A quick comparison of weather conditions in Sydney and Melbourne this week was depressing for locals. Monday: rain in Sydney, fine in Melbourne. Tuesday: rain in Sydney, sun in Melbourne. And so on. It is a good time to consider getting out of town.

If you need any further incentive, consider Winterdaze, Melbourne’s party-hard contribution to the Queen’s Birthday long weekend. In the warmth of three-level venue QBH, you can be entirely oblivious of the weather.

The interior will be transformed into a thumping tribal space. The DJ box will be housed in a five-metre teepee: smaller teepees will be scattered around to provide space for intimate bonding. Dreamcatchers -“ large hoops covered with feathers, believed to catch bad dreams and let good ones through -“ will be suspended from the ceiling.

Organisers hope that partygoers will be imaginative in deciding what to wear, feathers and war-paint being the dominant theme. Don leather pouches, grab the peace pipe and get fringed. They promise a wild, hedonistic madness like no other.

In addition to the main arena there will be the Pocahontas Drag Bar -“ where patrons can expect disco, vocal house, and the Miss Winterdaze Beauty Pageant -“ and the Cherokee Basement, home to hard, vocal house. The winners of the Pageant will perform at Arq Sydney and attend the DIVAs.

Winterdaze boasts an international visitor -“ Tom Stephan, famed for twisted, deep and driving tribal house sets at London club Crash. I use myself as a gauge, he says. I play house music, a lot of vocal stuff, a lot of tribal stuff, definitely a lot of energy and a lot of drama. If I can get myself excited and start dancing in the booth, I figure that’s a way of getting everyone else going too.

Try to get a line of sight on the DJ box -“ Stephan recently placed 14th in a UK Sex God poll.

The party will also feature Melbourne DJs the Deep Bitch Boys. Peter McNamara and Nathan G utilise two decks and a mix station each, simultaneously slammin’ down a capellas, bonus beats, and funk-driven house grooves. Sydney audiences may remember their set at Arq during the 2000 Olympic Games.

There are a number of Winterdaze packages available through Intermedia Travel Consultants, including airfares, tickets to the party and accommodation. For a whirlwind party experience, you can fly-party-fly: travel to Melbourne on Saturday evening, dance all night and fly home on Sunday afternoon. Alternatively you can devote the entire long weekend to an exploration of Melbourne. Accommodation is available at a range of boutique and four- and five-star hotels.

There is a vibrant and diverse Melbourne gay scene -“ the Peel, Laird and Exchange Hotels along with Club 80 and Porter St Steam, according to travel consultant Tony James.

Proceeds from Winterdaze will benefit the ALSO Foundation, a community organisation that works with gay men and lesbians in Melbourne.

We are giving away two double passes to Winterdaze, thanks to Agent Mad. To win, call 8263 0513 on Friday 30 May at 2pm.

Tickets for Winterdaze are $55 plus booking fee: they are available at Aussie Boys, the Toolshed (Darlinghurst and Newtown), or through Ticketmaster7. For information on Winterdaze travel and accommodation packages, contact Tony James at Intermedia Travel Consultants on 9698 3440.

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