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Surry Hill’s New Club, Carousel Bar & Ballroom


From Kerry Wallace and the team that bought us S*A*S*H, Stanely’s Bar, Slyfox and Solid Circles Touring, comes Sydney’s newest hit venue.


Bar at Carousel Bar & Ballroom, Surry Hills

Introducing the Carousel Bar & Ballroom, Surry Hills

At Carousel, patrons will be treated to its enticing nightclub on weekends, with the space reserved for performances and functions mid-week. We caught up with Kerry to find out more.


Named for the beautiful rotating stage discovered during construction, Carousel rests on the foundations of some of Sydney’s most iconic queer party venues, including the famous Capriccio’s, once owned by Dawn O’Donnell. Capriccio’s was one of Sydney’s first queer venues and a famous Oxford Street fixture since it’s opening in 1969.  Describing itself as a “cabaret inspired by sleazy 70’s discotheque”, Carousel playfully pays homage to the history of the legendary space. 


“I think for all of us - the staff - once the venue took shape & the finishing touches were added, it did look very red-light district/cabaret/burlesque. Also, the venue’s history tells us it had queer cabaret shows & burlesque for years.” Kerry said. 


Seating at Carousel Bar & Ballroom, Surry Hills

“We’re breathing new life into the space….. it’s been brought back from the dead, where people from all walks of life once again gather to enjoy music & make memories.”


The venue is superbly decorated and leans into sultry decor evocative of a dimly lit 1970s party, creating the perfect discotheque aesthetic and vibe. With three bars, a state-of-the art sound system and varying across multiple levels, there is a space to suit everyone. It also makes the ideal venue for private events. 


Seating at Carousel Bar & Ballroom, Surry Hills

We asked Kerry what he was most looking forward to at Carousel; 


“THE FUTURE! The venue is fresh; the sound system is 2nd to none for it’s size in Australia and all the top-tier promoters are moving their parties to Carousel, as we speak.” 


“The future is super bright for the Carousel & we’re all pumped for it!”


He also teased some exciting news and possible accolades for the venue:


“Next year in Feb we have something exciting happening too, we have an inspector from the international night time association coming to inspect the club. This is the association of the world that puts together the top 100 club list. They believe after my discussions with them and going through some preliminary questions/ticking checklists, they believe Carousel is in a great position to enter next year's top 100 club list of the world - very exciting!


Individual seating at Carousel Bar & Ballroom, Surry Hills

Kerry Wallace's Story

Carousel is the next step in Kerry’s plan for Sydney’s nightlife – having worked as a promoter and DJ for over 20 years, he spoke about the transition into venue oner:


“I’m just evolving from being a promoter, to a venue owner. Brands have life spans, venues don’t!  I've owned Stanley’s the little cocktail bar in Darlinghurst too, for 3 years and I have a new venue to be announced soon. I’m putting Hemmes on  notice!” Kerry joked


Carousel will continue the work of Wallace’s previous ventures but will incorporate it’s own sense of self and identity reflected in the cabaret style of the venue and some of its regular events. You can catch headliner DJs like Sonja Monnear performing live, as well as S*A*S*H* nights, including their upcoming S*A*S*H*M*A*S* event on weekends with a sprinkling of mid-week affairs, including Carousel Comedy on Tuesday evenings. 


Entrance at Carousel Bar & Ballroom, Surry Hills

“S.A.S.H has actually moved to Carousel every Sunday night, so you can expect the same carnage as always on Sundays! But for Friday & Saturday, it’s a mixture of music across the board with external promoters running their events. Saturdays are a little more house music driven & usually an international artist flying into Sydney to play at the club. Fridays are a mixed bag, with techno, drum & bass, disco, progressive house…. It just depends on the promoter.”


Carousel’s event calendar is already filling up, despite only having opened in September – to catch their complete list of events and to stay up-to-date, follow their socials. 


“Everyone has been very receptive to the venue, from promoters to visiting artists, amazing feedback from everyone!


At Carousel we are inclusive to all walks of life…. All you need to be able to do is dance”


The latest addition to Sydney’s Pink Mile, you can find Carousel Bar & Ballroom in all her glitzy retro glamour at Level 2, 169 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst.


For more, follow @carouselsydney on Instagram or find them on Facebook or at www.carousel.net.au


By Isabella Edwards


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