A happening club in a country town? Is that possible? Well Ballarat is a regional city, so yeah, it is possible. The Chapel is that happening club, and Saturdays there are rather large and good.
A couple of friends who had moved to Ballarat were left in charge of taking us somewhere good on a Saturday night. Their choice was the Chapel. I didn't mind that choice because I had visited the night before and had a great time.
Saturdays are huge. We arrived around 11 to find a long queue. As much as I hate queues, we decided to stick it out, and that was a good choice. Once inside we found a big crowd, with a little more style and energy than I expected. I expected a pub like crowd, but it was like a crowd at any commercial club in Melbourne.
Most of the crowd is local, but there are heaps of tourists like us around. The age range is pretty broad, with a few 18 year olds, and a few thirty years olds, but mostly 20-25. That makes for a pretty friendly sort of a crowd, with something for everyone.
As I suggested, the place is packed, everywhere you go. It is busy early, and doesn't quieten down until late.
The venue itself is very atmospheric. As the name implies, it used to be a church. It has high sealing, great for the lighting effects, moody bluestone walls, and a number of rooms. As you enter, there is a room to the left with pool tables, sitting spaces, and a large bar. There may have been karaoke in there.
As you continue through, you find the main room. To the left is a neat bar and heaps of standing space. At the far end is another bar, and a few couches. To the extreme left is a set of stairs upto a viewing deck, bar, couches and pool tables. This is where I spent much time. Back downstairs, to the left is a large dancefloor.
This is the focus, with podiums, and a stage, which was graced by awesome coverband Adam 12 the night we visited. They have since moved on, so I am not sure what band plays now. However, Adam 12 had the place absolutely rocking. It was an awesome moshpit.
Between sets a very good DJ played a very wide mix of current dance through to dance classics. Heaps of popular top 40 stuff, but enough variety for everyone.
I don't remember too much about the prices. I recall thinking that the cover was a bit steep, but the bar prices must have been okay.
I was incredibly impressed by Saturday at The Chapel. We had a terrific night, as did everyone else. Adam 12 set it up nicely, but I am sure that even in their absence it would be a great night. Good entertainment, heaps of people, and the right people. Check it out when you are next in Ballarat.