Always wanted to come here but I’ve always had something on Friday morning, until now..

Upstairs Qbar | Main Room (12:15AM)

Upstairs | Room 34B (12:15AM)

“Hot Damn!” at The Exchange Hotel  [Q Bar (Upstairs)]

The Hot Damn! event is nestled within the complex that is The Exchange Hotel and is split over two areas of the Hotel – Q Bar and Spectrum. Spectrum hosts live bands up until midnight, while Q Bar, a few shops down, hosts DJs that play various styles of music, all night. Tonight’s review is solely based on Q Bar.

Opening Hours: Unknown – 5:00AM
Address: 44 Oxford St, Sydney. (Q Bar). It’s just a small doorway from the outside, can be easy to miss. 
Parking: Easy to find closeby parking on a Thursday night. We found a small car spot on the street behind. 
Venue Website: http://www.exchangehotel.biz
Event Website: http://www.fb.com/hotdamnsydney
Promoters: http://www.destroyalllines.com
Occurrence: Every Thursday since late 2006
Dress Code / Door Policy: there is no strict policy. People in costumes, singlets, shorts, hats.. anything that a classy club would ban is allowed here, even hairstyles that make you look like a member of One Direction.  Tonight’s theme was End of Semester, so many collared shirts and ties were to be displayed. 
Entry Fee / Cover Charge: $20, but if you know one of the promoters names or send a guestlist you get in for $15. 
Guestlist: toby@destroyalllines.com
Cloak Room: $3 all items. So good.

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No reason for tonight’s festivities, except my friend wants to get hammered. That’s the spirit… so a guestlist was organised, I dragged pretty much as many friends as I could and we were set – here we go!

Bounce @ Slide Bar - Boys

Boys shall be boys

Bounce @ Slide Bar
Assessment Time: 10:15PM – 03:00AM
Opening Hours: 10:00PM – 03:00AM, but doors only opened 10:15PM.
Lockout: Lockout at around 2:30AM as noted by security.
Address: 41 Oxford St, Sydney
Venue Website: http://www.slide.com.au
Promoter Website: The guys at Red and Blue events run off a Facebook profile page http://www.facebook.com/bounce.kpop.party
Occurrence: Typically once every month or two months, depending on how they feel.
Outside Line: Friends started lining up at 10:00PM and there were about 5 people in front of them. When the doors opened the line got to about 20 deep. Later in the night at around 11:00PM, the line was observed to be 30 deep. The wait didn’t seem to take long, as they freely allowed people in. The wait would have been around 10 to 15 minutes.
Dress Code / Door Policy: There is no suggested dress code by the promoters. Guys: Most guys wore collared shirts. Normal t-shirts were allowed inside as well. Sneakers are okay. Hats are allowed here. I wore a collared shirt with black pants. Some clever girls wore bunny ears! I’m so doing that next time…
Entry Fee / Cover Charge: $20 full cover charge. $15 on guestlist. It’s $5-$10 cheaper compared to all the other Asian events held on Fridays.
Guestlist: redandblueevents@hotmail.com – I brought 10+ friends, and got a complimentary bottle of champagne to share around as a reward. Very cool :)
Inside: Walk into an open floor to hold about two hundred people. The floor includes an elevated dance platform in which the floor tiles light up and change colours. Bar to the left for a length of about 20 people. DJ booth is in the far right corner. Overhanging the bar back on the left is a balcony for private functions and what not, to hold about 60 people in a squishy fashion. The upstairs balcony has its own separate bar as well. There is also a large projector screen behind the DJ where they are playing random clips from Asian television
Cloak Room: $5 per item. However I did get a little surprise that my large sports bag qualified for the special $10 offer as not advertised. Sweet! I didn’t ask why, but I suspect it was because it had other jackets and bags inside. (Cloak room girl asked me earlier what I had inside the bag)
Bar Prices / Line: Tonight’s specials were $6 Alize & Sprite, $6 Bourbon and Coke. I drank a glass of house red wine for $8; It was grossly bitter – never again. It was fun though feeding the wine to unsuspecting friends, and watching their faces twitch in disgust.
Eviction Count: One of my friends was kicked out for being too touchy feely with the girls around here, and creeping them out. Unfortunately I’m going to be a bad friend and say I can’t disagree. Guys.. girls don’t like it when you are grabbing a handful within 30 seconds of interaction.
Music Style: Primarily RnB and K-Pop (Korean pop). A handful of house, and hip hop songs are scattered throughout the night as well. So if you are a fan of K-Pop, you are going to like it tonight. Even if you haven’t heard of any K-Pop songs – they are pretty catchy to dance along to.
Crowd & Ratio: That said, pretty much everyone here is Asian, with the majority being that of Korean descent. Both Australian Koreans and Koreans from overseas are here tonight. The rest are a mix of whatever Asian races there are left. At around midnight the ratio was pretty good/even.. but of course as the night wears on, the girls leave and there are heaps more guys. However there were plenty of people, so there were still plenty of women around. Ages would vary here, but the general gist of the crowd is that of people in their early 20’s.
Entertainment: All that the promotional poster mentioned was that it was a ‘naughty’ event. They brought a female stripper in. This was followed by an equally entertaining guy strip show. More on these later in much more detail in the timeline.
Atmosphere: The first hour or so the music is blaring out the speakers, but people are only drinking and chatting. Nobody dares to go up onto the dancefloor. Eventually though, effects of alcohol and a crowd that is building up gets people going. Pretty much from that point on, the crowd was constantly on the dancefloor going hard at it. Even when we left at 3AM, it was still packed! This was a first for my times here, as usually it would be dead by 2:30AM. I could only attribute this to being the beginning of the 5 day long weekend, so everyone was going hard out at it. Needless to say the atmosphere on the dancefloor and immediate surrounding areas was pretty energetic, especially when they play a random K-Pop song and everyone sings along to it.
Video: Music Sampling of the night
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Bounce @ Slide Bar - Crowd

