Long-standing Sydney gay club Midnight Shift was recently overhauled as Universal Sydney, carrying on its tradition of LGBTIQA+ inclusivity on Oxford Street, home to the internationally famous Mardi Gras parade.
In a town of few custom-built clubs, Universal stands out. Its assets include a proper DJ booth, ample dancefloor space to roam and, crucially, a whole lot of lasers. In addition to queer-friendly weekly programming, Universal also attracts scene-shaping internationals like Octo Octa, Eris Drew, Umfang and Prosumer.
Beloved by Sydney’s underground heads, Civic Underground has long housed one of the city’s best sound systems.
Hidden underneath a workaday CBD pub, the Civic’s programming has always been on-point. The club favors a rotating cast of Sydney’s house and techno promoters, who bring guests like Martyn, Function, Michael Mayer and Anthony Naples. With a sunken dancefloor in the speaker sweet spot and capacity for just 350 people, it’s the place for head-down, no-frills music appreciation.
Split across two levels, Harpoon Harry boasts a bar for eating Cuban food and the Harry’s dancefloor for getting down.
Located in the bar and restaurant mecca of Surry Hills, Harry’s champions largely local talent on the house and disco vibe. Curated by Sydney authority DJ Kali, the parties often feature all-night-long sets from homegrown heroes like Simon Caldwell and Sleep D, with a particular upswing during Sydney’s citywide Vivid Live festival. With a young, clued-in crowd, this is where visitors might discover a new favorite DJ.