Key players of The World Bar reflect on their time at the iconic venue
In what can only really be described as a huge blow to Sydney’s nightlife, Potts Point’s iconic venue The World Bar announced last night that after 18 years, they’re be putting the lids on their teapots and shutting their doors for good.
The World Bar is responsible for giving both established acts and up and comers the chance to access a truly diverse intersection of Sydney. Bringing people together across all different communities, every single night running at World Bar brought something unique to the venue. It’s hosted a number of nights over the years giving DJs, producers and bands the chance to really thrive in a space that was made for them.
The venue’s been a place where so many local acts have had the chance to cut their teeth, so much so that its rich history includes memorable moments from dance legends Ajax, Flume, Alison Wonderland and Nina Las Vegas, some raucous live sets from DZ Deathrays, Gang Of Youths, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard and heaps more.
It’s quite obvious to attribute this loss to the stifling lockout laws Sydney’s had in place for the last 4 years which has seen
176 177 venues now shut their doors, but Steve Ward and the crew at World Bar have hope:
“We believe there is a solution here, we have hope. We need the authorities to show true leadership and to make positive decisions for the music and creative communities and for everyone who likes to be social at night! Public opinion and pressure are mounting and now we need our elected officials to be brave and make positive changes to the legislation. Safety and entertainment ARE achievable, we have seen this put into practice in global cities around the world.”
On a personal note, I always took solace in the thought that World Bar would truly be the last man standing in Sydney. The first club I ever visited when I turned 18 was World Bar, as I’m sure was the case for so many other people in Sydney. It was always that place you could just turn up to and you’d have a good time, regardless of who was playing and what night it was.
The community there has always been welcoming and inclusive, and I think that’s one thing that will be missed most about the venue. There’s magic under that roof, and it’s thanks to the people who have spent countless hours stamping your forearm, pouring your drinks, booking your favourite acts, introducing themselves to you at the door and getting up to no good on the dancefloor that really made World Bar what it was.
If there’s one thing that I’ve come to learn about spending time at the venue over the years, it’s that the community there is intensely strong. Each night brought its own flavour to the venue, and as new generations came and older generations went, one thing remained – the camaraderie.
We reached out to some key players of the last couple of years at The World Bar to reflect on their time there and share some memories and wisdom of their time with the venue.
Rashna Krishnan (Rash Bandicoot & And Then)
Where do I start! World Bar was the first club I ever attended at 18. It was where I grew to love live/ electronic music which eventually gave me the passion to start DJing. Fast forward to a couple of years later, being offered an opportunity to run weekly Saturday night parties at one of the most well known music institutions in Sydney, it’s safe to say I was beside myself.
World Bar brought our vision And Then to life and I can honestly say the brand would be nothing without it. This venue and especially the people behind the scenes enabled our ideas to develop and grow, creativity was encouraged and we were constantly pushed to think outside the box to pull off the best parties ever.
Although my time with the venue was short and sweet, through working there I got to meet people I know call my best friends and I couldn’t be more grateful that I got to experience the World Bar for all that it is.
Stephanie Polivka (Banquet & Otto’s House Party)
Going to world bar as soon as you turn 18 and getting your first teapot was a necessary rite of passage for so many Sydneysiders.
Having been apart of the team since I was 19, World Bar played a significant role in my adult life and held a position as a home, a safe space, a sanctuary of inclusiveness and a damn good music institution, for both me and so many other people.
Being forced to say goodbye to this magical building is heartbreaking for not only the World Bar team, friends and punters – but for Sydney’s nightlife, culture & community. The best thing we can do to keep what little we have left is to go out. Have fun. Be safe. Listen to music & dance. I know the world bar team won’t stop doing that
Stacey Queffert (SQUEEF)
So I have been an employee since I was 18! My first ever job working at a nightclub, Jennie Gilbert who was working on The Wall at the time gave me the job when we were all backstage at Father (which isn’t a thing anymore).
