Saturdays @ Sting Bar, Cronulla: 23rd April 2011

On April 23, 2011, in House, Pop, RnB, Rock, Sting Bar, by James Tran

Checking out the nightlife in Cronulla – we’ve just left Northies and our second stop is Sting Bar – here we go!

Saturday @ Sting Bar
Assessment Time: 11:20PM – 12:05AM
Opening Hours: Unknown.
Lockout: Midnight, surprisingly. Security advised that they were under strict RSA regulations. Better safe than sorry. 
Address: 3-7 Kingsway, Cronulla, Sydney  
Venue Website: http://www.sting.com.au
Promoter Website: Self promoted
Occurrence: It is assumed to be open every weekend
Outside Line: No line outside
Dress Code / Door Policy: Hats were fine here tonight. It’s a casual affair here as well – lots of guys in their t-shirts/sneaks/jeans combo and girls in whatever simple dress they can find. 3/4 length shorts are allowed here too, so its easy going, but you do want to look reasonably okay here because of the crowd. Tonight we have our blazers and best clothes on .. just in case.
Entry Fee / Cover Charge: Free all night.
Inside: Walk inside to enter the Southern end bar and lounge side of the club. Bar in the middle of the venue with lounges and chairs/stools surrounding South, West and East sides of the bar. West side is more elevated with sets of lounges to hold about 3 or 4 separate small gatherings. On the North end is the dancefloor/DJ end. The dancefloor itself holds perhaps 10 or so people, but there are surrounding carpeted areas and elevated seating areas you could dance upon if need be. The total area now thus holding now 30-40 people. DJ located on the Western wall.
Cloak Room: No cloak room services
Bar Prices / Line: I did purchase but can’t remember the price. There were two staff members working the bar – there was only one order in front of us so the wait wasn’t long.
Eviction Count: None
DJs: DJ Poi (?) and guests
Music Style: It was a bit of a mixed bag here for our time here. You’re dancing to RnB then it switches to House, which is fair enough, but then the next song is ‘Breathe’ by the prodigy – it’s a huge change within 2 songs. There isn’t much mixing going on, with the majority of the song being played each time.
Crowd & Ratio: The first impression upon walking into here is that it is definitely an older crowd tonight. Older being late 20s, 30s and probably some people in their 40s. Everyone else here is of Caucasian descent and it looks like most are probably locals here. The ratio is pretty even here throughout the night.
Entertainment: No extra entertainment.
Atmosphere: On the Southern lounge area it was okay-ish – there are groups mingling but only among themselves. The crowd didn’t seem to pick up enough to foster more intergroup mingling. The entire place is also pretty well lit, so there’s no seedy atmosphere. It is another bar-focused place, but the dance floor is at least of reasonable size. No drinks allowed on the dance floor, so at least there is no spillage. It kind of felt sterile and unusually clean – patrons who wouldnt dance would stand about 2 or 3 metres away watching. Kind of weird when they stand and stare. Throughout the night there would be no more than 6 or 7 people at one time dancing.. with most times being empty. Pretty ugly sight.
Video: 360 views of primarily the dance floor. (The very last second of this clip shows what guys shouldn’t do to women in a public setting if he wants to leave a good impression) 
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Velvet Fridays @ The Vault: 26th November 2010

On November 26, 2010, in RnB, The Vault, by James Tran
Crowd upstairs early in the night

