I was out tonight, and I didn’t have a job to go to tomorrow… I needed my dance fix – everything in the south CBD was pretty dead.. except for one place …. dirty old Side Bar.. here we go!

Mondays @ Side Bar
Assessment Time: 12:30AM – 01:45AM 
Opening Hours: Early in the day – 03:00AM 
Lockout: None 
Address: Right next to Central station on the corner of Pitt and George St. 
Venue Website: http://www.wakeup.com.au
Promoter Website: Self Promoted
Occurrence: Every night.
Outside Line: Upon arrival there were about 3 people in front of me, we were all let in very quickly. 
Dress Code / Door Policy: Casual ok, any costumes were “probably” ok (there are themed nights here) but tonight everybody was just wearing their casual clothing, or smart casual. 
Entry Fee / Cover Charge: Free all night.
Guestlist: None
Inside: The Bar/Club is situated beneath ground level. Enter and walk down the stairs to enter the square floor area with large bar in the middle. On the right are probably around 12 lounges along the wall. Along the back are arcade games and a pool table. To the left is the cleared out dancefloor area, Small overhead room due to the underground nature, with the DJ in the far left corner. The dancefloor side can hold approximately 100 people.  
Cloak Room: None. I was forced to leave my laptop bag on a sofa. I came back to it half an hour later and found that someone had opened my bag had been left the zips open. Oh fuck!! I looked inside my bag, but nothing was stolen… this shit happens all the time to me.
Bar Prices / Line: The line was 1 or 2 people deep, but prices unknown as I didn’t drink tonight.
DJs: Unknown
Music Style: Indie, House, Pop, Rnb – whatever the crowd is into
Crowd & Ratio: Pretty much almost everyone here is a backpacker, while the local population are less than a handful. Most are Anglo-Saxon but there are also Asians, and Africans. Age range from 18 to low 30’s. Pretty friendly vibe here.
Entertainment: Nil
Atmosphere: The first thing I noticed was that it was as packed or more than Friday nights here, which is pretty amazing. People are everywhere, drinking, dancing, making out, etc. This is where everybody in the city went. It can get crowded and overheated near the DJ corner. The floor also has a thin layer of liquid comprised of the spilled drinks that patrons have clumsily held. As mentioned, its a pretty much party vibe here throughout the night, whether or whether not the people know half the songs being played.

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Velvet (Fridays) @ The Vault: 14th January 2011

On January 14, 2011, in RnB, The Vault, by James Tran

Prelude
I have naturally been tasked to pick where to go for tonight for a group of 15 Asians aka my friends. Everything was set for the opening of the grand opening of the Asian rnb event at Gypsy nightclub. However Oxford St was a little too far from where we were at King St Wharf. The two other options offered to me that my friends would only consider going to were Flow @ WSP and Babyface @ Tao Lounge. Flow was too small/crowded and the Babyface International Asian scene might not be the right crowd for my Asian Australian friends. I had an event come to mind which I almost forgot, and was the closest to where we were, and which probably resolved these problems… Velvet @ The Vault – It had a local crowd, it was multilevel and it was close by. Hope they like it – here we go!

Velvet @ The Vault
Assessment Time: 11:45PM – 03:00AM
Opening Hours: 10:00PM(?) – 03:00AM
Lockout: Not sure if there was lockout or not from outside. Unlike last time, there wasn’t an internal lockout to go to the underground level.
Address: 122 Pitt St, Sydney. It’s opposite the Westin Hotel at Martin Place, half a block from the north side of Pitt St Mall.
Venue Website: http://www.vaulthotel.com.au
Promoter Website: http://www.velvetfridays.com
Occurrence: Every Friday since late 2010.
Outside Line: There was no line outside as we approached the venue. Friends were afraid the place was going to be dead.
Dress Code / Door Policy: Smart casual is recommended and possibly enforced. Don’t turn up looking scraggy. Guys have jeans/pants with collared shirts, clean sneakers. Girls are equally dressed well, but can probably get away with casual but at risk of not blending in with the crowd.
Entry Fee / Cover Charge: Free before 10:30PM if on guestlist. $15 before 11:30 on guestlist, and $20 full entry. We pay $20 which is a relief – better than other Asian events tonight which are happily charging $25.
Guestlist: velvetfridays@live.com.au
Inside: Walk into the side alley entrance to be presented with the ground level dancefloor. Bar and Shots Bar on the left. Dancing floor area in the middle and right to hold 50 people or so. Close right corner is where the DJ is. On your upper left is a VIP area / lounge for maybe 20 persons. Bathroom is here. In the far corner on the right are a set of stairs that lead downstairs. Walk downstairs to enter the “cooler” underground level room where speakers play music from the DJ on ground level. Podium for 6 people are on the left side. Lounges span the length of one of the walls and a bar takes up the other end of the room.
Cloak Room: I didn’t utilize the cloak room. 2 months ago it was $4 per item.
Bar Prices / Line: $8.50 for a Wet Pussy shot from one of the main bars late at 2:00AM. The wait time was 2 or 3 minutes. There are also two smaller specialised “shot bars” where only Tequila shots, Wet Pussy shots and Jagerbombs are served for express intoxication.
DJs: Unknown
Music Style: Primarily Modern American RnB, with some mashup of House, Hip Hop. I didn’t pay particular attention to it tonight as typical tracks were being played you would hear on the radio.
Crowd & Ratio: Most of the crowd tonight are Asian Australian. There may have been a handful of International Asians but these are the big minority. Other than that I don’t remember spotting any other ethnicities here tonight. The ratio was fair here at about on par male and female throughout most of the night. Didn’t appear violent but apparently there was a fight inside as well as a cat fight outside.
Entertainment: MC to keep things going alone. There was no dancepole tonight. Last time I was here, one of the MC’s friends broke the dancepole.
Atmosphere: On entering the ground level, the floor wasn’t too busy with about 10 – 20 people drinking around. There were 10 people lining up to go downstairs, as downstairs was completely at capacity. Later on in the night, as people gave up on going downstairs, they would stay on ground level and dance here, which was fine, and added to the atmosphere. When we eventually got downstairs the vibe was pretty busy/packed. The podium was chockablock full of people. Very party-like. By the end of the night everybody is basically downstairs as its much cooler than the warm upstairs, and well.. this is where everybody was.

