After leaving Verandah Bar, organisers of Vanity have re-opened at The Watershed Hotel. Tonight is the second week of opening – It’s bloody pissing down cats and dogs and we were all pretty drenched with rain..  so let’s get inside asap please – here we go!

Floor at 12:20AM

Vanity @ The Watershed Hotel, Darling Harbour, Sydney 
Assessment Time: Just before 11:00PM – 2:55AM
Opening Hours: The venue is open all day for the general public but the Vanity entry cash register is in place by approximately 9:30-10:00PM. Closing time would be ap
Lockout: Unknown but we saw people re-entering at 2:00AM
Address: 10 Darling Drive, Darling harbour, Sydney. OK Where the hell is that? It’s NOT ON THE SAME SIDE AS Pontoon or Home Bar! It’s opposite! Find it at Harbourside Shopping Centre. We had an epic discussion (note: argument) about which side the bar was on before asking google maps. My team won :) When you get to the shopping centre its not hard to find, just look for the place around the middle of the centre with the loud music coming out. Entrance is outside by the water. 
Parking: Special mention goes to parking. It’s a bitch to park in Darling Harbour, but if you park at the Harbourside Shopping Centre carpark and validate your ticket at the cloak room inside the venue, then you only have to pay $10. Not bad if you hate walking.
Venue Website: http://www.thewatershedhotel.com.au
Event Website: https://www.facebook.com/vanitysyd
Promoters: Urban Agent, ESO Events
Occurrence: Every Friday since September 2012
Outside Line: No line as we entered (10:55PM), but when we got to the counter, about 10 people suddenly were lining up behind us.
Dress Code / Door Policy: Very relaxed policy here. A mix of casual, and smart casual were dressed tonight. So guys can wear normal T-shirts and even hats and any form of shoe. Girls are allowed to wear leopard prints too.

2AM crowd status.

Entry Fee / Cover Charge: $25 Normal Entry. $15 on guestlist (before 11:30/12???). Birthday Packages available where birthday person gets free entry. 
Guestlist: Ask your preferred promoter, otherwise either of the following emails: vanity@esoevents.com.au or vanity@ua.com.au

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Heaven @ Helm Bar: Saturday 11th Feb 2012

On February 11, 2012, in Helm Bar, RnB, Top 40, by James Tran

A non-Asian night out for Martin and I, so here we go!

One of the many couples tonight

Heaven @ Helm Bar, Darling Harbour Sydney
Assessment Time: 12:40AM – 3:00AM
Opening Hours: 8:00PMPM – 3:00AM
Lockout: Unknown
Address: 1 wheat road, darling harbour. It is located between Pontoon Bar and Sydney Aquarium along the water. You can hear the music blasting out as you approach. There is no real easy way to get there by car, you simply have to walk it.
Venue Website: http://helmbar.com.au
Event Website: http://www.facebook.com/HeavenSaturdays
Promoter Website: http://www.goldlabelevents.com.au
Occurrence: Every Saturday since it opened 2011. Tonight is their 1st year of survival. Hurrah! Always a good sign.

Outside Line: No line when we got in at 12:40AM
Dress Code / Door Policy: Hats allowed. No dress code was encouraged at the door, but most people dressed sensibly. There were some hen’s nights and birthdays here so there were some girls and guys dressed really well mixed with people dressed casually who were more laid back. The website stated that no sport shoes or t-shirts/hoodies were allowed. All I can say is that there were no hoodies.
Entry Fee / Cover Charge: $25 for us as a full charge. This was a big step up from the $15 they had when they first opened. Anyway, you can still get $15 entry if you submit a guestlist and arrive at Helm Bar before 11PM.
Guestlist: submit to info@goldlabelevents.com.au . Birthday packages available for guestlists of 25+ people.

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Here for a friend’s birthday. To keep status quo happy (Asians), Pontoon is the chosen venue tonight, so let’s go!