Bounce @ Slide Bar – Crowd

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Special K wanted to give this place a visit with me. I haven’t heard much about it, so why not give it a ago. So off we went with our friends – here we go!

General crowd shot 12AM

General crowd shot 12AM

Gossip @ The Gypsy Lounge Nightclub (Havana / OneSixNine)
Note: Gypsy nightclub was formerly known late last year as gay club OneSixNine, while before that it was known as the straight club ‘Havana Club de Luxe’, where Fridays was a regular Asian RnB night. The promoters for tonight are different from the previous RnB promoters.
Assessment Time: 12:00AM – 01:45AM
Opening Hours: 10:30AM – 02:00AM
Lockout: None
Address: 169 Oxford St
Venue Website: Unkown
Promoter Website: http://www.xclusivproductionz.com http://www.facebook.com/pages/Xclusiv-Productionz/24109750459
Occurrence: Every Friday since late last year.
Outside Line: None
Dress Code / Door Policy: Casual was okay tonight. Some guys wore t-shirts, some wore collared shirts. Girls wore their typical dresses and stuff.
Entry Fee / Cover Charge: Oh I wish I remembered how much I paid tonight, but I didn’t keep a mental note. Silly me. It certainly wasn’t $25. Either $20 or $15.
Guestlist: At time of writing, the official contact is bee (at) xclusivproductionz.com
Inside: Layout hasn’t changed at all since last year under the Havana name – You walk upstairs to the second level of this building, where you are in the back of the club – on your left are bathrooms, the close right has the back bar with 2 tables in front. Far back right corner is the VIP room, with its own bar to hold a small party of 40-50 people. On the front left is a sofa area split into 4, with its own bar, and likewise for the front right. The dancefloor is at the middle front, with floorspace to hold 200 or so people.
Cloak Room: I didn’t check, but the small corner where they typically had cloak room services was closed.
Bar Prices / Line: No lines at the bars, you were getting service right away.. A Smirnoff double black costs $13.
DJs: Unknown
Music Style: Primarily American RnB tonight
Crowd & Ratio: Our group were all mid 20’s and above. The rest of the crowd were under 25. It was approximately 50%-60% Asian with the rest being European with a trickle of Pacific Islander. Considering there were about 20-30 of us in total, it is not a very good representation of what this place would be like if it were to reach capacity.
Entertainment: None. Tickets were offered to Good Vibrations Festival on the promotional poster, but these never materialised into any sort of competition in the club while I was there. I might have missed out by coming late.
Atmosphere: Depressingly dead. Everything was set – bars, DJ, lights, even a photographer, but there was a distinct lack of humanly bodies. We were hoping it would pick up later at around midnight to 1AM, but it only marginally increased in population
Video Montage:
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Despite the name, promotional flyers do not advertise what the acronym stands for (it is named after a popular mixed shot drink), rather they state other clever QF acronyms to what QF stands for. However, we *all* know what they are on about…. unless you have never had a QF shot before – which in case you should try it out, you innocent 18 year old you. Anyway, was here to check out QF @ Mansions for a birthday, so here we go!