Crowd upstairs early in the night - Velvet Fridays

Velvet Fridays @ The Vault
Assessment Time: 11:00PM – 02:15AM
Opening Hours: 10:00PM – 03:00AM
Lockout: Unsure. however there is an internal 2AM lockout to go downstairs again, unless you are getting your stuff from the cloakroom.
Address: 122 Pitt St Sydney
Venue Website: http://www.vaulthotel.com.au
Promoter Website: http://www.velvetfridays.com
Occurrence: Every Friday
Outside Line: On arrival, there were probably 3 or 4 people ahead of us, so it was a very short wait to get inside.
Dress Code / Door Policy: Strict Dress code – Guys to wear collared shirts, clean sneakers ok – and ladies should wear something dressy, but can get away with casual. Most stuck to the dress code here.
Entry Fee / Cover Charge: Free before 10:30PM if on guestlist. $15 before 11:30 on guestlist, and $20 thereafter.
Guestlist: Sent mine to velvetfridays@live.com.au . Fast response, all queries answered.
Inside: Have you ever been to Haymarket Hotel? It’s exactly the same. If you haven’t been … Walk inside the side alley entrance to enter the middle level main room. The Vault was formerly a bank years ago, so there is a high ceiling, and with it is an upper level DJ area which also doubles as a lounge for whoever is allowed up there. Back in the main floor, there is a bar, a ‘shots’ bar, podium for 2 or 3, and carpeted dancefloor for 100 or so people. Tucked away in the right corner is a set of stairs that lead you downstairs to the underground dancefloor area, which also has a bar, ‘shots’ bar and dancefloor for 100 or so patrons. There is also a dancepole here.
Cloak Room: $4 per item. Very reasonable.
Bar Prices / Line: $16 long island teas, $24 or something for three tequila shots? Basically there is the main bar for all your orders, but if you are only here for shots, there are specialised smaller “shots” bars on each floor, serving tequila, jagerbombs, and some other kind of shot. It’s a very clever concept. There wasn’t much of a selection but if this is what you were looking for, then you didn’t have to wait long. otherwise waiting at the bar may take some time – upto 5 to 10 minutes.
DJs: Peter Gunz, Flipsta, Hyper, Biggie, Stunna, Stib
Music Style: Primarily RnB, mostly American Black contemporary RnB. Mixing is done well, some repeated tracks due to the nature of multiple DJs. Bleh.
Crowd & Ratio: Pretty much almost everyone here is Asian Australian, there are some caucasian girls in corsets but they are here for tonight’s promotion, whatever it was.
Entertainment: Dancing pole, MC to keep things going.
Atmosphere: During the early hours of the night, most people are on the ground level as you walk in.. drinking, chatting, and what not. It’s quite noisy. Anyway as the night wore on and people danced more.. the upstairs got warmer and warmer – people could only hide downstairs, where the aircon was more efficient here in the smaller confined space. By 2AM, pretty much everybody is downstairs, and less than a handful of patrons can be found upstairs, either relaxing or dancing. You would think a large room such as this wouldn’t heat up, but it has. Kind of like St James Hotel’s main room when it got packed.
Video: 360 upstairs
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360 underground
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Walkthrough both levels
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My weekly spam last month came in – There was a secret warehouse party going on! A bus to take us to a secret warehouse for dancing all night. Sounded good, so bought my tickets and off we went – here we go!

Boarding the bus to the secret warehouse location

Boarding the bus to the secret warehouse location!