Upstairs

Perfect @ Pontoon Bar, Darling harbour, Sydney
Assessment Time: 10:10PM – 1:15AM, 3:15AM-3:30AM
Opening Hours: Downstairs: (Open earlier in the night for dinner – 4:00AM) Upstairs: 11:30PM – 2/3AM?
Lockout: No known lockout, but entry is closed to the general public at 3AM, while stampholders are still permitted re-entry rights at all times, though you have to line up in line AGAIN if you want to get back in. Totally sucks.
Address: Listed as 201 Sussex St, but access to the place is more or less via The Promenade at Darling Harbour’s Cockle Bay Wharf. The main entry is now via the ground floor where you will usually see a line of people. After 11PM you can also pay for your entry upstairs and get stamped as well – so there are two effective entry points.
Venue Website: http://www.pontoonbar.com
Event Website: http://www.theperfectnight.com.au http://www.facebook.com/perfectnights
Promoters: Joint promoter companies: Colab, Syndicate Events, GTB, and an extra promoter “Forever Fridays” tonight who are hail from Melbourne – they brought over their MC and a Melbourne based DJ.
Occurrence: Every Friday since Mid-April 2011
Outside Line: We arrived a little earlier than I would usually like, but there were no people in line. As we debated whether we should go in, about TWENTY people jumped in line. Oh my god. We joined the line eventually and got in after about 10 minutes. Upstairs opens at 11PM, and despite having stamps already, we have to line up AGAIN amongst the other people who haven’t paid entry to get access! Bloody ridiculous. It’s the same as well downstairs, once you go outside for whatever reason, you have to line up to get back in. Luckily for the smokers, there are “open” areas on each level where you can puff and stuff your lungs with tar. Later in the night around midnight it took a friend 30 minutes to get in. Tough love.
Dress Code / Door Policy: Smart Casual is promoted here tonight, and pretty much most people here are compliant. Not sure about the hat situation but the last few times I was here, they were okay to wear. Most guys are in pants/jeans and a collared t-shirt, and girls have managed to not wear casual tonight.
Entry Fee / Cover Charge: Standard full fare Asian clubbing price of $25 tonight. If you were on the guestlist and arrived before 11:30PM, you got a card that entitled you to $15 entry. Brilliant, except during a moment of absent mindedness, I forgot to use my card and inadvertedly paid $25 without even realising it. I simply gave the discount card to another friend so they could enjoy the benefits of me lining up early, while they didn’t have to.
Guestlist: Guestlists are no longer valid after 11:30PM. Guestlists to be sent to info@syndicateevents.com.au
Inside: Ground Level: Walk past the easy-to-miss cloak room and cashier to enter the middle part of the floor. To the left is the main bar with about 2-3 staff as well as the entire outdoor area. The are large wooden tables and stools, chairs, lounges about, where people were once dining hours ago. This outdoor area could hold easily 100 people or so. The dancefloor area on the right is a slow covered transition from the outdoor area where also 100-200 people can dance here. The DJ booth sits in the far corner near the toilets. There is little furniture bar a lounge at the rear of the dancefloor. Upstairs: Walk through the chillout/smoking area where there are many lounges, with a view of Darling harbour – continue on into the depths of the dancefloor situated on the far end of the room, as where the DJ is. The setup has slightly changed from last time, where the DJ was in the middle. I think this is a good thing as it is as far away from the smoke as possible, though at risk of the area overheating quickly. The walls are lined with squarely setup lounges. Bar is on the right
Cloak Room: Cloak room downstairs – $5 for placing an item, while it is $2 for rechecks. Pretty reasonable.
Bar Prices / Line: $15.70 altogether for a Gin and Tonic, Orange Juice and coke. $12.90 for a Vodka+Red Bull in a tall glass. At 10:15PM there was no waiting time. At 11PM the wait increased to about 5 minutes. At around 1AM, the wait was timed at about twenty five (25) minutes on both levels up and down.
Bathroom Facilities: Fair, could be a little bigger.
Eviction Count: None spotted, but I wasn’t paying attention.
DJs: Resident DJ’s plus guest DJ Mich from Melbourne
Music Style: Mostly Contemporary RnB downstairs, while upstairs did play some more of the older ‘throwback’ rnb songs. Oh yes, throwback is a word im going to use now.
Crowd: Dominantly Asian, and mostly local Aussie Asians. I don’t think I ran into one international Asian here tonight. Most of the ages were young. Company was of course lots of 21 year olds. That said, the crowd was mostly young 20’s to mid 20’s, as far as I could tell.
Ratio: You know its always going to be more guys then girls, but it was good. A lot of the girls looked their best surprisingly tonight, and I ain’t complaining.
Entertainment: There was no real special occasion except for having the MC and DJ from melbourne to do a set.

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Perfect @ Pontoon Bar: Friday 24th June 2011

On June 24, 2011, in Pontoon, RnB, by James Tran

Friends are at Pontoon Bar tonight, so this should be a good chance to see how it has progressed since opening night. Here we go!

