Stereosonic Sydney 2013 – Nov 30 and Dec 1st

On November 30, 2013, in Stereosonic, by James Tran

For the first time the first big summer festival has gone for 2 days. With it came a $200+ price tag. Hilarious as on the day scalpers were desperately selling their tickets, and friends were snapping up tickets for as low as $40.

I dressed up as a Banana, because the costume was just lying there.

Call me Eric

Call me Eric

In summary

– Two days (Saturday and Sunday) was a bit too long for me (I did go clubbing after the first day on Saturday, though).
– $8 cloak room

– Expensive as usual $8 for half strength middies
– $11-$12 for Vodka Red Bull cups.

– $12 for lamb souvlaki hot dog

Disappointing things
– David Guetta / Armin , as much as I like them … just never sound as good on an open air stage. Though “ping pong” by Armin van Buuren was a highlight of his set.
– Nobody seemed to enjoy Empire of the Sun until they played their big hits.
– The price of drinks and food. At least some bartenders gave discounts to me 😉
– Security policing two person ladders in some rooms!! Boo
– Cigarettes everywhere
– It was absolutely so shit that the Ferry Corsten Room / Kabuki Room was relatively ‘small’ and was closed off earlier in the day.

Good things
– Axwell (played a lot of Swedish House Mafia Songs)
– Andrew Rayel
– Gareth Emery
– Zedd. Nice save in the middle of his set when the music cut off. He got the crowd to sing along to Clarity until music went back up again. Some crazy German girl grinded my banana suit for about 20 minutes and forced me to hold her. I only wanted to enjoy the music.
– That temporary DJ that stood in for Alesso, mainly cause he played hit after hit.
– Calvin was alright as well
– David Guetta looking like Jesus, as per Champagne Showers.
– Nandos
is cheaper than normal shops here. (it was the same price as normal Nando outlets)


Me Harassing someone at Stereo

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Stereosonic Sydney Main Stage Music Timeline 

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Full On /Kabuki Room presented by Ferry Corsten (Day 1 only)

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Would I go again?

I was quite hesistant to go this year (I have seen most of the acts already from previous festivals), and I am less likely to go next year unless its an epic line up or price drops considerably.  But you never know.

My advice (if you have been to a festival before) is to wait until some of the headliners announce side shows, as they usually stay in town for a few days to play surprise last minute side shows. Armin has done it two appearances in a row and some others have done sets at other clubs as well.

If you haven’t been before, its good to go for the experience, and then don’t go again. Unless you’re into shredding and parading your gainzzz.

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A surprise side show announcement by Armin van Buuren. FUUARRRRKKK. Got my tickets and off we go!


An Intimate Night with Armin @ The Metro
Assessment Time: 12:00AM – 3:00AM
Opening Hours: 8:00PM – 3:00AM
Lockout: None
Address: 624 George St. Google Maps:
Venue Website:
Occurrence: Once off show, which was only announced after his Stereosonic gig the Saturday prior – Sly Dog. 
Outside Line: We got in right away at midnight. 
Dress Code / Door Policy: It’s pretty open, most wore casual tonight. 
Entry Fee / Cover Charge: $90 at the door. $80 pre-paid online. 
Inside: It was held in the main theatre
Cloak Room: There may have been one but I didn’t use it. I doubt it. 
Bar Prices / Line: Didnt drink here tonight, I had pre-drinks at Star Bar next door – much more cheaper. 
Music Style: Trance
Crowd: All ages (above 18 of course), all nationaties were here. Mostly 20’s and low 30s crowd. Basically people who aren’t working on Friday, or who don’t give a shit about being a little tired on a Friday morning. 
Entertainment: Some acts prior, but I skipped them. 
Atmosphere: Definitely a packed house – people were forced to party on the stairs (which was a fire hazard but nobody seemed to care). I was on the moshpit and it was pretty rocking but OMG we probably stood in a bad spot right in front of the speakers. Ear plugs I wore only helped a little bit. People were all into the songs, dancing, cheering etc. Wasn’t too hot at all here, just only got warm from all the dancing. 
Video: Music  summary of what I heard tonight.
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I have literally finished with the Stereosonic Festival and ready to clunk out at home. On the way to my car, a friend calls me: “PARTY IN THE CITY TONIGHT JAMES!”. The problem is that I’m wearing this giant toothpaste costume, and its covered in dust, dried sweat, and spilled drinks from the hours prior. “Don’t know if your costume will get in, but try anyway!” is the reply to my question. Okay, good enough.

