Legendary Queer Sydney Nightclub ARQ Is Finally Reopening Following a (Nearly) Three-Year Hiatus

The longstanding queer club is back following a multimillion-dollar facelift.
Ben Hansen
Published on December 06, 2022

A longstanding pillar of Sydney's queer community and nightlife, Oxford Street nightclub ARQ closed its doors during the 2020 COVID-19 lockdown. While Sydneysiders had become accustomed to beloved bars closing down following the lockout laws, it was still a huge blow when ARQ didn't reopen post-restrictions. Thankfully, the club will finally be making its grand return following its (nearly) three-year hiatus.

23 years on from originally opening its doors, ARQ will return to Oxford Street following a multimillion-dollar renovation on Friday, December 16. The nightclub returns in time for next year's WorldPride Sydney with a new and improved entertainment setup including fresh sound equipment and visuals including Australia's first moving lighting truss.

Staples of the ARQ experience including the spa and sauna, Bodyline, Trash Alley and the revolving doors have all been maintained and refreshed, while the venue also welcomes a new arcade-style games room and a cocktail lounge.

"We have all come together again to not only revitalise ARQ, but the entire Australian nightlife industry," ARQ owner Shadd Danesi says.  "We believe we are finally in a position to revitalise Australian entertainment, starting with ARQ, reclaiming its position as the jewel in Oxford Street's crown."

While you can expect an ongoing program of DJs, drag performers, pyrotechnics, aerialists and live musicians gracing the ARQ stage, the team has pulled together a stacked program of talent to relaunch the venue.

The opening night on Friday, December 16 will feature a performance from none other than star of stage and screen Natalie Bassingthwaighte alongside drag queens and DJs ensuring the party is pumping from 10pm until late. Throughout the rest of the weekend, you can expect packed dance floors and more entertainment showing off the venue's new state-of-the-art sound and visual equipment — including appearances from Jack Vidgen, Zoe Badwi and SGT Slick.

ARQ will reopen at 16 Flinders Street, Darlinghurst on Friday, December 16. Tickets for the opening weekend celebrations go on sale at 10am on Wednesday, December 7.

Published on December 06, 2022 by Ben Hansen
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