DJ area with smokes, lighting etc

DJ area with smokes, lighting etc

QF @ Mansions Hotel (I think at time of writing this event has ceased)

Assessment Time: 11:30PM – 01:45AM
Opening Hours: 10:00PM – 03:00AM (?)
Lockout: No lockout as far as I believe, however there are no pass-outs before midnight.
Address: 14 Oxford Square, (Oxford St), Darlinghurst Sydney. It’s right next to The Gaff, opposite Hungry Jacks. It’s basically an expanded/extended smoking area of The Gaff, but for tonight is closed off on its own to hold its own venue.
Venue Website: http://www.thegaff.com.au until the official website is launched (at time of writing)
Promoter Website: http://www.urbanagent.com.au
Occurrence: Every Friday
Outside Line: No line outside when we arrived.
Dress Code / Door Policy: Pretty much casual/smart casual here tonight, which was the case here.
Entry Fee / Cover Charge: $25 standard entry, $20 guestlist entry. Free before 10:30PM on guestlist and discounted ($5 off) entry before midnight.
Guestlist: qf@urbanagent.com.au
Inside: It’s a small/cosy venue. After you finally find the place, you will notice the smoking balcony area next to the entrance, access from the inside. Walk inside through the entry room to enter the main dancefloor to hold a small crowd of 50 or so people. DJ is on an overhanging mini balcony setup in the far right corner. This takes up about one third of the floor area of the venue. Walk to the left to where multiple lounges reside for about 4 or 5 separate parties, with a slightly larger VIP areas (for 10) in the far corner next to the bar and one on the opposite side of the lounge area (for approx 10-20). Middle area of the lounge is more of less standing area, while the bar is on the far left wall of the middle lounge area.
Cloak Room: Cloak room services at $4 (or it could have been $5) per item. Very reasonable.
Bar Prices / Line: There’s about 1 or 2 people in front of you. The wait can be between 2 minutes to 10 minutes. Bad luck if you are a guy at this venue, as the bartender told me girls get priority over the guys here. WHAT!! That’s so unfair. All I wanted was a glass of water. HMPH! Lucky if you’re a girl.
DJs: Unknown
Music Style: Primarily Contemporary African American RnB/Pop, with classics on later in the night as well as the occasional house mashup thrown in throughout the night.
Crowd & Ratio: Pretty much mostly Asian. It’s a mix of local Aussie Asians and Asians from a non-English speaking background. There are some Anglos here who got lost or sneaked into the venue here from the Gaff next door. Despite having a tape at the junction between the Gaff and Mansions, it was noted that a handful of people did just simply walk in, in front of everybody present. This happened last time as when I was here at Mansions.
Entertainment: Podium dancers! Of course that meant podiums on the dancefloor, and one in the lounge area as well. They brought in Anglo-Saxon dancers, who probably were a bit fascinated to dance at an Asian RnB event. Lights were brought in as well tonight. Also on board are photographers to take your shots. Because it was such a small venue, a photo of you would probably be taken multiple times throughout the night.
Atmosphere: It’s a small place, and upon entry I was expecting a lot of people but the place wasn’t even half full yet. I was able to go in and find a place to sit down and chillax. Quite the difference from the previous Friday “Shanghai Nights” at Brooklyn Hotel, where even though the place was stinking full of people, at least there were people. It’s a tough job being a promter. Anyway, I was pretty underwhelmed with the turnout. Between midnight and 1:00AM it was very good on the dancefloor where everyone was, and during this time it did feel like a club atmosphere, but this left the lounge area half of the venue largely empty, not that anybody cared. At around 1:30-02:00AM the place was pretty much dying or close to dead. Not even folk who came in from next door could save it. I was tempted to leave altogether just before 1AM.. it was that bad in my experience.
Video: Walkthrough
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Fridays @ Stonewall Hotel: 19th November 2010

