Sydney’s ARQ nightclub and gay sauna Bodyline reopening next week


Sydney ARQ nightclub and Bodyline Sauna logo
Images: ARQ Sydney, Bodyline Spa and Sauna

Legendary Sydney queer nightclub ARQ and long-running gay sauna Bodyline have confirmed the two venues will finally reopen for summer on December 16 after extensive renovations.

The Oxford Street nightclub first opened its doors in 1999 and celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2019.

But the venue faced an uncertain future after closing its doors due to pandemic restrictions in 2020.

However rumours and speculation about its big return have flown for months. The ARQ team has confirmed the nightclub will reopen its doors on Friday, December 16.

Gay sauna Bodyline Sydney, which also closed its doors in January 2021 after 30 years, will also reopen on December 16.

The Sydney sex-on-premises venue has also undergone an extensive renovation.

‘The jewel in Oxford Street’s crown’

ARQ owner Shadd Danesi said after the closure, earlier this year he made the decision to relaunch to “reclaim ARQ position as the jewel in Oxford Street’s crown.”

“The iconic legacy of ARQ lies within our team’s passion for the entertainment industry and the overwhelming support from the community, which we are endlessly thankful for,” Danesi said.

“We have all come together again to not only revitalise ARQ, but the entire Australian nightlife industry.

“It’s been an incredibly rough few years, from lockouts, to lockdowns, leaving countless businesses in ruins.”

ARQ undergoes multi-million dollar renovation

Since its closure, the queer nightclub has undergone a multi-million dollar renovation. The venue boasts state of the art visual, lighting and sound equipment, including Australia’s first moving lighting truss.

ARQ’s beloved Trash Alley and the signature revolving doors remain, and an arcade style gaming room and a dedicated champagne and cocktail lounge have been added.

When it reopens next week, the nightclub wants to provide a safe space for the queer community, as well as welcome both big stars and emerging artists to the stage.

ARQ’s opening weekend lineup includes Natalie Bassingthwaighte, Zoë Badwi, Sgt Slick, Jack Vidgen as well as Kitty Glitter and DJ Dan Murphy.

And this summer, the venue will welcome punters every night of WorldPride in Sydney in the new year. The mega-festival, coinciding with Mardi Gras, will take over Sydney from February 17 to March 5 next year.

“Each night will provide a unique experience, offering a world of entertainment from pyrotechnics, aerialists, Drag Queens and international acts,” ARQ says.

For the latest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) news in Australia, visit qnews.com.au. Check out our latest magazines or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Jordan Hirst
Jordan Hirst

Jordan Hirst is an experienced journalist and content creator with a career spanning over a decade at QNews. Since 2012, the Brisbane local has covered an enormous range of topics and subjects in-depth affecting the LGBTIQA+ community, both in Australia and overseas. Today, the Brisbane-based journalist covers everything from current affairs, politics and health to sport and entertainment.

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