I can’t remember the last time I had a really good night out. Spending 6 months working on a dairy didn’t present too many chances. There was only the one small pub down the road from me, and I thought it was better to stay away and save the cash rather than wasting it drinking beers in a place that had no entertainment and was long overdue a make over!
So when I arrived in Sydney I was pretty excited to let loose a bit and see what the city had to offer. Walking through the CBD there’s absolutely no shortage of clubs, bars and pubs. I started my night out going to a few bars, making use of the ‘free drinks’ vouchers my hostel gave me. But I’d been in the first bar for all of one minute when I knew I’d be downing my free drink and getting out asap.
As I stood in a ridiculously long line waiting to get served at the bar my patience was seriously running thin. Getting hot and flustered, being shoved left and right, waiting tediously while the people in front ordered as many drinks as they could carry to avoid going back anytime soon. The girls around me dressed to the nines with their noses in the air, looking around to see which guys are watching. Shit music blasting from a crappy sound system, drowned out by people shouting to each other, trying to be heard.
When I was 18 I used to love these kinds of places, I don’t know why, maybe it’s just because they were popular and it’s where all my friends went. But I can safely say I’m well and truly over it now!
Drink vouchers used up I was eager to get out of these bars and move on to the main part of the night, a techno party at an inner city warehouse. Before coming to Sydney I checked out Resident Advisor, a music events website that tells you what’s going on in cities all over the world. And I’d been surprised to see that there were quite a few secret location warehouse parties going on in Sydney, so I picked one that looked good and bought some tickets.
When people think of warehouse parties they think of illegal raves, a bunch of kids with a sound system going crazy in some dingy, dark and rundown building. Maybe that’s the way things used to be, but more and more warehouse parties are becoming well-organised, official events, that give a certain kind of free energy a club just can’t.
The party I was attending was the result of a record label, music producer and events company coming together to present a night of techno music, showcasing both international and local professional DJs.
On the day of the party I got an email with the address along with free credit for an Uber Taxi. Uber Taxi is amazing, it provides private drivers and rideshares for cheaper than a taxi. I booked my ride from the centre of the busy CBD and within 4 minutes was picked up by a wee woman originally from Laos. She had sweets, bottled water and chatted away. Best taxi ever.
When I arrived at the warehouse the first thing I was met with was a bouncer asking everyone for ID. When I got in my name was checked off the ticket list and a girl put a wristband on me.
Looking around I took it all in; the natural wooden floors, the peaked roof lined with tinfoil, bare wooden beams going across the ceiling. The DJ booth in the centre, music playing crystal clear from the speakers, a visual on the wall behind, and laser lights flashing over the walls and floor.
There were sofas and crates to sit on, a half made kitchen in a corner, a covered Jacuzzi in another, a small room with nothing in it but a bath, and a trapeze swing hanging from the ceiling (although not to be used, the bouncer was soon on to anyone who tried). I have no idea what kind of person would own a space like this, or what it would be used for generally, but it was pretty cool. Best of all there was no bar. No long tedious queues, no over priced drinks. It was all bring your own.
Going to a warehouse party rather than a club was maybe a bit of a risk, I had no idea what to expect! But in this case the risk paid off. Overall it was a pretty awesome night with about six DJs playing their own takes on techno. It went from experimental, to uplifting, to pretty full on. With the setting, lights, visuals, and crowd, everything just came together.
But when the night was all over, when the last DJ ended the final track of his set and the lights came on, I realised that one of the best things about these warehouse parties is the people you get to party with. I used to think the people didn’t matter, that it was all about the music, but everyone knows how a few idiots can very quickly ruin a night.
The people that night were from all over, not just Australia. Not everyone was the same, they dressed differently, danced differently, had their own ‘styles’. But what everyone did have in common was a love for good dance music. No one had to get dragged out and thrown on the street by the bouncer, there was no dick head with bad breath dancing up in my face, it was just a group of like minded people listening to some pretty banging music.