I also met this guy there, who ended being my partner now together for 3 years and now the artist that I manage – Amastro!
The team behind World Bar are such legends, more bar staff to managers to bookers, every single person is so humble. Most of my friends are from World Bar, the amount of people it brought together over music is just so heartwarming.
Also they gave me a chance to DJ on the reg, playing different nights of the week also booking Amastro‘s live sets on a Friday from day one and also when he toured, we got to play at World Bar Queenstown in NZ! SO that’s always fun.
Sam Lando (Banquet & Otto’s House Party)
So many things I could list but by far my fondest memories stem from booking artists first ever headline sets at Banquet. The party we created every Friday was so rewarding. Watching people’s careers blossom right in front of me is something I’ll hold dear. I’l’ never forget dancing to the early hours of the morning with people I had just met, and then seeing them the following week and becoming good friends.
The mischief every week in the office with the crew working on projects is another memory I will never forget, I learnt a lot in that office. Lastly, I’ll miss running up an down those stairs trying to catch every act. All the little side rooms and of course playing sets across the night to rammed, sweating rooms will always be a highlight!
Kieran Hennessy (And Then)
Favourite memories include:
- Running every Saturday with Rashna Krishnan & the Maker Agency/Worldy fam for most of the past two years, developing a loyal loving community, playing dress-ups every weekend & making long-term personal & professional friendships
- Getting cakes shoved in my face while DJing – yes, there were several
- Learning from the really slow nights – yes, there were several – and hustling ahead to keep something alive in the suffering economy & culture (though we all have our limits)
- Providing a platform for Groove City & many others who took the opportunity to get themselves & the packed dancefloors sweaty & elated with their sweaty & sexy performances
- As with many, playing my first ever DJ gig in a venue outside uni – love to the Apothecary room!
- As a young person finding their way in a new city, we discovered a venue we felt at home in, where we could connect with all kinds of people, dance with lovers & friends, explore a truly eccentric & beautifully adorned multi-storey club that forever possessed the vibrations of its own hedonistic history as a Kings Cross icon
- WE MISS YOU WORLD BAR
Madeleine Lush (Astrix Little & Cakes)
World Bar had magic in the walls. It was a refuge for weirdos, dreamers, artists; people just like me. It was the kind of venue that went beyond just a nightclub. It was a family where creativity was encouraged and music was at the centre.
I made friends for life and was given so many extraordinary opportunities. From my first set at Wham in 2011, to launching Cakes, to performing live for the first time at MUM. I am the person I am today because of World Bar.
Bryony Calleia (Baby Ruth)
World Bar – you have been the destination of my first DJ club gig, many unforgettable international and local acts, many musical and creative friends, huge music/creative industry opportunities, even many random opportunities to VJ for a few huge acts, and one too many teapots (directly from that damn spout).
Thank you to the team behind the venue who fought for it to stay as long as it did, and all that we can do now, is keep hustling, keep partying and working to Keep Sydney Open.
Thomas Huynh (The Wall)
I’ve been with the venue for roughly 4 years now, I think through almost every role. Punter, door, glassie, bartender, supervisor & now head promoter.
I think throughout those years, one of my favourite memories was from this year.
The Wall did a collaborative event with Vivid Sydney, and it gave us the platform to work with & showcase one of Sydney’s best producers, Made By Tsuki. Together with Tsuki we designed a stage, and he got to express the project through his unique visuals and sounds.
I just loved the whole experience because I got the opportunity to work with a friend to bring his vision to life and help him move a step further in his career, & I think that’s what The Wall is all about, providing a platform for emerging locals, being the first to give them a chance, to become the next big Australian star.
Steve Ward (Director of The World Bar)
My main memory is the staff. Wave after, wave of absolute diamonds have been through this joint. Really proud of what many of them have gone on to achieve and love catching up when we get the chance.
Header image via Facebook