All Under One Roof Raving: Reclaiming Sydney’s Nightlife


“Don’t park too near the venue, we don’t wish to draw any pointless consideration. Please be respectful of the native residents and maintain the noise down when approaching and leaving. Most importantly, take pleasure in your self and take care of your mates.”

It’s an indistinguishable however immediately recognisable sound. For the initiated, it’s a reticent din, a monotonous patter that pulls you in, calling you nearer. The distance beckons, pulling you alongside as you stroll the trail into what most would contemplate your run-of-the-mill, barren industrial space – some revellers know higher. That metronomic thud. Static within the air… The warehouse, that’s the place it’s coming from.

The journey in is half the enjoyable. Electric. Invigorating. Excruciating. Be it via industrial desert, or desolate bush, the sound guiding you and your mates, main you in the direction of the evening forward. Supplies in tow. The esky on its final legs, slowing you down. “Which method did we come from? Where are we even going?” It doesn’t matter when you see it. This should be how these vacationers really feel after they set eyes upon the Acropolis. The Mecca of the night.

You stroll as much as the door. No doorhandles. Crouching down, you peer via. Nothing… Can you are feeling it? Yep. The vibration, pulsating via the constructing’s skeleton. Dark. Smoky. There’s one thing candy within the air. Like you may style it. Feel it. You attain out into the shadows as your hand brushes velvet, then pull again a curtain to disclose the stomach of the whale. This is you for the night, the place the weak grow to be heroes – deep contained in the carcass of what was as soon as a bustling manufacturing facility; visions of a buzzing warehouse, now nothing greater than an empty shell stuffed with smoke, sweat and sound.

All Under One Roof Raving: Reclaiming Sydney’s Nightlife

Florian Kupfer. Undisclosed warehouse. 2018. Photo: Thomas Clarke.


It’s a pilgrimage that has developed, extra on impulse or maybe intuition than something, as a pure development for Sydneysiders trying to reclaim their as soon as burgeoning nightlife scene. It’s a name taken up by those that’d moderately swap the confinement and mundanity of a now gentrified membership circuit for plumes of thick fog and shrouded, cavernous, open rooms. Mixing the unmistakable scents of rented smoke machines with the waft of fast-warming cans of beer, amidst a sea of our bodies, all smiling, all dancing; the warehouse has blossomed as a legit response to Sydney’s present nightlife predicament – sporadic and spontaneous, its nature is self-effacing and lends itself to (for lack of a greater flip of phrase) proudly owning the time, moderately than the venue. In different phrases, it’s the being there moderately than the whereabouts… whether or not you truly personal the keys is inappropriate.

There are quite a few causes as to why the warehouse celebrates a disavowal of, and disrespect for, the idea of possession, however none more-so than legislative measures efficient February 24, 2014. Lockout legal guidelines reworked the locus of Sydney’s nightlife from considered one of insular centrality to what can solely be described as an efficient city, industrial sprawl. Kings Cross was crossed out. Today it’s been changed by that constructing out again by the outdated ‘Kings Furniture’ retailer , or at a crossroads someplace deep within the internal West. The hub was dismantled, the remaining elements and partygoers strewn throughout our Portside capital and left to their very own units.

With nowhere else to show, they turned to ‘nowhere’. Whether it’s a gutted, low-lit showroom that also lingers with the mystique of its retired, wheeler supplier salesman or a fairytale scene expertly hidden beneath a essential street bridge – the setting itself is primarily a foil for these typically intangible components that make an evening so nice. The great thing about the warehouse is that it encompasses and envelopes these, and conjures them into moments. Anyone who’s been to 1 has a narrative, the reminiscings of a time or place or track that they will’t fairly neglect:

All Under One Roof Raving: Reclaiming Sydney’s Nightlife

The Eviction Party. 1995. Photo: Sydney Rave History.

Organic and spontaneous, there’s an innate sense of freedom to be discovered within the warehouse. It’s occupation of the peripheral is liberating; whereas the truth that everybody who attends is in essence a contributor to the night breeds one thing else fully. There is a divinity that surrounds the music on this component, transcending the way in which a track could usually be acquired in a membership setting.

