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  • Henry Johnstone

Cubby Bears Clubby House takes over Club 77 for WorldPride 2023


Cubby Bears Clubby House - Takes Over Club 77 - Club 77

When tickets for World Pride 2023 events began to sell out like mad, Aunty Jonny and Jason De Cox quickly realised their underestimation of just how big Sydney’s two-week queer celebration is gearing up to be.


Ever the canny queers, the duo - who also DJ under the celebrated moniker The Dollar Bin Darlings - spotted an opportunity to host a series of parties during World Pride where clubbers can kick on and get weird…sans the hefty ticket price.


Armed with a unique concept (read on to find out) and a delicious line-up of talented DJs across the spectrum of party sounds, Cubby Bears Clubby House was born. Or is that Clubby Bears Cubby House? It doesn’t really matter. All you need to know is that it’s set to be the wildest unofficial after party of World Pride 2023.

 

Firstly, Sydney hosting World Pride 2023 is a pretty big deal. What makes this year different compared to Sydney’s annual Mardi Gras celebration?

Jonny: I was traveling through Berlin last year and when gay folks would hear my accent, they’d say, “World Pride! I’m coming!” To be honest, I had no idea what they were talking about. I think down in our hemisphere it didn’t register on the radar, because we already have Mardi Gras, Dalesford, Tropical Fruits and Broken Heel - how much more gay do we need? But now that it’s upon us, I feel like a tidal wave is about to hit. It’s like the Olympics is coming to town again. All the queer performers and DJs I know are booked up to kitty’s bow. It’s wild.


Jason: It kind of feels like when you tidy up and put on a show for relatives that are visiting on holiday. I’m keen to meet some of our extended queer family. What’s also great is that World Pride 2023 will provide lots of opportunity - the sheer scale of this event has allowed for so much job opportunity and community elevation. This feels different because Sydney is now a post lockdown party city and the parade is back where it belongs. The city is reinvesting so much energy back into the culture - it’s what Sydney needs.


You’ve come up with a cool concept for Cubby Bears Clubby House. Can you tell us a bit about what we can expect from the music policy?

Jonny: We’ve got some of the most incredible DJs in town and access to one of the most incredible sound systems in Sydney. But we also think the dial is going to be set to turbo in most places. We’ve invited our DJs to play like they’re in own home playing for their best friends - we want them to share songs they love. They have permission to do whatever they want, but be ever ready to go into party mode.


Jason: The idea was that queers should have a place to go that’s free or cheap entry, where they can get in if they turn up. No presales, just turn up and you’ll get in. We also wanted a soft landing for folks coming out from other events through the week. We have some of the most amazing DJs in Australia coming to town and we wanted to make the most of it.

 

“Queers know how to make a party special. We’re experts at wearing clothes to tell the world who we are and what we’re about.”

 

How did you approach curating the line-up? Was the artist selection based on having a different sound to each party?

Jonny: It happened really organically. We wanted a bunch of different sounds and personalities you might not normally get to see behind the wheels of steel. Jason and I wrote out lists of our favourite DJs, asked them to send us some options od when they were free and it all formed from there. I’m especially excited about Baby’s Bootleg Birthday - the infamous Tyson Koh will be playing some tunes for his own birthday. It’s gonna get weird!


Why did you decide to collaborate with Club 77 for Cubby Bears Clubby House?

Jonny: We played at 77 for the first time last year and pretty quickly befriended Dane and the gang. We didn’t expect much, but whenever we come back into the venue, they’ve always made a special effort to say hi and take care of us. When we realised how big World Pride was going to be, how expensive some of the parties were and how quickly the tickets were getting bought up, we needed a solution. 77 was the natural choice - we love it there.


Jason: The 77 team have been amazing at supporting our vision too. They’re proper allies. They know how to prop up a party and get out of the way at the same time. The venue is historic! The club offers so much to this city being open until 4am, 7 days a week. Who’s doing it like that? I agree with Jonny- we have been welcomed by the entire team and I’ve had some of my favourite experiences on its dancefloor. Oh and the sound system - JUICY.


Queer parties always have a fantastic visual aesthetic, which I guess is because the punters love to glam it up! Will there be a strong visual element to CBCH?

Jonny: Queers know how to make a party special. We’re experts at wearing clothes to tell the world who we are and what we’re about. We actually have a door policy that says, “We’re giving priority entry to queers who’ve dressed the part.” Admittedly we’ve not really thought about decorating 77 in any particular way. It’s perfect as it is.


You have the legendary Stereogamous headlining CBCH on Thursday March 2nd . Do you know if they’ll be packing any new tunes for the occasion?

Jonny: Jonny’s look out for each other and that would be telling.


What’s the most underrated queer anthem? And the most overrated?

Jonny: I’ve never been good at knowing this sort of thing - we’re homos, not homogeneous. I’ve never cared about Gaga or any of that stuff. Is ‘Closer’ by Nine Inch Nails a queer anthem? It should be.


Jason: What’s that saying…nothing’s ever as good or bad as you think it is? So here goes:

Underrated: Fire Island feat. Loleatta Holloway – ‘Shout To The Top’




Overrated: I really need a 20-year break from ‘Gimme Gimme’ by Abba


Jonny: Yeah, I dunno if ‘Gimme’ is overrated or just over rinsed.


The Communards – yay or nay?

Jason: If it’s not a hell yeah then it’s a hell nah. Sorry


Anything else you’d like to mention?

When we came up with the event we couldn’t decide between calling it Clubby Bears Cubby House or Cubby Bears Clubby House - so we sort of didn’t. I’ve got emails with one as the subject and the other as the header. I don’t think anyone’s noticed. Dear queers young and old, we’ve made a party every night and it’s just for you. But don’t turn up at midnight on a Friday with Lorna and Annabelle going B2B and complain you couldn’t get in. That’s on you.

 

CUBBY BEARS CLUBBY HOUSE LINE-UP


Friday February 17th The Dollar Bin Darlings Bottom Dollar Buddies

Sunday February 19th : Angels Only Jason de Cox Madami Rat Baby Special guests: Texas Gold, Miss Martoya

Monday February 20th Tyson Koh Terry Towelling

Tuesday February 21st Jacqui Cunningham Caleb Jackson

Wednesday February 22nd Matt Vaughan Bobby V. Pos

Thursday February 23rd Steve Sonius Nick Wales + Special Guests

Friday February 24th Lorna Clarkson & Annabelle Gaspar All Night Long

Sunday February 26th : Deeper Love Rolling on @ 77 Annabelle Gaspar Nick Wales Guy Grey Steve Sonius Bill Cotsis

Monday February 27th Sveta All Night Long

Tuesday February 28th Aunty Jonny Jason de Cox

Wednesday March 1st Guy Grey Slo Dolio

Thursday March 2nd Stereogamous Goat Spokesperson + Special Guests

Friday March 3rd Rakish Isa

Saturday March 4th Dameeeela

Sunday March 5th Transenergy Sophie Forrest



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