An hour later and I have arrived. Dress code here is Smart Casual, but I have a strong suspicion that they are very lenient tonight regarding dress code, due to Stereosonic removing pretty much more than half of the crowds from the city’s clubs tonight. Suspicion confirmed, as the security allows the giant toothpaste costume through without any questions. The toothpaste party continues! Here we go!

Most of the crowd @ 2AM

Sassy Saturdays @ World Square Pub (Formerly known as Equilibrium)
Assessment Time: 12:50AM – 3:00AM
Opening Hours: Unknown (Facebook page states 8PM, but I think 10PM?) – 3:00AM tonight.
Lockout: Unknown.
Address: 680 George St, Sydney. Google Map Link:
Venue Website:
Promoter Website: Appears to be a multiple promoter event. Dynamic Entertainment ( & and others.
Occurrence: Every Saturday since September 2011
Outside Line: A handful of people, but we got in within 5 minutes.
Dress Code / Door Policy: As mentioned before, usually a no daggy clothing policy applies, but due to Stereosonic being on, the dress code was pretty much open. Costumes and hats were freely allowed in. Though marty was asked to remove his wig when he was inside.
Entry Fee / Cover Charge: You would have thought I remembered how much the charge was here. Last time I was here at this event (no review was written) it was $20, but from the depths of my memory it MAY have been $25, but I cannot remember. Either way, it is at least $20 for full entry. If you are on the guestlist, a discount probably applies before either midnight or 11PM. You will need to contact a promoter for exact details on this one.
Guestlist: If you can find a promoter, go through them, otherwise send an email to:
Inside: Previous weeks had the event held upstairs but tonight it appears that only downstairs was open. Perhaps they expected a low turnout tonight. Regardless, enter into the ground level to enter the “stand around” atrium like area, with dancefloor on the right to hold about 80-120 people. In front of you is the corner of the bar. It extends down the left side where there are lounges and tables. On the left is the outdoor smoking area. it’s a long space and enough for most people to get a lounge seat or a table.
Cloak Room: No cloak room facilities tonight.
Bar Prices / Line: Unknown, but you could get service pretty much right away. 
Bathroom Facilities: Pretty clean and maintained well tonight.
Eviction Count: None spotted. There were not that many people here tonight anyway.
DJs: Dirty Dex for most of the night.
Music Style: Pop, House, RnB , and many “Songs dedicated to the people from Stereosonic” – mostly LMFAO songs or something house related lol. All from the same DJ so minimal song repeating, if any.
Crowd: Mostly Asian tonight. It’s a mix of local and international Asians. also as the night progressed on, the crowd became more and more comprised of people dropping in from Stereosonic. I would suspect that without the Stereosonic crowd, tonight would have been pretty dead, as are the clubs out there. Rest of the crowd were a handful of South Asians/ Indians, and some Caucasians. 
Ratio: Despite low numbers, the ratio was fairly even throughout most of the night.

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I bought myself a ticket pretty much ASAP after seeing the line-up announcement; I was surprised it didn’t sell out sooner. Anyway after a week of torrential rain and people selling their tickets, mother nature did behave today and the sun was out in force. Just right for me to put on my toothpaste costume and party!