The crowd is there. Purposeful, absorbed and engaged in a way of unity that’s exhausting to pin down and wholly unattainable exterior of its realm. It’s for these causes that each weekend (nearly with out fail) you’ll see pins being dropped routinely by enthusiastic DJ’s and get together organisers throughout town, making an attempt to unfold the nice phrase and breathe new life right into a scene that’s been nestled firmly behind the eight ball for some years.

All Under One Roof Raving: Reclaiming Sydney’s Nightlife

Dope Tings Crew. 2018. Photo: Thomas Clarke.



Packed like sardines, however nonetheless with room to maneuver. Room to breathe. The room is alive and also you breathe it in. Energy. Bouncing off the partitions, between our bodies. Coursing via your veins. Are you shaking? Nah, you’re simply that near the audio system, mate. Life-affirming. The bloke subsequent to you says one thing, perhaps a query. “…” You smile and nod. No one can hear something however the music. The sweetest sound. This lovely evening.

That’s if you hear her. Sade. Smooth like Kahlua. “I couldn’t love you extra”. You knew he’d play this. We all did. “Time was runnin’ out”. Where is everybody? They have to be right here for this. You spin ‘spherical, however don’t recognise anybody. They’ll be shut you suppose. You make some room, shuffle over slightly and look once more. Those palms, that hat. It’s them… How good.


You would possibly hear it on the grapevine as a passerby muffles the new-age adage, “This is the place we’re going tonight… deliver some snug footwear.” The warehouse has grow to be, for all intents and functions, a parable of renaissance. Its emergence has been an all encompassing, immersive transition, and one which’s significantly paying homage to the halcyon days of Sydney rave tradition within the early to mid 90’s. There are not any gimmicks right here, and the recipe is easy – area, smoke, sweat, sound; channelling the otherwordly and summoning the ethereal.

What we’re witnessing is undoubtedly a revival of tradition, sound and elegance, however whereas the resurgence of the warehouse aesthetic would possibly symbolize a quasi political response to the restricted  freedom of youths throughout town, it’s additionally unmistakably a pure development for up and comers paving their very own method and searching for a brand new path. The authorities imposed nightlife void could have been changed by fairly shopfronts or conversely, what the naysayers check with as ‘the doubtful goings on of these doing enterprise illegally in deserted buildings beneath the quilt of darkness’, however what rings true is the truth that the revellers know higher, and have claimed these empty areas as their very own.

All Under One Roof Raving: Reclaiming Sydney’s Nightlife

Sabotage. 1995. Photo: Sydney Rave History.

Perhaps the best dilemma going through this fledgling pattern is the superb line it appears to tow. Is the ‘unlawful’, ‘outlaw’ popularity of this scene undermining the legitimacy of its intentions? The essential drawback lies in whether or not or not ‘the warehouse’ itself and the concepts it represents are a detriment to initiatives searching for constructive change, these reminiscent of Keep Sydney Open and Reclaim the Streets. For all of the defiance that the warehouse symbolises in difficult the established order – in its present kind, it is a crucial outlet and a really needed evil.

If you’ve ever attended one, then you definitely recognize its significance. The scene itself nurtures concord and camaraderie, constructed on values that substantiate a mutual respect between get together organisers and partygoers. Leave no hint. Look after your mates – foundations which can be a stark distinction to what politicians would have you ever consider about established Sydney nightlife tendencies. These are foundations from which change might very effectively be born. To domesticate an setting the place these in attendance really feel secure, and are secure is one thing not many institutions are in a position to obtain. Somehow, the warehouse does this exceedingly effectively. It provides again to those that deserve it, those that’ve constructed it; such is its nature. The query now revolves round whether or not change is absolutely needed for the initiated. What good is a $10 drink when you could possibly spend $10 and have the evening of your life? I do know the place my cash’s going…



When the mud settles and the cans are lukewarm, when the lights change on and you’ll’t discover your keys, if you lastly retire and swim up for recent air – when the evening’s ending and also you reminisce about that point, that place, that track. All beneath one roof raving, you head off again into the space… beckoning till subsequent time.