On November 19, 2010, in Pop, Stonewall Hotel, Trance, by James Tran

The plan was to go to Bounce @ Slide Bar tonight, but we kind of rocked up at 1:30am.. and by that time, it wasn’t really worth visiting for one hour before the place would start to die, so we walked further down the street. The girls see a Gay Bar.. excitement ensues among them, and I embrace myself as reluctantly we agree to go in. The venue: Stonewall Hotel. I’ve been here once before, before this website was started – basically an Indian dude tongued my ear within my first minute entering, I bumped into one of my primary school friends who ended up gay, and then I had a big black dude try to intro me to other guys, while I was at the time, too scared to tell him I was straight after he had a crack at me as well. Besides these incidents, it was otherwise a fun time. I am older and wiser now, so here we go!

Fridays @ Stonewall Hotel, Oxford St, Sydney
Assessment Time: 01:30AM – 02:30AM
Opening Hours: 09:00PM – 04:00AM
Lockout: 02:00AM
Address: 175 Oxford St (Next to Live / Havana), Darlinghurst Sydney.
Venue Website: http://www.stonewallhotel.com
Promoter Website: Self Promoted
Occurrence: Every Friday and Saturday.
Outside Line: There was no line as we appeared.
Dress Code / Door Policy: Anything goes here. Singlets allowed, drag of course as well.
Entry Fee / Cover Charge: Appears to be $5 all night. When I was here a few years ago, it was free entry, but $5 is still ridiculously cheap. It’s not even the price of a drink.
Guestlist: No guestlist applicable
Inside: Stonewall is pretty much the largest gay friendly club in Sydney AFAIK. 3 Levels – Bottom level consisting of a seated table and stool area for 30-40 people. A Bar in the centre area, with a permanent stage/podium to hold 10 people or so. Further in is more standing room but it’s very limited here. Head to the middle level where it is more of a lounge area. Lounges everywhere and no much of a dance area at all here. Bar to service this level to hold about 60-100 people comfortably. Top level is the proper dancefloor area where there are smoke machines, lights, podiums along the wall and a DJ booth in the far corner. The main room would hold 50-100 people for dancing, with a smaller back room holding lounges and a bar with standing room for 30 or so patrons.
Cloak Room: $3 an item. Great.
Bar Prices / Line: I didn’t drink tonight. However there was always a spot at the bar for you to be served.
DJs: Unknown
Music Style: Tonight I was only at the top level. Gay anthems were primarily being played, with various pop songs from Lady Gaga, Kylie Minogue, and the occasional house/trance song as well thrown in. An eclectic mix to say the least. Most songs were played in their entirely with little mixing done.
Crowd / Ratio: Mostly local gay men of caucasian background. There are some girls, and it would be a safe bet that most if not all the girls here were straight, just to keep away from the sleazy straight clubs.
Entertainment: No extra entertainment
Atmosphere: I don’t know if my memory served me wrong, but tonight the vibe wasn’t that good. Bottom level wasn’t too busy, middle level was completely dead, and the top level was starting to die – we easily found room on the dancefloor in front of the DJ and we didn’t have to make room for other people to pass by us. Very dark upstairs as well – it’s definitely a club atmosphere here.
Video: Walkthrough the middle and top levels – its very dark and fast so don’t expect to see much:
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Video: 360 of the top level
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A night out with friends who varied across the spectrum. I had M, Jungle Fever and bisexual girls who were into RnB and Hip Hop, other girls who were not into RnB and Hip Hop and preferred the bar scene, my cousin who only liked RnB, her Asian American relatives who were very conservative – and I had to find them all good place to go. You have to be kidding me…