FIrst impressions of the bowl

FIrst impressions of the bowl

Stereosonic Festival Sydney @ Olympic Park Showgrounds
Assessment Time: 3:45PM – 11:00PM
Opening Hours: 12:00PM- 11:00PM
Lockout: None
Passouts: No pass-outs are allowed
Address: Olympic Park Showgrounds, Homebush Bay, Sydney.
Venue Website:
Promoter Website:
Occurrence: Once a year since 2007, held early December / Late November, held in different capital cities.
Outside Line: Transport via train was no hassle, while lining up to get inside the stadium was pretty fast as well – I walked all the way to the right of the multiple gated entry where there was no lines.
Dress Code / Door Policy: Pretty much you can wear anything that is in good taste, but you can’t bring in alcohol, weapons, drugs etc. I was wearing a toothpaste costume.
Entry Fee / Cover Charge: $150 at the gate, while early bird ticket prices ranged from $110 to $135. The Sydney festival sold out a few weeks beforehand. A friend bought an e-ticket via a “promoter” and subsequently had his ticket invalidated at the gates – he was basically, conned and ripped off. he had to pay $150 at the gate for a brand new ticket. What luck. Always be careful when buying tickets not from Ticketek or Moshtix.
Inside: Think of the Easter show, and replace everything with music. Here is a map of the layout. In the stadium and some of the other smaller grassed stages, there are floorboards placed, so that you don’t stomp on the grass and get all muddy feet, in the event that it rained.
Cloak Room: There was one available but I didn’t use it today. Last year it was $3 per item.
Bar Prices / Line: I bought stuff but don’t remember prices – a can of Smirnoff red would be at least $10. These are typical for festivals.
Bathroom Facilities: At the stadium there were long lines for women, and not so long lines for the men. Outside there were plenty of port a loos for everyone (so as far as I am aware)
DJs / Artists: Armin van Buuren, Carl Cox, LMFAO, Empire of the Sun, Afrojack, The Bloody Beetroots, Avicii, Benny Benassi, Ferry Corsten, Dirty South, Kaskade, Dash Berlin, and more.
Music Style: Artists primarily reflected on electronic dance / dance culture music.
Crowd: People of all ages are here from all backgrounds to see their favourite act or to enjoy the show.

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Vanity @ Verandah Bar: Saturday 27th November 2010

On November 27, 2010, in RnB, Verandah Bar, by James Tran

I just finished Stereosonic, still upset I wasn’t able to wear my bubble wrap suit, as it got rejected at the gates. So where is a place that could let this outfit in? All I knew and all my friends knew that was there was a beach theme for Verandah Bar tonight. Oh well, I suppose let’s make the most of this thing shall we – here we go!

She loves the bubbles

Some people have serious bubble wrap fetishes

Vanity @ Verandah Bar
Assessment Time: Entered late at 01:00AM – 03:15AM
Opening Hours: 10:00PM – 04:00AM
Lockout: Around 2:30AM
Address: 55-65 Elizabeth St, Sydney.
Venue Website:
Promoter Website:,, (I believe they are backed by )
Occurrence: Every Saturday
Outside Line: There was no line at this time when we arrived, but we had to wait about 5-10 minutes before we could get in, either due to being it busy inside or to keep up appearances outside to anyone walking by – it was the latter.
Dress Code / Door Policy: Today was a beach theme, we saw people walk outside with their thongs on, even though it was advised not to. Also people were allowed to wear singlets inside as well as hats.. anything beachy. Half the guys here wore casual and the other something dressy. Girls mostly wore dresses here, unless they were here for the podium dance off .
Entry Fee / Cover Charge: $25 Full Entry. $20 guestlist before midnight. Free before 10:30PM if you are on the guestlist.
Guestlist: See websites above, and on facebook. Last time i sent mine to (still valid at time of writing)
Inside: After paying entry, you can visit the gambling room, which served no other purpose, or head straight into the main area where you are frisked before entering. Walk into the main dancefloor area separated into two distinct areas by columns and central podium – A dancefloor half that is kind of narrow .. about 10 people wide while spanning the length of the entrance to the bar, which would be about 40 people, and a second half of primarily people dancing, standing around, and others walking through. Walk to the back half of the club where a bar on the right serves the entire venue, and on the left are lounges to hold approximately 3-5 birthdays for 10 people. At the far back is the “Verandah” itself, a 2 person by 40-50 person smoking area where you only have standing room.
Cloak Room: $5 per item. Cloak area is located on your right as you walk inside the the main venue.
Bar Prices / Line: I didn’t drink tonight. Last month though, 5 Malibu + Lemonades and a Smirnoff double black would cost $52.
DJs: Unknown tonight.
Music Style: Primarily RnB with house and hip hop mash up later in the night. No complaints here, as I was only here for a short time and didn’t experience repeated songs.
Crowd & Ratio: Tonight the crowd is majorly Asian Aussie. There are a handful of people from stereosonic.
Entertainment: Theres a bouncing inflatable dice ball being thrown around the venue. Fun times, but eventually is taken down by security at around 2:00AM. There are also podium dancers, both guys and girls, which is good.
Atmosphere: On the dancefloor itself it was pretty busy and vibing. Out in the back half of the venue where the bar is, it is quite busy, but people here are more or less standing around and talking, and not dancing. The back area here is not suited for dancing as there isn’t much dancefloor space. Some of the lounges, chairs, etc are free for people to sit on. The outside narrow area for smoking is very busy/packed.
Video: 360 view just after 1:00AM
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Line up looked really good, so we thought it would be very good value considering other festivals were 20-30 dollars more expensive. So got some tickets and off we went.. here we go!

