it was not worth it. So let’s play a game of: What’s the first thing that comes to my mind:

Me: “Hi, do you like mountains”
Dude: looks at me and jumps. No response.
Me: “you know, like fucking mountains”
Dude: just stares at me with a smile while jumping. No response.
Me: “…mountains with freaking rivers in between those mountains. That shit flows”
Dude: Keeps jumping. Finally a “Woo!”.

Ok… What is up with this guy? It is now assumed that he is a FOB and speaks no English at all.

He continues to leer so I grabbed two girls who I failed to chat up earlier and introduced them to him as “Peter” (randomly assigned name because he didn’t even bother saying one word to me except “Woo!”). He then proceeds immediately to speak PERFECT ENGLISH to these girls and takes one of them to a bar for a free drink! What the hell? I’ve heard of selective hearing, but selectively speaking to whoever talks to you is just rude. He reminds me of my younger brother when he’s in the middle of playing his Battlefield or Warcraft when I remotely attempt to talk to him. I instensely hate my brother during those moments just as I hate this guy right now. Anyway she and her friend score a free drink. Um hello, where is my free drink? I introduced you, you ungrateful working man with money, and all I got was a “woo!”. I hate you even more now.

Upon Departure
My friends were finally tired at 3:45AM and so we leave. I could have easily kept going until the end, as the trance/house songs (and crowd as well) were still very strong.

Final Thoughts & Recommendation

Everyone liked it, and so did I. Again, its a very expensive entry fee so this wouldn’t be a regular place to go (you probably would come here once or twice a year if that for a special occasion or if your favourite act was playing), but it would be a place where you would probably have a good chance of experiencing a good time if you chose to go, especially if you are into your house/trance / festival-like music. The entertainment are a nice spectacle but I was more impressed with the music and longevity of the crowd tonight.

Pacha Sydney @ Ivy Bar Sydney – 8.5/10

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8 Responses to Pacha Nightclub Sydney @ Ivy Bar – Review

  1. Martin says:

    Door staff are fairly reckless with the stamps. On two separate occasions they failed to stamp me without me realizing it and cause me problems coming in and out and accessing all the floors.

    On another occasion my friend reported the same thing had happened to her, so it was starting to sound suspicious.

    In any case, the door staff let me in without a stamp the second time, so it may have just been accidental, but still something to watch out for regardless!

  2. JT says:

    I saw that there are some nights with two releases. First release is priced at 35 and the second release is priced at 40. What do the releases mean and why are they priced differently?

  3. James says:

    1st release – a smalll allocated number of tickets first for sale. when these sell out, then the…
    2nd release tickets are ‘released’ for the public, typically at a higher price and are of a larger number than that of 1st release.

    They are priced differently to reward people who buy tickets earlier. Secondly having the first set of tickets allows promoters to claim ‘1st release tickets sold out’ on their ads, creating a panic amongst consumers to purchase tickets at a higher price, lest they sell out too. Some larger events even have ‘3rd release tickets’ at higher prices.

  4. JT says:

    Thanks a lot for the explanation James! Very clear! Now I know why they don’t explain the price difference and the reason on their website and Facebook! Lol

    Clearly, I’m not a regular clubber haha. But I think my first Pacha experience is going to be awesome 🙂 thanks again!

  5. JT says:

    That being said, I saw that the second release is already open for sale together with the first release. Hmmm weird haha

  6. […] entry! Wow, no longer $25 entry? $20 is back on par with other ‘premium clubs’ (barring Ivy/Marquee) but these guys were previously charging  $25 for other events. Perhaps people are getting […]

  7. Ag says:

    Havent had the time to get a haircut, can you wear a hat inside?

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