50% of the most important decade of my life was spent in neverending queues for club toilets, or sitting by the side of the road waiting for a cab (or worse, Night Rider bus) at 5 in the morning. Yet here I am, still not bankrupt and alive to tell the tale. If you’re wondering how fresh faced 18 year olds can afford to party all night without their parents getting pissed about the cost, you’re probably the kind of person who obediently queues up at 11pm and pays for the $35 cover charge.
To be honest, the club scene is quite different these days, with many heavyweights having dropped out of the scene. Zouk’s got one foot in the grave and old favourites like Butter Factory, Stereolab/Mink and Avalon have all shut their doors. All the more reason to pay as little as possible. Here are some tips for getting your clubbing fix on the cheap:
While Zouk’s fate still hangs in the balance, it’s still not too late to relive the madness of days gone by. Although Mambo Jambo has been replaced by TGIW, Wednesdays are still Ladies’ Night, where anyone who manages to pass themselves off as female gets in without having to pay cover charge.
Otherwise, The Citibank Clear credit card not only gets you free entry but also one-for-one at Wine Bar and, on Fridays and Saturdays, Velvet Underground. Unfortunately, this is one situation where your age and experience might work against you, because existing Citibank credit card holders aren’t eligible for Citibank Clear, which is targeted at students.
If you’re scandalised seeing underage kids 10 years your junior grinding at Zouk, you might want to shift to Kyo instead, which, let’s face it, has an older clientele. However it’s also quite expensive—if you get your stamp after 10pm on Friday or Saturday.
But guess what? You can get in free all other times—before 10pm on weekends and on Ladies’ Night on Thursdays, when women also get free vodka cranberry from 10pm to 1:30am. The fact that it’s free so much of the time makes it really dumb to end up paying the $20 or $25 cover charge just because you arrived an hour late. Kyo is a club for grownups, so try to exercise a bit of punctuality. You can always get your stamp and then come back later.
Ce La Vi (or the artist formerly known as Ku De Ta)
Cursed with one of the most expensive cover charges in Singapore, Ce La Vi seems like it’s not a place for cheapskates, but it is, mainly because you only have to pay this very hefty cover charge after 9pm on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays and the eve of public holidays. All other times, it’s free. Plus, on Wednesdays, ladies get free entry all night long and one free housepour after 9pm.
Let’s face it, the music isn’t exactly the most cutting edge, and the crowd is a mixture of middle aged expats and the women who love them. But it’s a great place to soak in the view for half an hour or so before you disappear down into the bowels of Marina Bay Sands without having paid a cent.
St James Power Station
If you get in before 9pm, you are rewareded with free entry to all the clubs in the entire building. Just get your stamp and then chill out at the hawker centre outside until the crowd picks up around 11pm, or check out the other clubs in the building. In addition, ladies get in free on Wednesdays.
Yes, we understand that going all the way to almost-Sentosa just to get your alcohol fix isn’t the easiest or most convenient thing to do, especially when you have to travel there all alone because nobody else is coming until 11pm. This is a real test of what you’re willing to do to save $15-$20.
If you’re a SAFRA member, you have the benefit not only of free entry but also being able to bring in five guests. That probably explains why there are so many NS men there on weekends.
You might not know this, but some credit cards also offer exclusive promotions (which include free entry) into some of the top clubs in Singapore. We’ve done up a list of some of the best cards for clubbing and pubbing in Singapore, but if you want to find a card suited to your lifestyle needs, you can also head over to MoneySmart’s Credit Card Comparison Page to find what suits you best!
Do you know of any other great clubbing deals? Let us know in the comments!