Best nightclubs in Melbourne
Hardcore techno, deep house, nu-disco, dancehall, R'n'B, drum'n'bass: you can hear it all at this 24-hour super-club. Some of Melbourne’s best promoters and touring agencies book the rooms here, and it's also often the venue for festival and gig afterparties.
Best for: An ultra-diverse range of dance music.
A red neon sign in shouty capitals marks the entrance on Brunswick Street. This more recent addition to Fitzroy’s late-night scene is many things, but subtle isn’t one of them. DJs spin electronica at all hours here, plus they have a 5am liquor license on weekends (3am midweek).
Best for: Those seeking a nod to the hedonistic social scene of 1980s New York.
When you're ready to lose yourself in more minimal, immersive dance music, head to Loop. Semi-regular parties feature underground techno artists with proven technical skill, often with live visual artists to accompany the tunes.
Best for: Discovering the next big thing in experimental dance music.
Club promoter Steve Costa founded New Guernica with an eye to bringing international underground legends – like Chicago house DJ Derrick Carter and UK garage pioneer DJ EZ – to Melbourne.
Best for: Earning your stripes as a discerning dance music-lover.
Bar, nightclub and notorious pick-up venue is quite a reputation, but Ms Collins owns it all with no shame or pretence, making it refreshing for the up-market drink scene.
Best for: Those who prefer a cocktail with their late night dance session.
Nestled in the wonderful seediness that is King Street, sits serious dance venue La Di Da. It’s not the biggest or the best club down that end of the city, but by golly it parties hard. Friday nights mean three rooms of music plus a burlesque show to get you going, while Saturdays play host to a butt-load of DJs and cheap drink specials.
Best for: Shaking that thing well into the AM.
You can go in to hear some soul-tinged deep house on a Friday night and not emerge until Sunday evening, having worked your way through explosive house and thudding techno.
Best for: Dancing past the point of no return.
Melbourne's best party nights
Last year DJ Andrew McClelland (that’s Mr McClelland to you) and his finishing school were forced to abandon ship when their usual haunt, Bella Union Bar, closed in October. Luckily for party-inclined Melburnians the monthly party night landed on its (dancing) feet with a regular spot at Collingwood hotspot the Gasometer Hotel. If you’re intimidated by the doof doof of club party nights, Finishing School is for you. McClelland spends all night spinning the best of pop from last year’s greatest hits to the songs your mum listened to as a teen. It’s fun like your primary school disco, but actually cool.
The details: 9pm. $10. Third Friday of each month.
Funk never went out of fashion at Soul-A-Go-Go, and once you’ve been to one of the venue’s monthly party nights you’ll see why. Organised by community radio stalwarts PBS106.7, Soul-A-Go-Go is the biggest regular night of funk and soul music in Australia. It’s the kind of place where everyone knows what a 45 is and dancing is more shake your hips than bang your head. As well as featuring Vince Peach, the DJ for PBS Soul Time program, Soul-A-Go-GO regularly features live acts to get you in the old-school mood. If your perfect night out features dancing and good vibes then Soul-A-Go-Go should be your go to for getting down.
The details: $40-$45. First Saturday of each month.
Kick off your weekend with PnB Fridays at Laundry Bar. The Fitzroy club is the place to go for rap and hip hop in Melbourne, with PnB (that’s, ahem, party n bullshit) Fridays regularly packing out the house. Every Friday you can expect straight rap and hip hop playing across two levels. Got some dollars to burn? High rollers can nab their own booth and even a drinks package if that’s what they need.
The details: 9pm. Every Friday.
Fans of themed parties assemble! There is a magical place you can visit every week that is always up for a bit of themed fun. Supersmall Club is on every Friday and Saturday at Good Things in South Yarra. Nostalgia is what the club does best: previous parties have featured The OC, Britney Spears and Spice Girls themes. It’s the sort of place you can shamelessly scream your lungs to ‘Wonderwall’ while drinking hilariously named themed shots.
The details: 8pm-3am. Free until 10pm. Every Friday and Saturday.
House music is great and serves its purpose well (that is, giving inebriated people something to move to). But if you’d rather head somewhere that sounds like the ‘70s, then make a beeline for Burn City Disco at Brown Alley. The first Friday of each month is the club’s dedicated disco night with live new wave disco DJs setting up grooves all evening. You’ll need to shell out some moolah to get in, but for eight hours of disco bliss (it runs till 6am) it’s well worth it.
The details: 10pm-6am. $20-$40. First Friday of each month.
Calling all LGBTQIA party people: the 86 bar on Smith Street is where you need to be every Thursday night. The dancefloor at this all-inclusive and wheelchair accessible party is heaving with disco and pop bangers from 9pm, and local drag and performance artists take to the stage at 10.30pm, 11.30pm and 12.30am. With $5 tequila shots all night and $10 cocktails before 10pm, there’s no better place to party with your fellow queers.
The details: Thu 8pm-3am. $5 after 9pm. Every Thursday.