Perfect @ Pontoon Bar - asian crowd rnb club sydney

12:40AM Upper Level Bar Line

Perfect @ Pontoon Bar (Ground Level and Upper Level: Wallaby Bar)
Assessment Time: 12:05AM – 2:45AM
Opening Hours: The bars are open throughout the day, but the event opens 9:30PM. Tonight it closes at 4:00AM
Lockout: Around 2:30AM, but definitely no re-entry after 3:00AM
Address: Cockle Bay Wharf (201 Sussex St from the other side)
Venue Website: http://www.pontoonbar.com
Promoter Website: http://www.facebook.com/perfectnights or http://www.theperfectnight.com.au
Occurrence: Every Friday since April 2011. Note that this is the event that succeeded Flow Fridays @ World Square Pub, after it closed.
Outside Line: Arriving just after midnight, there was a huge massive line outside the downstairs entrance. A good 70+ people waiting, which is ridiculous. So I went to the second, lesser known entrance upstairs. There was a pretty long line here too, but only about 30 people or so. It took 30 minutes to get in. This was including some folk who joined the line and got sick of waiting, and left. This was also the first week off for pretty much every tertiary school student in Sydney, so people were out clubbing in their droves.
Dress Code / Door Policy: Hats allowed. Most guys are casual in jackets jeans, pants due to the winter. It is encouraged by promoters to go ‘dressy’, but I did spot a friend dressed in sweatpants and a jumper, so there you go. Again due to winter, many girls have leggings on but most brave the cold and wear their clubbing dresses on. I actually paid attention to the dresses tonight and there were a number of questionable leopard print designs tonight. Tonight I wore a blazer, jeans, collared shirt, white sneakers and my ‘bad hair day’ cap.
Entry Fee / Cover Charge: $25 full charge. $20 on guestlist before 11:30PM , $15 if it is a birthday guestlist.
Guestlist: Ends at 11:30PM. Email info@theperfectnight.com.au

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Fresh after ceasing the Flow Fridays @ World Square Event, the promoters have moved their Friday nights to Pontoon bar, resurrecting the old ‘Perfect’ tag as their event name, I suspect to continue with their love of alliterations. I wasn’t too big a fan of Pontoon Bar in the past, but tonight they had the upstairs open as well, which I hadn’t seen yet. It also coincidentally is my friend’s birthday here tonight.. so it’s the ‘perfect’ (ha!) reason to give it a visit – here we go!

