Your guide to queer life in Sydney, from friendly places to the best parties in town

Queer eye on Sydney


Meet the crew: Heaps Gay

Whether you're gay, straight or somewhere in between, you'll have a heaps good time at one of Sydney's favourite queer and inclusive parties.

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The Bearded Tit

If you want to see Sydney at her absolute best, go for a drink at Redfern’s neighbourhood art bar, the Bearded Tit.

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Gay and lesbian


Come here for regular queer nights, fresh band gigs, and the legends from Bad Deep doing a bi-monthly party.

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Sydney's nightlife, now

Sydney’s nightlife scene has shifted dramatically since the controversial lockout laws were first imposed in March of 2014. The changes have been felt in a myriad of ways for punters, promoters, partygoers, DJs and musicians and, most visibly, the venues. Since Time Out initially reported on reforms, the Flinders, Soho, Trademark, Q Bar, Hugos Lounge and the Backroom have all closed.   The lockout laws were introduced in March 2014 by the state government in an attempt to curb alcohol-fuelled violence, following a number of fatalities. The suite of reforms mainly have affected the ‘entertainment precinct’, which stretches across the CBD, Surry Hills, Darlinghurst, the Rocks, Kings Cross and Cockle Bay, and include 1.30am venue lockouts, the 3am cessation of alcohol service at bars, pubs and clubs and the state-wide take-away alcohol must not be sold after 10pm. As a result the laws have affected the way Sydneysiders go out… What were once bustling nightspots are now much quieter, there’s been as dispersing of revellers to the fringes of the city, and generally there is a lot less positivity towards late night culture in what could and should be a vibrant and functional, 24 hour city.   Tyson Koh is someone who’s entrenched in music and nightlife in Sydney. The producer and programmer of the ABC’s long-running Rage, Koh also DJs and has thrown a few parties in his time. He heads up the alliance Keep Sydney Open, which is fast gaining momentum.   “We’re aiming to get publ

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Winter at North Bondi Fish

Things are changing at North Bondi Fish, Matt Moran’s sprawling seafood restaurant with its famous ocean views. The venue has had a spruce up and new head chef Zac Sykes (Coogee Pavilion, the Fish Shop) has revamped the menu with fresh, seasonal and sustainable produce. “My favourite dish at the moment is butter poached cuttlefish, fennel and lemon balm risotto with nori powder,” says Sykes. “I love using cuttlefish as it has great flavour and just like Aussie calamari, it’s sustainable, so you know it’s not overfished in any part of Australia.” Head into North Bondi Fish on a Thursday or Friday night and you can try one of Sykes’ #notjustfish creations, where he favours the likes of pork belly with braised cabbage and polenta or slow-cooked beef shin over seafood. Enjoy the special with a carafe of wine for two people at $30 per head. Winter warmer cocktails are also available throughout the cooler months and include tasty adult treats such as an Irish Coffee or a Kentucky Toddy served in a teacup. Or pop on down for Aperitivo hours, Wednesday to Friday from 4-6pm. NBF are also hosting an after party for City2Surf. Tickets include a three-hour beverage package, food by Sykes and DJ Alice Q playing on the balcony from 9am. Now that’s what we’d call a fun run. Winter trading hours are Wednesday to Sunday, noon till late.

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Rock Lily Trivia Tuesdays

Rock Lily, the music-comedy-entertainment venue on Level 1 at The Star, Pyrmont, has a trivia night every Tuesday, from 7.30pm. There’s no cover charge, pizzas are just $10, there are $15 beer jugs and parking is free if you spend $15 in one go. Now here’s the kicker. Many pub trivias will give you $100 in bar credit as first prize. Hell, some will give you less. But at Rock Lily the prize is a cool $500 cash – every single Tuesday. Plus, there are prizes worth $100 and $50 for second and third place respectively, and spot prizes throughout the night. That’s right. Win the comp and half a K is yours for the taking, no strings attached. Mind you, with such a generous jackpot at stake, The Star are serious about the cardinal rule of trivia: namely, no phones, tablets, notes, newspapers or other forms of external assistance – on pain of disqualification. They monitor this closely, so hands off the phones, people. Teams can be as small as two and as large as ten. The smaller the team that triumphs the bigger the individual cut, but then the bigger the team the wider your knowledge base. There are two rounds of 20 questions. Good luck.

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Blackbird and Laugh Mob present Harbour Comedy Club

Blackbird laughing in the dead of night... Contemporary eatery Blackbird Café in Cockle Bay Wharf has joined forces with Laugh Mob to launch Harbour Comedy Club on Thursday nights. The new comedy club will present both Australian and international talent and kicks off at 8pm on Thursday July 28 with headliner Gary Eck, a veteran of the local scene whose credits include co-writing Happy Feet 2 with George Miller. Regulars at Harbour Comedy Club will include Edinburgh Fringe Festival award winner Brendan Burns, heavy metal comedian Steve Hughes, Al Del Bene and Tony Woods from the US, plus local heroes Neel Kolkhatar and Frenchy. You can reserve a table by emailing Entry includes a beverage on arrival and drinks specials will be available all night.

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