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LGBT events, gay clubs and bars and all that's queer in Melbourne

The best gay bars in Melbourne
Bars

The best gay bars in Melbourne

You would think what with the fanfare surrounding Sydney's annual Mardi Gras festival that the harbour city was the clear ringleader of Australia's gay scene, but Melbourne certainly gives its sibling some decent rivalry. After you're all partied out (for tonight), tick off our five ways to show your pride in Melbourne, or up your 'extra-curricular' game by visiting our top five sex shops.

Sex on premises venues in Melbourne
Sex and dating

Sex on premises venues in Melbourne

Guys, looking to get some action without navigating Grindr? You can always go to an SOPV. Here are Melbourne’s top five gay saunas and cruise lounges – remember to play safe. While you're at it, check out our list of top gay bars and pick-up bars.

The best outdoor queer-friendly bars in Melbourne
Gay and lesbian

The best outdoor queer-friendly bars in Melbourne

Summer’s the perfect time for birds of a feather to preen themselves, particularly if you're already out and about getting your Midsumma fix. We've found four outdoor bars for al fresco drinking and perving. Looking to push on? Check out the best gay bars and karaoke spots in Melbourne.

Hares & Hyenas
Gay and lesbian

Hares & Hyenas

Having been in operation for over 20 years, you’d expect Hares & Hyenas to be a well-oiled machine… but this humble-looking bookshop is more like a super power-packing transformer. Bookshelves stuffed with fiction, biographies, humour, photography, erotica, religion, gender, coming out, fanzines, health and educational tomes can be wheeled away so that the room is adapted into a venue with theatre seating, a stage, and a lighting and sound system. Whatever mode it’s in, there’s a fully licensed bar and café, and an exhibition lining the walls at all times. Hares & Hyenas is the project of Rowland Thomson and Crusader Hillis, who met at Melbourne University in 1975 and became partners a few years later. In the 1980s, Hillis owned an art-house video shop in Elwood, while Thomson co-owned Dizzy Spinners on Brunswick Street – an early incarnation of the current Polyester Records. In 1991 they joined forces to open Hares & Hyenas, which moved all over Melbourne before settling in Johnston Street’s Spanish quarter, where they’ve been made to feel welcome. “The changes in 20 years are fairly staggering,” notes Thomson. “People only used to come in wearing sunglasses.” It’s now become a hub for not only the queer community, but anyone interested in socialising in a literary setting. Hares & Hyenas plays host to two book groups, a stitch’n’bitch, ButchFemmeTrans, Rainbow Girls and Rainbow Guys, to name but a few regular meet-ups, and has put on 350 spoken word events. “We also did

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Time Out Food Awards
Restaurants

Time Out Food Awards

Forks at the ready, Melbourne: the Time Out Food Awards are returning. At the George on Collins on Monday September 2, Time Out readers will join the stars of the local restaurant industry to celebrate the city’s best restaurants, cafés and chefs. Expect delicious canapés, Bisleri Sparkling and Still Water, refreshing ales from Gage Roads, and wine and spirits. MasterChef season ten fan favourite Khanh Ong will be your host, announcing winners in categories such as Best Cheap Eat, Chef of the Year and the coveted Restaurant of the Year award. There will also be a new People’s Choice Award celebrating signature eats worth searching for, in partnership with Google. Make sure you read our guide to unique eats in Melbourne, try them all, and get voting for your fave. Tickets ($55 + BF) go on sale from August 1 and will sell quickly, so mark your diary, save the date, spread the word and snap your eating adventures using the handle #foundongoogle.  These awards are made possible thanks to our sponsors Google, Gage Roads Brewing and Bisleri.     // var exampleCallback = function() { console.log('Order complete!'); }; window.EBWidgets.createWidget({ // Required widgetType: 'checkout', eventId: '64954843686', iframeContainerId: 'eventbrite-widget-container-64954843686', // Optional iframeContainerHeight: 425, // Widget height in pixels. Defaults to a minimum of 425px if not provided

Vote for unique eats in Time Out’s Food Awards
Restaurants

Vote for unique eats in Time Out’s Food Awards

By Time Out in partnership with Google For the Time Out Food Awards 2019, we are partnering with Google to discover unique dishes in our neighbourhoods. We searched far and wide to find some awesome local heroes doing great things worth searching for. The People’s Choice: Signature Searches award invites Time Out readers to discover and try these amazing eats, with the chance to win tickets to the big Time Out Food Awards event in September and more.   Here’s what involved. Step one: Read all about Google Signature Searches here. Step two: Try them!  Step three: Vote for your favourite and have your say, tagging #foundongoogle Vote now Further event details can be found here.      In association with 

Land Rover Secret Rooftop Drive Experience
Things to do

Land Rover Secret Rooftop Drive Experience

How about some executive stress relief in the middle of Melbourne city? We’re talking an exhilarating rooftop obstacle course, and a brand new Range Rover Evoque to test your driving skills on. It’s the ultimate city buzz for motoring fans, and it’s free.  The Secret Rooftop Drive Experience is on top of the Golden Square Carpark for four days only, from Thursday August 29 through to Sunday September 1. Upon arrival behind the yellow door, grab a coffee from the barista, lounge in the social hangout, admire the skyline views and prepare yourself for one hell of a ride. The 15-minute driving experience will take you around a circuit featuring ramps, obstacles, props, projections and artist-painted murals.  You’ll be test driving the new Range Rover Evoque – the compact SUV that has a coupé-like silhouette but all the features of an SUV. It’s a hi-tech four-wheel drive with a clean, pared-back design, on- and off-road handling and intuitive technologies. Those technologies include sensors for emergency automatic braking, lane keep assist if you drift out of your lane, front and rear parking assist with audio and graphics, and rear camera for reversing. Boasting retracting door handles and nine-speed automatic transmission, the vehicle has interactive driver display with two high-definition ten-inch touch screens showing driving information, entertainment and active safety data, plus navigation with live traffic updates. There’s phone, music, radio, podcasts and vehicle-optim

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Australian Realness

Australian Realness

Zoey Dawson has been one of the most popular playwrights working in Melbourne’s independent theatre scene for the last few years, but this new play marks her mainstage debut. It's a comedy about class in which the cast shine twice; playing two different characters – one bourgeois, one bogan. The cast features Linda Cropper (aka Geraldine from Offspring) alongside André de Vanny, Emily Goddard, Chanella Macri and Greg Stone. Malthouse's artistic director Matthew Lutton says the play starts out as a very recognisable satire but then questions the tropes of Australian class comedy. “It’s sort of looking at the way that class is weaponised, used politically, and asking if it’s an economic definition, a cultural definition; or if any of the definitions are true anymore – or if they’re all porous and constantly changing.”  See what else is in Malthouse's 2019 season.

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