Perfect @ Pontoon - Punking it out

Perfect @ Pontoon - Punking it out

(Event Name Resurrection) Grand Opening: Perfect @ Pontoon Bar (Level 2 only) Darling Harbour Sydney
Assessment Time: 11:30PM – 02:00AM
Opening Hours: Unknown. From past experiences at Pontoon it should close at 03:00AM. Opening time unknown.
Lockout: There was no lockout at 2:00AM, but it might have been put into place later.
Address: Listed as 201 Sussex St, but access to the place is more or less via The Promenade at Darling Harbour’s Cockle Bay Wharf. The main level is not ground, but the upper level. It is accessed externally via a set escalators in the courtyard area of Pontoon Bar. (It almost is like the old World Square Pub venue, isn’t it). Ground level doesn’t receive so much attention here.
Venue Website: http://www.pontoonbar.com
Promoter Website: Run by Syndicate Events in conjunction with Colab Entertainment, and Intouch events- specialised webpage at http://www.theperfectnight.com.au
Occurrence: Tonight was Grand opening night, and is set for a weekly Friday occurrence.
Outside Line: A line of approximately 20 people were outside. Luckily some friends of mine had lined up prior and were close to the front. We waited about 5 minutes before getting in.
Dress Code / Door Policy: Hats allowed. Theme is to dress to impress. Guys: Smart Casual recommended. It was strongly advised that all men must wear collared shirts or entry would be denied. I did see some guys inside with t-shirts on, so I am not sure how strict the policy is. I had a t-shirt but with a blazer which got me in, but I took off the blazer once inside. Girls: Recommended to dress sexy/chic, and so happy to report overall almost everyone dressed well tonight.
Entry Fee / Cover Charge: $25 full price. Kills me every time, but appears to be standard for the Asian oriented nightclubs. $15 on guestlist before 11:30PM. No midnight love tonight. I think ground level was free entry for the public to dance their socks off, and that only upstairs was charging. Do correct me if I am mistaken.
Guestlist: Expires 11:30PM. Send guestlists to perfect.pontoon@gmail.com or colab.entertainment@gmail.com – tell ’em I sent ya!
Inside: The event covers two levels, but the focus is of the upper level, with the ground level not getting much love.
Downstairs: Walk into the back of the dance area for about 100 or so people. it is just a roundish room with DJ in the far back wall. To the left is the open bar area for all users with tables, lounges and what not taking up half of the ground floor area.
Upper Level: Outside pontoon is a courtyard area to which patrons can sit down and relax. Escalators from here take you upstairs to the upper level. Walk inside to see a view of Darling Harbour to your left. This immediate area is of lounges and chairs, for people to mingle but not dance. Probably for 40-50 people. Move in to the right where there are a zone of 2-3 small lounge areas for birthdays or what not, then followed by the main areas – dancefloor on the left to hold 80-120 people, and a single bar to the right to hold about 15 people along its length. At the furthest end is the cloak room and bathrooms.
Cloak Room: I did use it but I don’t remember the price. It was reasonable, so I would say it would be $5 or less.
Bar Prices / Line: I didn’t drink, so pricing was unknown. However to get water, there was no simple jugs of water to be around, so I had to line up. After about 10 minutes I gave up, because the line did not move one bit! People were coming in left right and centre to get a piece of the bar action. I could have had better luck going downstairs to use the bar there, but I was too lazy to go outside in the rain. A friend of mine stayed in line for a drink, and she reported it took her 30 minutes for a glass of water. That is really messed up. I secretly hope that future events will have easy jugs of water at the bar, or even better – someone running around with buckets of bottled water giving it away. Oh wait, that did happen! A man came by with a bucket of bottles of water, handing it out for FREE. He was definitely the most popular person of the night. Seriously free – usually bars charge $2 or something for a bottle of water. Am sorry that we didn’t get to see the bottle guy for the rest of the night.

View of the bar (lit by the purple light) and the crowd line

View of the bar and the crowd line (11:50PM)

DJs: Edo, Moto, Bonniez, Flipsta, et al.
Music Style: Mostly contemporary commercial RnB tonight.
Crowd & Ratio: Upper Level: Pretty much mostly Asian Australian here. There are some Caucasians and Indians in the mix, from either downstairs or here for birthdays. There were a slight more number of guys than girls, but that said, a lot of the guys were lined up at the bar, presumably buying drinks for themselves or for some girls – so that left the rest of the venue in a kind of even-ratio.
Entertainment: Just the MC to keep things going. Also CD giveaways were had, and a friend won a copy. Awesome :)
Atmosphere: Upon entry it was pretty busy, it took a while to cut through the crowd to get to the other side. This included the dancefloor, where people are dancing their hearts away. On the dancefloor itself, there is not much room to dance, but it isn’t sardine packed, it is what a typical busy dancefloor is – enough room to have your own little circle, some simple dancing and that’s about it. Throughout the night it was indeed at least busy on the floor – but somehow , I had the feeling the lounge areas weren’t so alive – people were sitting around being .. people. At the time of departure the place was still indeed busy. Throughout the night even though there were a sizable amount of people, it never got heated up and sticky as in the previous venue, so props to the promoters for that. The vibe was pretty good throughout the night.

View of the dancefloor

View of the general dancefloor area (12:30AM)

Video: Walkthrough the main area and music sampling from the night:
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People milling around on the dancefloor

Dancefloor area of Docks Hotel Sydney

A birthday invite at Docks Hotel. It coincided with the grand opening of the new rnb club event here, so here we go!