Fridays @ Haymarket Hotel
I thought an event would have taken over Friday nights here, but it hasn’t. Downstairs was closed off, and it seems only regular patrons were here for a drink. On the TV screens SBS was on and, being SBS, a documentary was being played about the porno industry. Hilarious hearing the collective screams of girls as the more saucy were being played.

Off we went to Oxford Art Factory. Half of us went in first. The other half including myself tried a few minutes later but we were told that the venue was at capacity and we should try again in half an hour. I doubt a packed place would have suited some of the people here, so it was off to Doctor Pong, just a few shops down!

Fridays @ Doctor Pong (Bar)

Doctor Pong DJ area and dancefloor

Doctor Pong DJ area and dance floor

Assessment Time: 11:10PM – 11:30PM
Address: 1 Burton St, Darlinghurst
Venue Website: None
Dress Code / Door Policy: anything goes, no security checks. Cousin’s sister-in-law, who was wearing pajamas, was let in.
Entry Fee / Cover Charge: Free
Inside: Small place. Bar in the middle. Lounges on one side, table tennis ping-pong table on the other side (hence Doctor Pong), with a restaurant on the far left. DJ up next to the stairs upon entry.
Music Style: Whatever goes, but it was keeping the crowd going. Volume was at a loud house party level but not a club level. You could talk in here without shouting too much.
Crowd: Mostly Aussies.
Entertainment: The table tennis table was the star attraction. Four paddles so everyone can have a go.
Atmosphere: Pretty busy at this time when we entered. You could say it was relaxed and busy. Red plastic cups add to the american beer pong feel.
Video: Walkthrough
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1AM looking for a place to dance…..

Clubs that were rejected tonight
Flow @ World Square Pub / Equilibrium:
We planned to go here tonight. There is no line outside. That’s good. $20 entry. Though as we got to the door, the internal line inside to go upstairs was packed. there was about 50 people croweded at the base of the stairs waiting for their turn to go upstairs. Oh hell no – we are not going in! So walk off we go…

Tourism @ Tao Lounge:
There was an event on tonight. The bouncer said “Don’t even bother coming in here.” We wanted to see what it was. Bouncer: “Go in for a bit of a laugh if you want. Nobody is dancing in there”. So we went in side. It was free entry anyway. There was about……….. 17 people including us 4. A guy and girl were on the dancefloor. She is standing doing nothing, and he is moving his arms up and down, like he is perforing curls on an invisible 1kg dumbell. It is ridiculous – and so is the music. We left after a wasted 10 minutes.

V Bar had cover charge so we didn’t go in, but it looked dead.

Puls8 @ Shark Hotel was dead as well tonight. (Saturdays are better).

Our final destination – random private party @ Burdekin Hotel
Continued the merry walk down Oxford St, where we strike up some ye old conversation with the patrons outside Burdekin Hotel. They were nice enough to invite us to their private party upstairs at the top level! Booyah!

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