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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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Where to celebrate Easter in Melbourne
Things to do

Where to celebrate Easter in Melbourne

There are long weekends, and then there’s the Easter long weekend: four days to kick back, and the promise of chocolate eggs into the bargain. Many Melbournites will take the opportunity to leave town for a short break, but if you’re staying in the city there are plenty of festive-themed events taking place in bars and pubs across town. Thursday night parties will lead the charge into Good Friday, and there are bottomless brunches, Easter cocktails and pizza specials over the entire public holiday. Roasts are a popular option for family get-togethers on Easter Sunday, and most of them include Easter egg hunts for the kids (book Sunday lunches online to avoid disappointment). So get cracking!

6 things to try this Festival de Luxe at Chadstone – The Fashion Capital
Comedy

6 things to try this Festival de Luxe at Chadstone – The Fashion Capital

Warm up your funny bones and get ready to laugh till you cry Melbourne. Festival de Luxe has returned to Chadstone – The Fashion Capital for the month of April delivering side-splitting comedy, awe-inspiring acrobatics and eye-widening performances. This year the festival has teamed up with the Melbourne International Comedy Festival to bring some incredibly funny comedians to the southeastern suburbs. We love a laugh, so we went along to the first day of the festival and found out exactly what you need to experience at this year’s Festival de Luxe.

Warm up (and cool down) this footy season at Transport Bar
Bars

Warm up (and cool down) this footy season at Transport Bar

In Melbourne, most locals can hardly wait for summer to end each year. No, it’s not that they’re fed up with the hot weather – it’s because the end of summer each year means one thing: the start of the footy season. Because the return of the AFL (and NRL if that’s your thing) isn’t just about the games. Oh no. It’s also about the atmosphere – the ability to bond over a few drinks with a couple of strangers before a match or commiserate with other fans after a loss. And for locals, Transport Bar epitomises all that’s good about the footy season with free-flowing beers, pub food and friendly crowds. The appeal of Transport isn’t just its location. To be fair, the location is a big drawcard for fans headed to the MCG, with Transport right next to Flinders Street Station and only a 15-minute walk to the ‘G (ten if you’re really keen). You can even catch a tram from Transport to Marvel Stadium in Docklands for free (catch the number 75 or 35 from Flinders Street). But the bar has also won over fans from all sporting codes for its impressive list of beers, wines and cocktails that help make match day just that little bit better. We challenge any beer lover not to find something they like at Transport Bar. The venue rocks 15 beers on tap (including Furphy, Little Creatures and Guinness) as well as a huge number of bottled beers from Melbourne and around the world. Prefer a vino before the big match? Transport has six different wines on tap and a whole lot more by the bottle. And f

Zach and Viggo: Thunderflop

Zach and Viggo: Thunderflop

Off the back of three International tours across the US, Europe and Australia, Norwegian-American comedy duo Zach and Viggo have returned to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival with their show Zach and Viggo: Thunderflop. You can catch these former clown-school mates on stage with their anarchic, high-energy performance at The Greek Centre until April 21. Zach Zucker, Viggo Venn and Jonny Woolley (Canada) met at Ècole Phillippe Gaulier in Paris, a prestigious theatre and performance school whose alumni include Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter, so if you’re a fan of physical comedy, then you’re going to love what these boys have to offer. They have been touring together ever since, performing a unique mix of physical and stand-up comedy throughout the world and winning awards left, right and centre. The biggest of these accolades are the Best Comedy awards at both the Adelaide (2017) and Brighton Fringe Festivals (2016), as well as selling out back-to-back seasons at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, which is no small feat. This is even more impressive, considering their show is completely self-funded, produced and independent. They’ve sold out in cities like Berlin, Copenhagen, New York, and Chicago and also won crowds over as far-flung as Norway, with Best Show of the Year in 2016. And the best news of all? The tickets to this award-winning show are discounted for Time Out readers. Just use the code NORWAY when you buy your tix online and you’ll get a swee

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