Spring has now fully sprung, football season is almost over and those who fled winter are returning from their northern hemisphere summer sojourns. The Grand Final public holiday weekend feels like the moment when Melbourne’s party season officially begins. Here are five of the best places to hit the dance floor.
Thursday: CC:DISCO! set, Sub Club
Melbourne-born, now Lisbon-based artist CC:DISCO! had already cemented her reputation as the queen of Naarm’s dance music scene – but if there was any doubt about her status as an international superstar, it was put to bed when she played an epic set in front of 4000 punters at the Royal Exhibition Building during the Now or Never closing party with the KLF.
This Thursday night, CC – aka Courtney Clarke – returns to her club roots with an intimate five-hour marathon set before her hometown crowd in the basement of Sub Club to celebrate her EP launch Chez Moi. She’s supported by Zjoso, Skylab host and part of its local collective. It’s sold out, but cross your fingers for tickets on the door.
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Friday: Closet’s 14th Birthday, The Gasometer Hotel
Long-running queer party Closet – the outfit behind camping shindig Gaytimes Festival – will celebrate its 14th birthday with an open-air, day-to-night affair at the Gasometer.
Front up to the raucous, sweaty dance floor under the mirror ball with a joyous mix of house, disco and techno with a heavy dose of Kylie Minogue’s new album Tension sprinkled in. The retractable roof will be open for a host of DJs and performers from Melbourne’s queer scene, including incomparable queen Aysha Buffet and DJs such as Gay Roberto and PBS’s Niamh.
The trio behind new queer rave Kiki Bouba, – which will be held the night before, down the road at Fitzroy’s Bad Decisions – will also be there.
Final tickets are $55 plus booking fee here or on the door.
Friday: Closer Festival, Timber Yard
English techno producer and DJ Four Tet will play a last-minute party at Port Melbourne’s 1500-capacity indoor-outdoor venue Timber Yard on Thursday evening. Unfortunately for many, tickets sold out in a matter of hours, a testament to the enduring popularity of the 46-year-old who won a whole new generation of fans with recent collaborations with Fred Again. Join the waitlist or check for resale tickets to get lucky.
However, on Saturday September 30, Timber Yard will host techno festival Closer, where the likes of Ukrainian DJ royalty Nastia and Greek live techno maestro Stef Mendesidis – known for blending original drum beats into mixes using four decks – will play alongside locals such as Transenergy’s Sophie Forrest.
Final tickets from $119 plus booking fee here.
Friday: Listen Out Festival, Caribbean Gardens
Kicking off the festival season, travelling single-day hip-hop and dance festival Listen Out celebrates its 10th anniversary on Friday at its new home in Scoresby’s Caribbean Gardens. The aforementioned Four Tet is headlining the Tiktok-heavy line-up alongside LA’s dubstep and EDM producer Skrillex, rising hip-hop star Ice Spice and Australian acts like Mallrat and Young Franco.
Joining the line-up will be London-born Jyoty, who will bring her energetic, genre-blending DJ sets to Bourke Street Courtyard for a day party on Saturday September 30. You’re likely to hear Beyonce, Bollywood and hyperpop blended seamlessly together.
Tickets from $204 here.
Saturday: Sleep D Live Album Launch, Max Watt’s
While Sleep D hails from Frankston, the DJ duo (and founders of record store Butter Sessions) are legends and staples of Melbourne’s music scene.
For those who aren’t celebrating the Grand Final on Saturday, Sleep D will take over Max Watt’s for the launch party of its highly anticipated album Electronic Arts. It’s the first hometown show since the last-ever gig at Inner Varnika earlier this year. Expect a touring live set paired with trippy visuals and lighting by Rhys Newling. Supports from live electronic duo OK EG, YL Hooi & Tarquin Manek, Kate Miller and Kasun.
Tickets from $40 here.
Check out more of Melbourne’s best bars for dancing here.
The writer is co-director of Closet and Gaytimes Festival.