From the ashes of Cave nightclub of 10+ years ago, The Star has opened a new nightclub – Marquee Sydney, sister club of the original Marquee in Las Vegas. I have heard stories of many people being turned away from the door for various excuses – Bad shoes, bad attire, too many guys, not enough people, too many people and the unspoken one of too many ethnics. Tonight seemed like the best bet to try to get in. Dressed our best, so here we go!

Crowd Shot

Saturdays @ Marquee Nightclub Sydney (at The Star (City) Casino Complex) 
Assessment Time: 11:15AM – 4:00AM
Opening Hours: 9:00PM – 4:00AM
Lockout: Unknown, but there are no pass-outs / re-entry once you leave. 
Address: 80 Pyrmont St, Pyrmont. It’s within the Star (Casino) Entertainment Complex. Walk in through the main entrance on the Eastern side, and the entrance to Marquee is immediately to your right.
Venue Website:  http://www.star.com.au 
Event Website:  http://www.marqueesydney.com , http://www.fb.com/marqueesydney
Occurrence: Every Saturday (and Friday)
Outside Line: Arrived at 11:15PM with about 60 people in the general line. The line has people regularly going through, but just not fast enough. The guestlist line is a separate line altogether, and people are actually legitimately being expressed through to the club without wait, as it should be. It took just over 30 minutes lining up here, quite long. Keep in mind though that tonight is a resident DJ night. If you wanted to come where when a huge DJ/band/act was playing, expect to queue up for 2 hours plus.
Dress Code / Door Policy The door policy is probably the strictest or, if not, one of the strictest that I’ve been to ever. Dress Code: Guys – You really need to have at least dress leather shoes with collared shirts to have a chance of getting in. Avoid sneakers or simple shoes . Girls need to dress up pretty well. Smart casual you can probably get away with for both sexes on a normal night. Now that you have clothing sorted, the ratio is the next thing – you need pretty much an even ratio of guys to girls with your group. A group of 3 Caucasian guys and 1 girl were rejected (I couldn’t guess what the reason was) . We were let in with 5 Asian guys, 4 Asian girls and 1  attractive Caucasian girl. Door Policy: No bottles, sharps or whatever. They even checked my keychain, and I had to throw away my compact swiss army knife into the bin, which was understandable, but sad for me. After being patted down you get a photo taken and your ID scanned into their computer system in case you cause trouble. It felt like  walking into a well dressed prison. 
Entry Fee / Cover Charge: $30 is the standard cover charge on a regular resident DJ night. If you are lucky/unlucky enough to hit a night where there is an International DJ or Popular local act playing, the entry fee will easily jump higher. E.g. The weekend Avicii played, entry was $60, Above and Beyond were $50.  In the future they will have a pre-purchasing system for tickets. 
Guestlist: See the website. I did send an enquiry but as of a month later didn’t get a reply. Try to send them a few emails to make sure they read it. Or just mention you have a few grand to spare.
Table / Bottle Service: Table (or Bottle) service is quite a new thing to Australia, but is common in the larger clubs overseas. There are some other places that have attempted to do it but here this is the true implementation of table service. Basically its a small table for you and some friends to drink at and signal to everyone else in the club that you have, or  have had, a lot of money. You get a big bottle of wine/champagne/vodka/whatever on your table ready to go. You also get very quick waitress service. It comes at the exorbitant prices from $3,000 $10,000, though I have heard more people say that it is $10,000 to get a table. Despite the prices, tonight all the tables were booked. Amazed.
Inside: After paying the cover, head up the escalators to enter the atrium / foyer where there is a cloak room and behind, a small open room to which there is a girl dancing with nothing but flowers and leaves on her. Ok, I’m impressed. On the left is a room (the “boom box”) which was unfortunately for a private party tonight, but on the right is the open main room of the club. Here the room is roughly divided into two areas – The bar at the rear and the main dancefloor down at the front. We enter through the rear to the main bar, which is a circular bar in the middle of this half of the room. Lounges line the walls here. It’s a medium sized bar and could probably hold 60 people around its circumference.

Stagger down to the next level (and the second half of the room) where there is a row of private tables with bottle service. Four tables on each the left and right hand side. It’s smaller than I expected. These tables are the only seats next to and on the same level as the dancefloor. The dancefloor itself is a medium sized floor approximately enough to fit 200 people or so in a packed situation. On the right there is a door to the outside smoking area, where there is a mini bar and some tables. On the left is a small passage that leads to an impressive bathroom. (more later). At the front is the DJ booth spanning the width of the floor. Podiums on the left and right. Above are concentric blinking led lights. The biggest thing you probably would notice though is the LED screen behind the DJ, spanning again the width of the room. It blurts out colours and shapes and what nots.