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Saturday night. Dinner – completed. Dancing is on the cards. I am surrounded by Asians who love rnb. The latest hot spot is, surprisingly, Verandah Bar. Rave reviews all around. I tried to come in here last week at 1:00AM but the line wait was about 30 minutes. anyway, tonight the night was still young, so here we go!

Posing during the podium tryouts - Verandah Bar

Posing during the podium tryouts - Verandah Bar

Vanity @ Verandah Bar
Assessment Time: 11:15PM – 02:00AM
Opening Hours: Unknown (Assumed 10:00PM) – Unknown (Probably 4:00AM as last time I was at Bamboo, around the corner, they closed at the same time)
Lockout: I can’t remember if the security guard said 01:00AM or 01:30AM. It was definitely one of those times, but my gut is telling me 1:30AM. I’m not very helpful so far with the timing thing, am I.
Address: 60 Castlereagh St, Sydney. http://www.verandah.com.au
Occurence: Every Saturday Night
Dress Code / Door Policy: Smart is encouraged. It is more smart casual as well as casual. I think most people were let in regardless of what they were wearing. Boys and wore a mix of casual/smart casual (mostly collared shirts), girls probably were also casual as well. It must be winter.
Entry Fee / Cover Charge: $25 standard cover charge. $20 on the guestlist before midnight.  You need to line up on the gustlist line in order to qualify for guestlist entry. There is a separate full-price guestlist line on the other side of the entrance, which we used. There was nobody in the full price line when we arrived. More on this later.
Guestlist: Free before 10:30PM, $20 until Midnight. Send in via the promoter websites above or to info@eso.net.au.
Inside: I was told it was refurbished (again), but it hasn’t changed since their last refurbishment. After paying your cover charge, you walk down a red carpet to the indoor entrance to the club where you are scanned by security. Walk inside to the first area, which is split by two columns forming an invisible line between the main dancefloor to hold 150-200 people (right) and the walkway (left). You can dance here as well. Walk through to the second area where the bar is and lounges and a small smoking balcony out back.
Bar Prices: I didn’t buy any drinks tonight
Cloak Room: To the right as you walk in. Pricing unknown.
Music Style: Primarily RnB tonight. We were only here for 3 hours, but there were some popular rnb songs which were played THREE TIMES over, and most others TWICE! you notice, and it annoys you, but you arent sick of these songs yet so you dance regardless. anyway it was a minor teething point to this place.
Crowd: Mostly Asian. Crowd aged probably in their low 20s. Though here I found 4 people with braces. Perhaps teenagers come here as well but are a bit more mature than ones found at Funky @ Sanctuary Hotel.
Entertainment: So there are 6 or 7 podiums in the dancefloor itself, which is insane. It looks like the norm now, its just missing a dancing pole to be exactly like bamboo, haha. Tonight was the podium dancer tryouts for a dance crew.
Atmosphere: In the dancefloor area itself, it was consistently busy and pretty lively throughout the night. people are jumping up to dance and they’re singing and what not. Pretty good. In the back area though, it was very subdued – most of the population were at the front area. I avoided this area most of the night. Later on in the night the back area became a mecca for drunk guys and fights. Pretty dangerous. More on this later :>
Eviction Count: I counted 7 separate instances of people being kicked out including 4 Fights.
Video: A Rushed Walkthrough
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Video: 360 view of the dancefloor area
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Verandah Bar Crowd around 11:30PM

Verandah Bar Crowd around 11:30PM

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Here for a birthday on a Sunday – here we go!

Sundayze @ The Albion

Assessment Time: 8pm-Midnight
Website: http://www.albionhotel.com.au/
Address: 135 George St, Parramatta
Dress Code: Casual ok. Most guys wore t-shirts, and girls wore dresses.
Entry Fee / Cover Charge: Free
Guestlist: n/a
Inside: Courtyard was open only tonight. Small narrow dancefloor on the side to hold about 100 people.
Cloak Room: N/a
Bar: One bar
DJ: DJ Jorgie Jay, DJ Fresh & DJ Adrian Allan
Music: House, RnB, Pop
Crowd: Dominantly European and Middle Eastern. Some Aussies and no Asians except for us. Lots of men with tight t-shirts on showing off their muscles. It’s gross.
Entertainment: n/a
Atmosphere: Dead early, but just like any normal nightclub, people did not dance until around 10:30, but after that it got pretty packed in the small dance area. In the courtyard it was bustling, with most tables occupied. It was a good atmosphere later in the night.

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