Velvet Fridays @ The Vault: 28th January 2011

On January 28, 2011, in RnB, The Vault, by James Tran

Today is the last day of my job. Quite a sad affair, but it was another reason to celebrate. I’ve pretty much had a lot of pre-drinks tonight at a bar nearby, and just to make my friends happy I have sorted out a guestlist for The Vault tonight, as most did enjoy it last time, so here we go!

Me

My little reserved area

Velvet Fridays @ The Vault
NB: Tonight I was pretty drunk..
Assessment Time: 11:25PM – 02:15AM
Opening Hours: 10:00PM(?) – 03:00AM
Lockout: Unknown tonight
Address: 122 Pitt St, Sydney. Opposite the Westin Hotel (1 Martin Place) Sydney
Venue Website: http://www.vaulthotel.com.au
Promoter Website: http://www.velvetfridays.com.au
Occurrence: Every Friday since late 2010
Outside Line: 2 or 3 people outside the front. Friends who weren’t before were worried it was a representation of a bad night inside, but two floors can hold enough :)
Dress Code / Door Policy: Smart Casual is encouraged here – some of my friends wore just shirts and jeans with sneakers, and were able to get in. I had a blazer, jeans and clean white sneakers.
Entry Fee / Cover Charge: Free before 10:30PM if on guestlist. $15 before 11:30 on guestlist, and $20 full entry. Tonight is the farewell of me and my job, so I’ve been granted free entry, a small reserved area by the bar and a bottle of Chandon sparkling wine .
Guestlist: Emailed mine to velvetfridays@live.com.au at 2PM earlier in the day, and received a response and confirmation, which was good.
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 remember pulling out a $5 to pay for the cloak room but I don’t know if I got change.
Bar Prices / Line: Line in the upstairs bar was not long – probably 2 deep for a 5-10 minute wait. Same for the underground level.
DJs: Unknown, but probably the same ones as last time.
Music Style: Mostly RnB the entire night.
Crowd & Ratio: Mostly Asian Australian tonight. I don’t remember encountering any other nationalities, though amongst my personal group tonight were some backpackers from Korea and Brazil
Entertainment: MC to keep things going.
Atmosphere: Half the time I was upstairs, but during the time the floor wasn’t too busy, you could get your own spot and room to dance without being squished, but there were always people around you when you danced. Downstairs was much more of a busy affair throughout the night, where you are kind of restricted to your own spot – however more people were down here which added to the good vibey atmosphere. Tonight kind of glad that there were no fights that threatened the club to be shutdown, unlike last time I was here.
Video Montage: Walkthrough ground, under ground level, and music sample of the night. 
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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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We spent a good 2 hours at Pavillion dancing then it reached around 12:30, where everybody typically leaves. It was time to find another club, but we just ended up walking around half of the Sydney CBD area checking out the typical clubs…. so here we go!

11 Quick Club reviews as seen from outside the club aka Window Shopping – 19th December 2009. (Northern Sydney CBD)

Saturdays @ Star Bar on George St
– Packed. However we had overdosed lately on Star Bar and its amusing crowd of non-english speaking tourists. It was a no go tonight, no matter how tempting it was to go inside there.

PS. I no longer write reviews when I visit star bar, as I visit this place too much.

Saturdays @ Arthouse on Pitt St (1am)
– Tonight was not an ‘Asian’ night (Fame), but it was a white-crowd event. House music was playing outside, and there was no line outside – it looked pretty shit inside from the outside. There was a cover charge.

Saturdays @ The Vault on Pitt St
– We walked by this bar and heard RNB music playing! Whoa, we have to try it out. We walk up to the entrance and there is a smallish dance floor with about 15 people dancing on it – it was almost dead, but better than Pavillion. However the bouncer refused us entry on the excuse of ‘a private function’. We were 4 guys so it was understandable, but the private function excuse didn’t seem congruent, as there was no second person to confirm a guestlist. Whatever, it was dead.

Saturdays @ Coolabar
– Music is pumping out, tape and escalators are in operation to the bar upstairs. There are two people outside. It was on! We know Coolabar is a shithole, but we want to wow the crowd inside, if there was one.

