Thursday Nights @ Ivy Bar Sydney

On November 28, 2013, in EDM, Ivy Bar, Old School, RnB, Top 40, by James Tran

I wanted to review another club tonight on my own but my friend has somehow gotten me to join him for a farewell party at the Ivy. It was free entry, and what do you know.. I stayed here all night:

Main room

Main room (view from the rear)

Thursdays @ Ivy Bar, Sydney
NB: This review is for the regular Thursday nights in the main building, and not for Pool Club Thursdays, held in Building 2

Essentials:

Opening Hours:
Ivy is open all day, but the clubbing tone (and volume of music) is turned up at 11:00PM

Address:
330 George St. Entrance is via a side entrance and through the back.

Venue Website:
http://merivale.com/ivy

Promoters:
Self promoted

Occurrence:
Every Thursday

Dress Code / Door Policy:
No dress code enforced. Any attire is accepted here tonight. Girls did their most part to dress well to impress while guys were a bit of a mixed bag of smart casual towards dirty casual (thank you backpackers)

Entry Fee / Cover Charge:
Free entry all night. Amazing for a place such as Ivy

Passouts:
No passout rules enforced

Guestlist:
Not Applicable

Cloak Room:
Cloak room is free, and is accessed in the second building at reception

Tonight:
Assessment Time
11:15PM – 2:30AM

Outside Line:
There is a constant stream of people walking into the Ivy, however because there’s no cashier to collect money, there wasn’t much lining up to do. I probably waited 1 minute in line.

Inside
The main building is open for free entry tonight. The Pool Club is also free, but is not reviewed tonight.

Bar Prices / Line:
I didn’t buy any drinks tonight but, according to friends, the wait for a drink downstairs was about 1 or 2 orders.

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Just over a year ago the default club I would go to for free entry and a dance was Star Bar on George St. Then I got sick of it .. the overheating, the majority of girls not speaking english, slippery floors, and an endless orgy of sleazy guys. A self imposed 12 month ban from Star Bar and its after party venue, Cheers, was made. Well, it has been a year and tonight it was time to come back.. here we go!

Dropping by: Fridays @ Star Bar
– We got in at around after midnight. The dance area is upstairs on the top level , while the  ground and underground levels are more drinking areas with no dancing at all going on
Cover Charge / Entry Fee: Free all night
Lockout: None
Closing Time: 3:00AM
Website: http://www.starbar.com.au
Address: 600 George St (Opposite the Event Cinemas complex)
Outside Line: 3 people – the line progresses pretty quickly.
Dress Code / Door Policy: No large groups of guys, Dress neat casual or smart casual. Do not dress daggy. If the bouncers ask if you are on the guestlist, you haven’t met their requirements for entry. Most people are dressed casually or smart casually.
Inside (top level dancefloor): Nothing has changed. The dancefloor holds 200 or so people with surrounding lounges. Podium at the front for the girls and two podiums at the back for the paid dancers. Two bars supply the beverages for the crowd tonight
Cloak Room: None
Music Style: Pop, Top 40. The DJ plays music videos that play on the big screen. There is very minimal layering/mixing , and songs are played for their entire duration.
Crowd & Ratio: A mix of everything. I would say half the crowd is International Asian. The rest consist of Indians, Africans, Caucasians, and some local populace. Many people here are backpackers or travellers who have no idea what is a good place to visit, and plonk into the first free entry place they see on George St, in this case being Star Bar. The ratio was definitely more guys than girls in here, but pretty much all the girls can’t speak English. 
Entertainment: They’ve added professional podium dancers now! I was very impressed with that. They dance at the back to the entertainment of the crowd. 
–  Atmosphere: Pretty busy on the dancefloor. However it does become stuffy on the dancefloor. This combined with the constant spilling of drinks on the floor, the lack of lighting and dominance of guys in here added to the somewhat seedy atmosphere. Nothing has changed.

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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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Fever Nightclub - taken from the corner of the dancefloor

Fever Nightclub Wollongong NSW (Bluenote) - taken from the corner of the dancefloor

Tonight I am in wollongong with friends to check out the clubs. We were on our way to Hostage X or Illawara Hotel for the final club of the night, after visiting The Harp, Ivory and Glasshouse. It’s already 2am and locals have told us Hostage X was dead, and that Illawarra Hotel closes in one hour. This pretty much ended our night.. except there *was* one club left still open after 3am – This club was named Fever (It was formerly known as but still constantly referred to as The Blue Note / Bluenote)… it plays RNB, and apparently gets packed once all other clubs close – so we realy don’t have a choice – so here we go!

Saturdays @ Fever Nightclub (Formerly Blue Note / The Bluenote)
Assessment Time: 02:00AM – 04:00AM
Opening Hours: Unknown (apparently opens late) – 05:00AM
Lockout: None
Website: No website found.
Address: Corner of Station St and Pacific Highway, Wollongong, NSW.
Dress Code / Door Policy: Casual OK. Hats are not allowed to be worn.
Entry Fee / Cover Charge: $10 all night
Guestlist: None
Inside: Walk upstairs two or three flights of stairs to arrive to the nightclub, which holds about 160 people. Dancefloor to the far right corner, bar on the left, and lounges on the furthest left corner. Dancefloor is a flashy neon-based dancefloor. Check out the video for footage, its quite sizeable and this is where the dancing is concentrated at.
Cloak Room: None
Bar: Did not drink at this venue.
Music: Purely RNB as far as I can remember. Mix of contemporary and old school.
Crowd: Mostly locals, and almost all of them have come from other clubs and bars in the area. Asians, Samoans, Aussies, Indians, Euros.
Entertainment: Big flashing dancefloor! Biggest flashing one I’ve seen in a long time. (ok, I haven’t seen that many)
Atmosphere: Dead at first, but it picks up at around 3am, when all the other clubs close, and Fever / The Blue Note is the last place within 100KM’s that is still open and belting out the beats.
Video: Walkthrough into Fever Nightclub
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Video: 360 of Fever Nightclub including flashing dancefloor
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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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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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Fridays @ Star Bar: 4th December 2009

On December 4, 2009, in House, Pop, RnB, Studio One (Star Bar), by James Tran

Fridays @ Star Bar

Assessment Time: 22:45pm – 01:45
Website: http://www.starbar.com.au
Address: George St, Sydney
Door Policy: Casual dress ok. Outfits are ok. However groups of guys are not ok. At its peak it is hard to get in, but after 2am, you should be able to get in wearing most attire.
Entry Fee / Cover Charge: Free
Guestlist: None required. However if you don’t match door policy, you will get the ‘guestlist’ treatment.
Inside: 3 levels, but only the top floor has a proper setting for clubbing. Medium-large round shaped dancefloor surrounded by lounges. DJ booth at the front. The middle floor has a DJ as well, but the volume of the music is laid back. There are also pool tables on these bottom two floors, and extra lounges.
Cloak Room: none.
Bar: 2 bars top level.
DJ: Video DJ for the top level, and normal DJ middle level.
Music: Rnb, house, pop.. all the typical top 40 tracks.
Crowd: Mixed nationalities, a mix of backpackers and locals, and mixed ages.
Entertainment: Glowsticks were being thrown out by the security guy onto the stage.
Atmosphere: Pretty average to good.

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