Secret Warehouse Party @ Unknown Location

Assessment Time: 09:30PM – 03:00AM
Opening Hours: 09:00PM – Unknown, but probably 4 or 5AM
Lockout: None, but good luck trying to find this place in the first place.
Address: Unknown. Somewhere in Alexandria/Erskineville, Sydney. We met at the Alexandria Hotel and were shuttled by buses to the location of the warehouse.
Promoter Website: Tonight there were two promoters. I bought my tickets from http://www.funkdafied.com.au .. I can’t remember who the other promoters were.
Occurence: Appears to be a once off party. Promoters have promised similar ones in the future.
Dress Code / Door Policy: anything goes. Everybody though is wearing casual or smart casual. Girls are in dresses, but not too glammed up.
Entry Fee / Cover Charge: Presold tickets only were $30 each.
Guestlist: All tickets are presold.
Inside: The venue appears to be a large hall for at least 1000 people with multiple studios attached. 2 of these studios were open as smaller dance rooms to hold 100 or so people each. The main hall floor space is about double the size length wise of Home Nightclub. Bar at each of the rooms. Smoking areas outside each of the rooms.
Cloak Room: Cloak room was available, and everybody was using it, except me. I never learn my lesson from past experiences. Not sure what the pricing was.
Bar: Coronas $8. Red/White (House) $8. Vodka + Red Bull $10. Bars were sponsored by Red Bull. There was also a BBQ outside
DJs: Simon Caldwell, Peter Glass, Frenzie, Thomas Crown, Klevakutz, JC (Funkdafied), Mickey Morphingaz, Digital Love DJs, Karl Prinzen, Terry A, Lee Spatcher, Monkey Tennis DJs, Paul Guy.
Music: Main room was Funky House and US House. The Funkdafied room was Funk, Soul, Rare-Groove, Latin, Boogie – think of all the Blaxpoitation kind of stuff you would hear.. yup Exactly. The third room I can’t even remember, but it was messed up – Latino, Classical, who knows. The point was that tonight there was basically nothing from the 80s onwards being played in the 2 smaller rooms. I did catch in the main room a commercial house song being played, but that was once.
Crowd: Mostly local Aussies. 95% of the people here are at least 25+, with the average age probably being 35 or 40. These are the guys from the last clubbing generation, who have been displaced by the younger crowd of rnb, commercial lady gaga top 40 tunes/house, and hard music. Speaking of teenagers, there were none of these around. Wow! A blessing. I felt like a baby here.
Entertainment: There were some peacocked ladies with large feather things on the front stage looking pretty. In the funkdafied room there were also some dancers teaching us some classic funk moves. More on that later.
Atmosphere: It was very friendly in here. Everyone was having a good time. People are dancing in a kind of relaxed manner – or they didn’t know how to dance. In either case there was little seating to be had, so everybody had to stand up and either mingle or dance. Also from a big warehouse you would be scared there would be some empty patches of space but it was not to be – tonights event was sold out a few weeks beforehand, so the population was just right.
Video: Walkthrough of the main room and the Funkdafied room (3rd room did not know about until later)
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OK, before going into Coogee Bay Hotel, I saw a little dancefloor on the other side of the road. Let’s check it out while we are here!!

360 video:
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Well this was the dancefloor. Everyone here is really old and I’m feeling very out of place. Two older women like our basic dancing. The other guys questioned what we were doing here.

The DJ looked about 40 or 50, and was playing a lot of retro songs.

Left out of boredom and shame.

Empire Hotel was $20. Nope. We wanted to go to Kit & Kaboodle but we accidentally walked into The Sugar Mill and paid $10, thinking the entry fee covered both venues. Apparently not. I am really upset that I didn’t get to go to K&K, as Art vs Science were playing a DJ Set, but being asians, we just stayed here for the rest of the night..

With Fans @ The Sugar Mill, Kings Cross, Sydney

With Fans of our dancing @ The Sugar Mill, Kings Cross, Sydney

KX Marks the Spot@ The Sugar Mill
Assessment Time: 11:00PM – 01:30AM
Opening Hours: Unknown – 04:00AM+
Lockout: None
Website: http://www.sugarmill.com.au/
Address: 33-37 Darlinghurst Road, Kings Cross, Sydney
Dress Code / Door Policy: Casual OK. Hats OK. Most wore casual. Men had jeans and collared shirts. Girls had a form of dress on.
Entry Fee / Cover Charge: $10 standard. No guestlist. A surprise, as it was previously free for all once upon a time. They’ve caught on. Two groups in front of us were told “$10”, and scoffed at the idea, and then turned around to discuss walking away. In both cases, the bouncer and cashier respectively told them “wait”, and offered them free entry. So, what a great idea to try it as well. When we got to the cashier, we were told “$10” and we immediately discuss the possibility of leaving. Meanwhile, I am waiting for the dude to say “wait, come in for free”, but NO, he doesnt do it! Like what the fuck. Assholes really don’t want us in their venue.
Guestlist: None
Occurence: Every Friday and Saturday
Inside: More of a bar for drinks, as you enter, there are tables and stools all around. Bar on the far end in front. DJ booth on the right. A small opening where it looks like a table or two could have been, is the quasi-dancefloor.
Cloak Room: None
Bar: Did not purchase tonight. The wait is no more than 2 or 3 minutes.
Music: A mix of house, pop, rnb.
Crowd: Mix of backpacker, locals. Mostly caucasian. Mostly an older crowd 25+.
Entertainment: It’s just a pub, no extras.
Atmosphere: Average. you just come here for a drink and dance, and just happen fork out $10 in the proceess.
Video: 360 of the quasi-dance space
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Civic Hotel Underground