We run up but the two people inside tell us we can’t go inside, as the place is closed. What!?! You wonder why some places are even open at all if they are closing at 1.30am on a Saturday night.

Bamboo @ Martin Place Bar
– The line is shorter than usual, but there *is* a line, which is better than the other places so far. Entirely asian, and RNB playing outside, it is tempting to go inside, but all four of us were not big fans of paying $25 to go inside. People inside had santa hats on. We could see Jason the resident Korean bum dancer hogging the podium from the outside.

Security came up and spoke with us. We had a short fun chat and perved on some girls walking by, you know, typical man stuff. Security was called to kick out a drunk person. Moments later he is walking out with a drunk girl and 3 of her girlfriends supporting her. haha, it is not classy at all to see a drunk girl, let me tell you that. Security tells the girls it is all ok, and wraps his arms around the two girls beside him. LOL omg he is hitting on drunk girls outside of thd club – I want to be a bouncer now!!! haha, what a sneaky sleaze.

Funky Buddha @ Verandah Bar on Castlereagh St (Martin Place)
Here they recently opened the trance room again (after a 3 or 4 year absence). Cover is $20, crowd is asian, music is RNB and trance.

We ask some girls who left Funky Buddah if it was any good.
“Average” was the reply. It was in other words, shit. There was, though, a line outside, so it must be somewhat ok.

I do want to check it out as it’s been a while, and I have to see how the Trance room looks now.

Saturdays @ Red Room Hotel Chambers on Castlereagh St (Martin Place)

We were able to peek inside from the entrance – and even though it looked crowded, it didn’t seem like a fun atmosphere. Music was old school RNB, with a cover charge of $20 and an asian crowd.

Tank Nightclub (Bridge lane)
OneLove moved to the Bourbon about a month ago, and we did not know if there was any event, so we took a punt and walked here. It was, unfortunately, closed. (At the time writing, Onelove @ the Bourbon has also shut its doors)… I think I might start a new event here! ha.

20/20 @ Brooklyn Hotel (George St Circular Quay)
Ever since Privilege closed for renovations a few weeks ago, promoters Hypnotize moved their Saturday event to Brooklyn and joined with Urban Agent to help out. The result is that my favourite place to go for free drunk girls and $17 Vodka Red Bulls has turned into a cover charged event full of not so drunk people. I yearn for the former glory days of seediness.

I peek inside the main rnb room and it is pretty packed. I go around the back and look down in the outdoor courtyard area where they are playing house/trance. Back in the no-cover charge days, the place usually had 5-10 people dancing max, while the others sit and watch. Now with the help of the promoters, the entire back area as PACKED. Jesus fucking christ I could not believe what I was seeing – Brooklyn Hotel actually packed out! I could not see any concrete, it was just a sea of people standing up, dancing and cheering. It looked pretty awesome. The bartenders must be having a hard time adjusting to actually having to work non-stop.

However my friends, still don’t want to go inside. They are pretty adamant about not going inside here, considering the crappy times they had the last few times. haha.

Also, regular patrons here (i.e. the islanders) were lining up to get in, not knowing that they need to pay entry. There were some outside, thinking of other places to go. So the crowd inside was a mix of islanders, asians and aussies. Cover charge I am guessing is $20. Based on what I saw, it looks good.

Sienna @ Establishment on George St
We are just walking by. They’re playing house music, though I had thought Sienna was an RNB event. The crowd is dominantly Euro, and cover charge is $20. I do need to check this place out too. It looked pretty busy from what we could see

Saturdays @ Ivy on George St
Loud, and looking quite busy. We can’t see inside from the street but we can hear people cheering from the inside. Sounds like fun. Am definitely going to spend a night here one day next year.

Saturdays @ Bar 333 on George St (2am)
Bottom level was closed and upstairs looked pretty dead.

Arrivederci
By this time we have given up, and we have managed to end up back where we started – standing outside Star Bar. I was dying to do any form of dance, but friends were puffed out from walking up and down the CBD for 2 hours. Fair enough, but I wish they were keen for a dance!! So we called it a night.

Recommendation
If I had to pick a club tonight, it would be 20/20 @ Brooklyn Hotel.