13 underground parties to hit this month in Sydney

Photo credit: Cai Griffin/Voena

Lockouts are a bitch, Mike Baird is a killjoy and developers are circling Kings Cross, waiting to pounce.

But if you put aside the obvious bad news, there’s actually plenty in Sydney to cheer about right now. Take, for example, the league of underground promoters who are putting on seriously cool shows despite the maelstrom around them – away from the major clubs, the likes of Spice, Heavenly, 4our, People’s Club and Charades are pushing the best in house and techno every week for the love of it.

Even as the weather takes a turn for chilly, these party crews are putting on shows very much worth getting off the couch for. So from dates with international heroes to small affairs with the city’s best selectors, here’s 13 underground parties you should hit before the month is through. (And for some longer range planning, put Charades’ date with acid house pioneer DJ Pierre in the diary for June.)


BNR x MTK: Mayday Launch ft. Stephane 1993

Get a jumpstart on the weekend with Motorik tonight at 77, where they’re marking the release of the new Boys Noize album Mayday with a set from homegrown techno star (and BNR recruit) Stephane 1993.

Where and when: Thursday May 19 @ 77, Darlinghurst

Peoples Club presents Club Night #6

Local pros Sonderr, Steven B.C., TGMN and Keace will lead the party this weekend at Peoples Club’s new lockout-free venue in Paddington.

Where and when: Friday May 20 @ 11A Oxford St, Paddington
More info here

Community Service with T.hanks & Natalja

House bash Community Service is back to serve you this week with Sydney producer T.hanks leading the line-up. Entry is free.

Where and when: Friday May 20 @ Tatler, Darlinghurst
More info here

Picnic presents Jack J

Canada’s Jack J, the guy behind’s last year’s super hit Thirstin’,  has the reins at Jam Gallery on Saturday. Backing him up is Picnic head honcho Kali – who is back-to-back with Adi Toohey – and Valerie Yum.

Where and when: Saturday May 21 @ Jam Gallery, Bondi
Tickets here

Something Else with Tiger Stripes & Simon Caldwell

“Two rooms, two solid AF headliners, one international star and one local legend” is how Something Else are selling their double date with Swedish identity Tiger Stripes and Sydney’s own Simon Caldwell. Sounds good to us.

Where and when: Saturday May 21 @ The Burdekin Hotel
Tickets here

Ghostly Presents: Marquis Hawkes

Ghostly are bringing the UK’s Marquis Hawkes to town for a “ruthlessly pumping club set”.

Where and when: Saturday May 21 @ venue TBC
Tickets here

Spice Cosmic Cats Edition

Dress up in your “cosmic cat” best for the latest edition of Spice, which hits a new location in the Inner West with friends like Robbie Lowe, Mike Witcombe and Cassette on the decks.

Where and when: Saturday May 21 @ 386 Parramatta Rd, Parramatta
Tickets here

SASH By Day / Night with Gabby and more

The SASH festivities stretch over 14 hours this weekend, kicking off with a Gabby-headlined SASH By Day at 2pm at the Greenwood Hotel and then moving onto Home Nightclub at 9pm, where the party will run until 4am with Pepperpot and a pair of secret guests on the bill. SASH HQ advise taking Monday off work now.

Where and when: Sunday May 22 @ The Greenwood Hotel and Home Nightclub
More info here

Picnic Social with Sydney Pony Club

Picnic’s (free!) weekly bash Picnic Social returns to Tatler on Sunday.

Where and when: Sunday May 22 @ Tatler, Darlinghurst
More info here

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Something Else With Phil Smart & Trinity

Something Else have an amorous end to the month of May planned. They’ve recruited two husband and wife DJ pairs – Phil Smart and Girl Friday, plus Trinity and Dave Stuart – to take the reins down in the Burdekin dugout.

Where and when: Saturday May 28 @ The Burdekin Hotel
Tickets here

Front Left // Techno Affair 0.2

Front Left are on a mission to “reground, re-encapsulate, and reignite a somewhat lost part of Sydney’s underground dance music culture,” something you can get behind at the launch of Not Mani’s Leechers EP on May 28.

Where and when: Saturday May 28 @ The Red Rattler Theatre, Marrickville
Tickets here

Detroit Swindle @ Chinese Laundry

Nightlife star Chinese Laundry doesn’t exactly fly under the radar, but it is (physically) underground and the place where Amsterdam-based house duo Detroit Swindle will play next weekend, so we figured this one was worthy of an inclusion.

Where and when: Saturday May 28 @ Chinese Laundry
Tickets here

House of Mince 5th Birthday ft. Boris

House of Mince – one of the 25 parties you need to discover before you die – are celebrating their fifth birthday with Ostgut Ton’s Boris, coming out all the way from Berlin.

Where and when: Sunday May 29 @ Cruise Bar, Sydney Harbour
Tickets here


Charades present DJ Pierre

Acid house hero DJ Pierre is coming to town this June to school Sydney in the genre he pioneered. Lock it in, Eddie.

Where and when: Saturday June 25 @ Civic Underground
Tickets here