Rendezvous @ Docks Hotel, Darling Harbout Sydney
Assessment Time: 11:30PM – 02:00AM
Opening Hours: Early in the night – 03:00AM
Lockout: Did not ask. It didn’t look like there was one.
Address: Shop 255 Harbourside Shopping Centre – Near the big South Steyne Boat at Darling Harbour.
Venue Website: http://www.dockshotel.com.au
Promoter Website: I couldn’t read the poster well enough to find out who was promoting, but here is the event page for one of the DJs who was performing tonight: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=120068251378791
Occurence: Every Friday
Dress Code / Door Policy: Most guys wore smart casual. There was no actual strict dress code and people can go in with hats, t-shirts, clean sneakers, etc. Girls all looked pretty good – pretty dressy.
Entry Fee / Cover Charge:$15 guestlist, $25 Full Entry
Guestlist: I have no idea. You would have to try your luck with the docks hotel management who would pass your details onto the promoters
Inside: Walk inside. To the left is an extended carpted lounge area for 50-70 people. To the right is the bar that runs for half the length of the place. On the far end is a curtained off area for private functions with a secondary bar.  Later it was open access for all.
Cloak Room: $5 per item
Bar Prices: I can’t remember, but there was at maximum 1 person in front of you in line at the main bar. Most of the time you could get service right away. At the secondary bar, the line was 4-5 deep with only one bartender. Didn’t make sense why they didn’t just go to the main bar.
DJs: Moto, Edo, Biggie, Flipsta, Cbu, Mike Hyper
Music Style: Contemporary RnB and classic Hip Hop near the end of the night
Crowd: Mixed crowd tonight of local Asians and Euros, Probably 70/30 was the ethnic ratio. Gender ratio was 50/50. Age of the crowd was in their 20’s Birthday girl was 24 I think, and other Euro girls we met were 28, so its quite a range.
Entertainment: The promotional poster stated “Special Performances” and “Free Shirt Giveaways”. Throughout the time I was there, I didn’t see or hear any announcement of T-shirt giveaways. Plus, what was the “Special Performances” -????? It was as though they just threw some words together to make it sound good, hoping that people didn’t really notice that there was no actual Special Performance of any sort at all. Well actually, I did see the MC perform a dancemove where he rolled his hat down the length of his arm, behind his head, to the other end of his arm – I thought that was pretty special. Eventually nothing eventuated. There is also girls only podium on the dancefloor.
Atmosphere: Underwhelming for a grand opening. I really didn’t pick up much notice of the opening of this new event. The place was probabaly at one quarter to one third capacity.
Video: Walkthrough Video at 12:15AM
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Being priestly

I Love Uni White Party - Home Nightclub

I’ve been asked to check this University event out. A combined effort of all the universities, targeted for students who had just had their first O-Week. Well, considering my own O-week was about 8 years ago, I was wondering whether I should go. Then.. on the promo poster were the magic words: “WHITE PARTY”. Can anybody say GANDALF DA WHITE IS BACK??!! Got my dancing partner C to come along and so off we set our dancing merry feet – here we go!

I Love Uni White Party @ Home Nightclub

Assessment Time
: 11:00pm – 3:00am
Opening Hours: 9:30pm – late (4-5am?)
Website: http://www.homesydney.com.au
Address:  Cockle bay wharf, Darling Harbour, Sydney
Dress Code / Door Policy: White attire only. However people who were not wearing white were still allowed in, despite warnings that people were not going to be allowed in.
Entry Fee / Cover Charge: $15 presold tickets (sold out). $25 at the door. The girl at the counter liked my outfit and I asked for a discount for having such an ‘awesome’ outfit.  She lowered my entry fee to $20. Score!
Guestlist: none
Inside: The White Party event was for the main arena room to hold 500 or so people. All the other rooms were closed. Later after midnight, the other trance / house / rock band rooms were opened up for the general public.
Cloak Room: Did not utilise cloak room today.
Bar: Didn’t drink tonight
DJ: Unknown.
Music: RnB initially in the main room. After around midnight, a change of DJ’s and an opening of doors to the public for sublime ensure the RnB was killed, and house and trance/ house took over for the rest of the night. It was strange because at one point in the night, a singer came out and sang some house songs, it was so bloody bizarre – how could people dance to this?? The small room upstairs was also used for a local rock band gig. I have never seen it done like this – what has happened to Sublime?? I was disappointed in one’s choice of music selection to dance to after the rnb stopped.
Crowd: Lots of asians for the rnb component, with a sprinkle of other nationalities. Almost all are uni students. Of course, as rnb is killed, the rnb lovers left and the ratio became a mixed bag of everything – Whites, Asians, Indians.
Entertainment: MC and professional male dance crews. Wow, they actually *do* hire men to dance. They were more house dancers but were pretty good at what they did.
Atmosphere: Main room was always happening. The other rooms later in the night were only so so. The sublime room was the only other somewhat happening room for the trance lovers.

Video: – 360 view at around 2am,
Taken by C – you can see me for 2 seconds dancing with a random dude
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Keep reading on for Gandalf’s adventures!

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