LCD Screen / DJ

Cloak Room: $4 per item. The only cheap thing tonight. 
Bar Prices / Line: $12 for my Gin and Tonic from the main bar. On the expensive side of things. The line though wasn’t long at all – you only had one or two orders in front of you. The mini bars outside and inside the bathroom foyer had limited drinks – about 5 or 6 bottles of spirits.
Bathroom Facilities: “Oh dayums” is the first thing that came to my mind. The common ‘foyer’/waiting area have sofas and tables with a mini bar setup. There are large vanity mirrors with separate globe lighting giving that hollywood feel. It’s well lit and kept quite clean. Best bathroom foyer area ever. Despite this, girls have a very long line ahead while guys don’t have a line. +1 mankind.
Eviction Count: None spotted. Thank the security measures for that
DJs: Tonight is the regular DJ residency opening night. Marquee Sydney have chosen Mind Electric as their DJ. 
Music Style: House music all night long. A mix of commercial and regular.. house (I am not good at differentiating the styles). Despite my friends previous history of not liking house events, the good sound system with select tunes allow the crowd to continuously dance. After 3AM the DJ started to play some old school house.  In the second Boom Box room (tonight it was reserved for a private party), there is RnB / Hip – Hop all night. 
Crowd: Hard to tell the ages but everyone is well dressed. I would say the range age of people in here were from their 20’s to late 30’s. Later in the night I even spotted some couples in their 50’s here. So long as you meet the door policy I guess. Primarily a Caucasian / Euro crowd. There was a separate Asian group spotted and a group of Indians, so it’s not all racist here. 
Ratio: Pretty even ratio throughout the main event. After 2AM it did skew considerably towards more men. 
Entertainment: You need to be pretty much flawlessly good looking to work here. There are podium dancers at the front, and the bar staff (the women anyway) wear a bra and vest only for their tops. At 2AM or around that time, whoever was left in the club were freely given glow sticks to wave around. 
Atmosphere: Dark is the main theme tonight. Dark enough to see your friends but not see other people in the distance. It’s a real club atmosphere. There were also heaps of people packing the dancefloor –  The aircon never faltered – we remain cool (literally) throughout the night despite the large numbers of people. Massive tick points. Music was pretty loud though on the dancefloor, bass so loud my whole body was vibrating. Conversations were pretty much mouth to ear. No smoke machines, but many lights flashing around.  Again, the big LCD screen behind the DJ is the highlight. People in general kept to their own little groups.  After 2AM there was enough room to freely dance around with arms to the side rather than just standing in one spot. Don’t go too crazy or security will ask you to calm down. After 3AM it was very empty, most people left opting to sit down rather than dance on the floor.
Video: Mini walkthrough of Main Room, and Music Timelapse. 
YouTube Preview Image

Timeline
Tie Envy
I’m well dressed like everyone else, so it is no surprise that a random girl came up to me, pulled my tie to the max (it’s on) and started to dance with me, without saying a word. Siiiick. Perhaps she was drunk. I’m cool with that, haha. So after a few moments she pulls me close, looks deep into my eyes, and that’s when it dawned upon her – I was not her boyfriend. He was actually just a metre away wearing the same shirt and similar tie to me. Well, that was awkward.

Table Envy
There was a particular private table tonight  who obviously had a birthday going on. Don’t know how much he paid, but throughout the whole night he had 2 girls (who worked here) in their tight clad outfits dancing, flashing lights around, and one who also had a portable smoke machine (it looked like a fire extinguisher painted black) – she was blowing smoke out at random times. They would dance and follow him everywhere around the club, when he went to the bar (which he didn’t have to) , to the floor, or to the toilet. It was so over the top that people on the dancefloor were actually turning around AWAY from the DJ so they can observe this one table being blessed with beautiful girls dancing around, fire extinguishers, etc. Kinda jealous.

15 minutes of lame
There was a guy standing in front of one of the podium dancers pretending to gyrate with her while he stands on the floor, and her up on stage. Kinda strange and after about 10 minutes, it was creepy.

A mini reunion
I spotted a familiar face from 2 years ago!  She was a country bumpkin girl we met at the Coogee Bay Hotel. At the time, she managed to lose her phone, her passport, well pretty much she lost everything in the club and she thought we had stolen it. We ended up having to comfort her and her tears for the rest of the night, in the freezing cold until someone finally woke up to let her into the hostel. Again, kind of awkward as it took her quite some time to recognize me again. Must’ve been my haircut since then.

Arrivederci  
We partied on until closing time at 4AM, but I could have left at 3AM and not missed out on much.   

Final Thoughts & Recommendation
Had a pretty good time tonight. This is a purpose built venue for clubbing and it’s hard to find such a venue similar in calibre in Sydney, which is kind of sad. So long as you pass all the trouble of getting in and paying the entry, you will definitely experience a good clean club atmosphere. I don’t know about whether I would come back  regularly but I would say this is one of those places where you would save up some money before going in and that you should definitely try out with a small group of friends. I would advise that, if you don’t care about the music, to pick a night where there is just the regular DJ’s playing, so as to avoid lining up for long periods of time when they have a huge International act playing, so as to also minimise your cover charge.

Marquee nightclub Sydney (regular night) – 8.5/10

Revisits:

(1st Dec 2012) Saturday Resident night
– Security were much more relaxed
– I was able to walk in *without* a collared shirt
– The general line up at midnight was only approx 20 minutes (Tonight there was no special DJ)
– There was a notable slightly less of a crowd, if anything, but still very busy on the floor. 
– Drinks are still a rip off at $12 for a vodka+whatever (double that for a double shot of course) or a shot of Wet Pussy
– Much more diverse mixed crowd here.

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4 Responses to Saturday Nights @ Marquee Nightclub (The Star): 5th May 2012 + Revisit

  1. james says:

    word on the street is that entry fee has dropped to $20 on a regular night.

  2. […] Wow, no longer $25 entry? $20 is back on par with other ‘premium clubs’ (barring Ivy/Marquee) but these guys were previously charging  $25 for other events. Perhaps people are getting tired […]

  3. […] For the Marquee attenders who don’t feel comfortable in Asian clubs, come here on a Saturday […]

  4. Anonymous says:

    is there any special dress code for ladys?? Like can we were boots in?



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