Stereosonic Festival Sydney 2010 @ Sydney Showgrounds: Saturday 27th November
Assessment Time: 02:00PM – 11:00PM
Opening Hours: 12:00PM – 11:00PM
Lockout: Entry at anytime.
Passouts: No passouts at all.
Address: Sydney Showgrounds, Olympic Park. Basically walk out of Olympic Park station, walk down to the road and turn right.
Venue Website:
Promoter Website:
Occurrence: Once a year.
Outside Line: It probably took longer to queue in the train station to get out rather than queuing to get scanned to get in – aka there was plenty of people to scan you in. There was only one person in front of me when I was going in.
Dress Code / Door Policy: There is no dresscode, you can pretty much wear anything. Most people wore causal gear and every person here also wears sunnies. It’s a necessity. Taking your shirt off is frowned upon especially in the moshpit areas. Police were ordered to refuse entry to anybody not wearing a shirt upon entry. It didn’t matter as heaps of guys were walking around inside with their shirts off, albeit they almost all had shirts tucked away somewhere just in case they were asked to put them back on. In terms of costumes – there were the Mario brothers, a dude in a a full body red spandex suit thing, a dude walking around with a twister board around his neck, and Lil Jon. It was either me or there wasn’t much creativity in terms of dressing up. I was forced to take my outfit off before entering the venue. See more for details below.
Entry Fee / Cover Charge: $120 1st release, $125/130 second, $135 3rd and final release.
Inside: Basically if you have been to the Easter show here at Homebush, its all the areas converted to DJ areas. There were 7 stages including the main Stereosonic stadium itself. 2 of the rooms were enclosed, and the other 5 were in open plan areas. Needless to say all had large capacities. Thank god the weather held up today. There was surprisingly no silent disco area, despite some other cities having it. Complete setup at the website PDF map
Cloak Room: $3. This is probably the only fairly priced thing here today

Bar Prices / Line: Bar lines went very quickly if you went to the right ones. Some bars had massive long lines eg the ones outside Creamm stage, but other ones barely had anybody lining up, and you could just walk straight to the bar eg the bar outside Carl Cox stage near the DJ Hero playing area. Pricing was $9 for a Middie of Smirnoff. A total blatant rip off!!! Previous festivals had them at $10.50 for full strength Smirnoff black and we are hit with Middies. Stupid angry alcoholics who ruin it for everyone. Even so, its still a rort and a half – I didn’t feel the effects at all from the drinks. 
DJs: Tiesto, Calvin harris, Sebastian Ingrosslo, Benny Benassi, Wiley, Ricardo Villalobos, Luciano, Andy Murphy, Carl Cox, TV Rock and more. Complete line up found on the PDF map .. with about 50 acts listed
Music Style: Mostly Soft/Uplifting Trance, Dance, Electronic, various different House styles of music here. 
Crowd & Ratio: Mostly Anglo-Saxon crowd. Pretty much an even ratio here all around. 
Entertainment: Besides the main stages, there was a DJ Hero play area, a riding bull, human ten pin bowling (you are strapped inside a huge inflatable bowling ball) a passion pop photography area, food stalls, water cool down areas. There were also some amusement rides. 
Atmosphere: Pretty good/vibrant everywhere. Early on before 6PM most stages were at about half capacity or less. Browntown, OneLove and Sneakerpeeps stages experienced it the worst, where no more than 30 or 40 people would be dancing there at the same time. Of course, these were the smallest stages. I’m not into the Carl Cox style of funky house, but the people there who were into that really enjoyed themselves, and there were plenty of them. Main arena was atrociously packed near the mosh pit, and I never got a chance to go inside (they actually have a sealed off moshpit area here, quite generous in size). Outrage was openly busy throughout the day thanks to its location right next to the entry gate. Also Cream(field) stage was also full of patrons throughout the day and night, you couldn’t go wrong here. Tiesto atmosphere fizzled after a stage power blackout near the beginning of the set. Very unfortunate.

Video: Ten pin bowling
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Stereosonic main stage during Calvin Harris set – just before Tiesto
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