So, you’ve just turned 18 and have never been clubbing before, and the Melbourne nightlife scene is like a whole new exciting world that you are both excited and anxious to experience. Or maybe you’re older and just haven’t really given the clubbing scene a shot, because you felt like it wasn’t your thing or you just couldn’t make time for clubbing amongst your hectic schedule.
Everybody has a different perspective on the clubbing scene, and that perspective is often influenced by the places you decide to go to, along with the company you decide to surround yourself with for the night. Often you’ll find that you have to visit at least a few nightclubs before you can fully judge whether you’re into the whole party atmosphere or not, and it’s great to try out different scenes so that you can start developing your preferences on what sort of music you prefer to listen to, whether the place has an upbeat environment or a more chilled out vibe and if you prefer a classy or more casual context etc.
Now you’re probably struggling to consider all those factors, so I have devised a list of club options that would appeal to different sorts of tastes and preferences, and it’s up to you to keep reading and see whether you can associate to one of the categories that I’m about to list. Mind you, most people can’t be placed into one strict category (since most of us have a variety of interests), so this is just a loose description of the different clubbing scenes and a general idea of the types of people that go there.
For the classy cats, I would recommend places such as Penthouse, Alumbra, Lux, Eve and Club 23. They all offer a sophisticated environment and their dress codes are generally smart casual. Their locations also showcase their polished reputations; for instance, Eve Nightclub is located in the trendy Southbank, and Alumbra is located at the Docklands and offers a beautiful view of Victoria Harbour. Club 23 is located on the third level of Crown Towers and prides itself on its fashionable décor and expertly crafted cocktails. Generally, the music at these venues also varies depending on the various events that they host, but generally it will be a mix of RnB, house, hip-hop and party music.
On the other end of the spectrum, we have the hippy hipsters that usually characterize themselves as ‘indie’ with their oversized thick-framed glasses and wacky clothing combinations. These sort of people generally appreciate the edgy and quirky scenes; whether it be bars such as New Guernica, which has a Garden of Eden feel with its flora décor and mystical creatures that roam its abode, or Blue Bar with its hip hop beats and down-to-earth vibes. If you opt for a more upbeat environment with a similar edgy feel, one of my personal favourites is Perseverance Bar, since it blares ’90s tunes on Friday nights and brings about the nostalgia that most of us feel since we grew up listening to that music.
For the raging rockers who love rock music and can’t stand the whole ‘indie’ stereotype that has become extremely popular in mainstream society, give Cherry Bar a whirl; it is Melbourne’s first rock bar and therefore it owns its rock n roll classics and soul tunes. It’s even located in ACDC Lane in the city, which makes it even more awesome. There is also Ding Dong Lounge, which is Cherry Bar’s sister venue and also blasts its rock n roll nice and loud. If you love hard rock and heavy metal music, Bang! Nightclub is your best shot; your eardrums will cop a beating but it’s all in the name of good fun, especially when you get to rock it out to live bands. You will see all the anti-conformists band together here and take out their frustrations of the stupidity of mainstream society by head banging to hardcore music. Expect heavy eyeliner, band tees, piercings and lots of tattoos that are often a means of self-expression. Believe it or not, Bang! even has a retro room where you can give your bleeding ears a little relief with some cool pop tunes, and its upstairs section plays some dance classics, so either way your night will go off with a bang!
If you want to get wasted and have an awesome time that you probably won’t remember the next day, you should go to nightclubs such as Rats, Billboards and Anyway; they’re the sort of places that encourage you to let loose and have fun and they’ve usually got cheap drink specials in order to amp up your party mood. Don’t get too dressed up for these places though; people dress casually and only care about drinking up and dancing to quality music, whether it be a mix of 1990s and 2000s jams at Rats or house and electronic music at Billboards.
RnB lovers should check out Yo Yo Club Nights, Saturday nights at Chaise Lounge and Friday nights at Ms Collins – you’ll be swaying to the rhythm of the music all night. For those with an eclectic taste in electronic music, Lucky Coq swears by its electronic culture; their DJs like to experiment with all sorts of sub-genres in electronic music, which ignites the curiosity of those people who wander in to grab a pizza and kick back with a beer. It is pretty much a nightclub, bar and pub all compact into one, so it draws a large variety of different people and radiates a very chilled out vibe.
If you want to break it down to some catchy hip-hop beats, you can try out Friday nights at Laundry Bar or Trill Fridays at Marrakech Bar – they’ll have you preaching your inner gangster loud and proud. Marrakech even has an extensive cocktail menu that you can indulge in and a shisha lounge where you can kick back with good company and enrich your senses. Be sure to also check out Marrakech on a Saturday night – it plays a variety of RnB, pop and house music, which adds the cherry on top of its cool Moroccan styled atmosphere.
I could keep rambling about every single nightclub in Melbourne and how much fun you can have at all of them, but the options are endless and you’ll probably end up falling asleep and completely forget about your plans of partying it up at a nightclub. So I’ll conclude with the fact that Melbourne’s nightclub scene is extensive and diverse, and there is a whole world out there that you have yet to discover. Now that you’re all set, make sure you rake up some good company and show those nightclubs what you’re made of!