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The best queer parties in Melbourne

Whether you are LGBTQIA or an ally, these are the best places to dance and let your hair down

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Closet
Photograph: Brandon Cook

Looking for somewhere to dance the night away with your LGBTQIA community? We danced till dawn at clubs all over the city (it's a rough life, we know) to find out the best places to put on your boogie shoes. 

Some of Melbourne's best queer parties move around, and some have fixed nights at one venue. Here are our favourite parties. 

Recommended: The 50 best bars in Melbourne

 

Mother
Photograph: Claire Davies and Jean-Louis Carvalho

Mother

A party for queer women and those who love them, Mother takes over Chapel Street nightclub Attik every Friday night. Entry is free, and there are free midnight snacks to keep you going. The music skews to ’90s and noughties feelgood pop hits (think ‘We Are Never Ever Ever Getting Back Together’, ‘Bootylicious’ and ‘Hit Me Baby One More Time’), and the crowd are here to dance and have a good time. Wear jeans, shorts, a bandage dress, lots of make-up, no make-up, heels, sneakers, whatever – just make sure you’re dressed to dance till 3am.

Fri 9pm-3am.

Thursgay
Photograph: Cloxic

Thursgay

If you want to go to Thursgay, go early or wear comfy shoes, because you’ll be waiting a while. The queue often stretches down the street (and around the corner on Thursdays before public holidays, such as Easter), with partygoers ready to stick it out even in bad weather. Music is mostly noughties and now, and the crowd is on the young side – who might be the only people who can party all night on a Thursday. Karen from Finance hosts Lipsync for Your Pint after midnight, when partygoers can make like contestants on RuPaul’s Drag Race to win a frosty beverage.

Thu 10pm-4am.

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Closet
Photograph: Brandon Cook

Closet

Here, queer and ready to dance until dawn – this is not your intro-level party. The music is house and disco, not pop, and the beats are relentless. Everyone here is down to dance – you might want to cancel your early brunch plans the next day. This party moves around, so check the Facebook page to find out where you can get your boogie on. It’s been serving Melbourne’s queer community for almost a decade – if it’s your scene, you’ll soon see why.

Various times and locations. 

Friyay
Photograph: Matto Lucas

Friyay

Rather than a nightclub, this party feels like the coolest house party you were probably not invited to in uni. The venue, Francesca’s Bar, looks like it was once a house (it almost certainly was), with a pressed-tin ceiling and brick walls making a homey, comfortable atmosphere. The lights are not nightclub dark, so you can actually see and talk to your mates, and the music is old-school R’n’B and pop (‘It’s Getting Hot in Here’, ‘99 Problems’, ‘I Saw the Sign’). The crowd is mostly female, and sneakers and jeans are the most common uniform. Friyay is on once a month over summer and twice a month in the colder months – check the website for upcoming parties. And make sure you find out the password (post on Facebook, and always cat themed) in advance.

Fri 5pm-3am.

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Sundaylicious
Photograph: Ari Neubauer

Sundaylicious

An offshoot of the female-only Pinkalicious party, Sundaylicious means come as you are – and come to dance. It’s been going since 2009 and is hosted one Sunday a month at various locations around the city. You can make an afternoon of it, with entry from 3pm, or dance all night. Some 500-700 people turn up to each party, and the crowd is majority female. The music is house, with DJs from 4pm. It’s quite the Sunday session – just don’t expect to be all that productive at work come Monday morning.

Various times and locations. 

Or party at a permanent gay bar

Drag queen on stage at Sircuit
Photograph: Dean Acuri
Bars, Gay bars

The best gay bars in Melbourne

Here’s our guide to the Melbourne’s gay venues, our home ground where communities not only come together, but where the can relax and enjoy themselves. 

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