First published on 1 Sep 2011. Updated on 24 Feb 2014.
Melbourne’s gay club scene is looking a bit sorry right now, following the closure of The Market. Sure, the Greyhound’s had a much-needed facelift, but with it and the only other full-time gay club, The Peel, both catering solely to the twinky pop scene, it doesn’t offer much in the way of diversity, ironically enough. Thank the gaylords then for the city’s outstanding circuit party scene – big dance parties that only happen two or three times a year, usually around holiday weekends, and regularly switching venues. Some may even argue that their outstanding success is ultimately responsible for killing the dedicated scene. Considering how good most of them are, that’s fine by us – weekly clubbing is so bad for your skin/liver/wallet. The club’s dead, long live the circuit party!
Run by one of Melbourne’s hottest house DJs, Papa Tom, and his hunky hubby Damo, Nurse Betty is without a shadow of a doubt the best Melbourne’s gay dance scene has to offer. Kept small and intimate, you can’t even buy tickets online; those in the know pick them up at the boys’ house. The rotating venues are meticulously chosen for their awesomeness, and always have a great outdoors area for the dedicated smokers. Happening twice a year, on New Year’s Day and Easter Sunday, expect some seriously sexy house, a friendly, jumping crowd and, of course, the fabulous antics of our favourite drag queen, the towering Nurse Betty herself!
Best for... the most fun you can have with your guys and gals and the inimitable Betty.
If hairless twinky boys aren’t your thing, and you’d much rather get to grips with the hairy and handsome type then this boy-only circuit party is the one for you. Held, funnily enough, at Smith Street’s Sircuit bar, organizers Vic and Alex transform the joint into one of Melbourne’s sexiest dance parties for the night, importing an awesome sound and light system, as well as some of the hottest and most talented (and hairy) DJs, from George Roussos and Charles Fenech. The next party is on Saturday, Oct 1.
Best for... sexy, hairy men having a damn good time.
About to celebrate an impressive milestone, Melbourne’s premiere leather fetish party will blow the roof off Geddes Lane club on Saturday, Sep 3. In these times of blink and you’ll miss it fads, any club night reaching its 11th birthday is to be congratulated, and that’s due in no small way to the sterling efforts of the Beyond boys who are committed to the leather scene. The party kicks off five times a year, usually at Chasers or Geddes Lane. While leather isn’t necessary, a strict dress code that demands black is enforced – no runners and light blue denim! For boys and girls with a kinky twist, the uplifting house gets everyone in a lather. Just don’t spend the whole night in the dark room.
Best for... the kind of bad behaviour you can’t mention over coffee break at work on Monday.
Born in some seedy dark corner, the bastard love child of the original Trough Faggot parties and some indeterminate devious hustler, Trough X is one of Melbourne’s most original circuit parties. The dirty brainchild of Nik Dimopoulos and Timothy Moore, the salivation-inducing art work by John Tsiavis says it all. This one’s for the buff n hairy and very, very naughty. Often found lurking in the dark dungeons of Club 80, Sydney’s Stereomonogamous boys regularly haul their hot asses down and spread some sexy, sleazy beats. For the more faint of heart, Trough’s sister (or should that be brother?) party, John, draws a younger arty fag crowd with a love of the Gaga.
Best for... mind-blowing videos and posters that’ll leave you with a horn on for the next party.
The Rogue parties have become so huge on Melbourne’s prettiest, most twinky scene that they’ve even spawned multiple spin-offs, from a recent collaboration with enormous interstate party Daywash to the fabulous, seemingly never-ending after parties, hosted at Boutique last time round. The crowds are ridiculously huge without exception, and everyone really lets loose with the fun times. Expect big hair and plunging singlets as the hottest kids in town rock their most fabulous outfits alongside their glammed-up best girls. The third birthday on October 31 is sure to be huge, so don’t miss out.
Best for... seas of smooth-chested boys plucked within an inch of their lives.
Blonde on the Rocks
The boys ain’t having all the circuit party fun. Melbourne’s luscious ladies have their very own boho travelling party, with quite possibly the best name of all. Blonde on the Rocks sprawls across several dance floors, most recently in Banana Alley’s vaults under Flinders earlier this month, working dirty electro beats, grinding R&B and sweet, sweet vocal house. Attracting all, from the buff gurrls to the fabulously femme fatales, all end up deliriously happy on the rocks by the end of the night.
Best for... the hottest, wildest girls in town.
The rarest of the rare, this party may only happen once a year, at the dirty end of Midusmma Carnival, but it sure makes up for lost time. Having recently crossed the river, from Alexandra Gardens to Birrarung Marr, the T-Dance has lost none of its power. Bringing all shapes and sizes out onto the grass with a tinny in hand, it’s got a real old school vibe to it, harking back when dance parties where unadulterated fun, and you can rely on at least one dance diva belting it out live for the crowds. It really is the highlight of a long, queer summer. midsumma.org.au
Best for... dancing your feet sore as the sun drops down behind the stunning city skyline.
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