Civic Hotel Underground Pit Dance Area

Saturday. I am to play catchup with a friend, and he is at Civic Hotel, so here we go!

Adult Disco @ Civic Underground
Assessment Time: 01:35-01:45AM
Website: http://www.civichotel.com.au/pages/home.asp
Address: 388 Pitt St, Sydney
Dress Code / Door Policy:
Entry Fee / Cover Charge: $25 we were told at the cashier, so we pretty much turned around to leave. She said “WAIT! WAIT!” and told us, that for the three of us, she would discount it to $15. This was surely a bad sign, but we did not notice. Before 11pm, entry is free.
Guestlist: None that I could find.
Occurence: Every Saturday
Inside: This place is of similar size of the Favela upstairs component. You walk in to the bar area with sofas and tables arranged in the same manner as a dine-in saloon restaurant in america. The dancefloor is in a pit, in the far back left corner, to hold about 80 people. It’s not very big.
Cloak Room: None
Bar: Did not drink
DJs: Unknown
Music: “Adult Disco” was the name of the event tonight. What kind of music was this? This was some really underground funky house music they were playing. Not commercial friendly at all, but even so, it was absolutely not danceable to at all. Ugh, but some patrons here were enjoying it. The short time I was here, I just felt my mojo being drained away from me. You can listen to the music in the video below.
Crowd: Definitely just adults. Lots of people in their 20’s, maybe 30’s. Mostly wogs/aussies.
Entertainment: No extra curricular things here.
Atmosphere: Dark, confined and not feeling the vibe at all.
Video: 360
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Crowd at The Ivory, Wollongong NSW

Crowd at The Ivory, Wollongong NSW

Four of us are here to check out the Wollongong nightlife for one night – We just left The Harp Hotel, and we are off to the next club down the street – it’s Ivory Bar, so here we go!

Saturdays @ Ivory Bar
Assessment Time: 11:30PM – 12:30AM
Opening Hours: 8:00PM – 3:00AM
Lockout: None
Website: No website could be found.
Address: 77 Crown Street, Wollongong NSW
Dress Code / Door Policy: Probably safe to dress smart casual here. Most people were dressed smart, though casual was allowed you would be probably looked down upon. No hats allowed. No photography allowed.
Entry Fee / Cover Charge: $10 flat charge all night
Guestlist: None
Inside: Imagine The Establishment in Sydney, but without the back room, and half the size of the main room / bar area. This is exactly what you get at the Ivory – You walk into a lengthy room with one bar to the left adoring the wall. There is a section behind this wall for smokers. DJ booth (I cant even remember if there was a DJ booth) should be at the front. There is a big LCD screen displaying random messages set by the people here partying tonight. Lounges near the entrance and to the right hand side. Main dancing area is at the back.
Cloak Room: None
Bar: I did not drink here tonight. The bar specializes in cocktails, so you can imagine the prices at this bar to be of the upper end range.
Music: House / Funky House
Crowd: Older crowd, but dressed up nicely, so as to keep up with appearances. Mostly late 20s, 30s, and some 40s and 50s were spotted here. A lot of good lookers. Entirely Caucasian.
Entertainment: No extra things to keep the vibe going. It held up on its own for a bar.
Atmosphere: Music is loud, the venue seems new and the vibe amongst the dancing patrons is pretty good. People are dancing and drinking away. In terms of dance space, it is a little cramped, but not sardine packed. It’s enough to survive an hour here, but I would not imagine an entire night here.
Video: Walkthrough Video

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