I wasn’t expecting to get my life inspiration from a hospitality billionaire, but Justin Hemmes stopped me in my tracks on Friday night.
I read an interview with him about the revitalisation of Oxford Street in Sydney. There are big plans for WorldPride 2023 to restore the strip to its glory days.
When I was a teenager, Oxford Street was THE place. I’d catch the train to Sydney to try and get past the security guards into nightclubs, but they invariably thought I wasn’t cool enough.
I have no idea why when I’d turn up in my pyjamas … yes, I actually did, here’s a selfie of my mate Jodie and I before we hit the town …
Anyways … back to Mr Hemmes. He told The Australian he’s witnessed a “renewed passion” for nightclubbing and is keen to invest in Oxford Street as the heart of Sydney nightlife.
“We’ve been suppressed for so long that we came out stronger than ever, but dancing,” he said. “I have seen more people dance than I have ever seen before.”
Hemmes said he was amazed by how busy his venues were when Australian came out of the first COVID-19 lockdown in early 2020.
“We were running our clubs at more shifts than I’ve ever done in my 30 years of trading,” he said. “Pre-lockdown, you would have a dancefloor and there would be people hanging out and some dancing, but after it, everyone was dancing. It was like this tribal revival of human connection. It actually made me want to invest even more in the industry, because I thought the industry and our human desire to connect over a meal is bulletproof.
“I have never seen anything like it. It feels like our roaring ’20s. This is our time. This is our moment.”
How very Footloose of him …
But I read his comments and I suddenly wanted to dance too. It suddenly occurred to me that I should have held a Studio 54 dance party for my birthday.
DD reckons it’s not too late …
Hold me to this: if I win the lottery I’m staging the ultimate Studio 54 party, with flashing Saturday Night Fever dancefloor. And you’re all invited!
Song of the day: Sylvester “You make me feel”