After the long-awaited announcement that nightlife in Singapore is back in business, a lot of us, including yours truly, have been itching to get back on the dance floor. But clubbing in a pandemic is a whole new experience, with new rules and regulations that one has to adhere to.
If you’re eager to hit the club like us, here’s a quick guide on what to expect.
Firstly, it is important to understand the new regulations set in place. There is a maximum group size of 10 people, and every person entering a club has to undergo a supervised ART testing. Masks are still required indoors, and you need to maintain a distance of at least one metre between individuals when masks are off. More information on the rules can be found here.
Luckily, my first experience back at a club in two years was a relatively smooth experience with my friends at Cherry Discotheque. Here’s how it went.
The Cost of Entry
Before you even pick out your outfit, it is always encouraged to make prior bookings to enter the club, or you might have to spend the night queueing outside instead of having fun with your friends on the dance floor.
A table at Cherry Discotheque costs up to $1,200, and the nightclub also requires a deposit of $600, so it is definitely recommended to go with a larger group (around 10 people). If you still wish to queue, prepare to wait for hours on end. Even when I left the club at around 2am, people were still queuing despite Cherry Discotheque closing by 3am.
Some clubs, such as Zouk, will require you to pay a cover charge of $35–$40 for women, and $40–$50 for men. This cover charge will also include two drinks. Prices will always be shown on a club’s website, so it is important to check before you go.
Before entering, you need to obtain a negative result on your supervised ART test. There are a variety of ways to get tested. Quick Test Centres (QTCs) and Combined Test Centres (CTCs) offer Pre-Event Testing that cost $15, but I highly recommend booking a virtual test with Minmed as it is cheaper ($12) and quicker. You can either make an appointment 24 hours in advance, or call on the spot. Don’t fret about being put on hold for a long time: I’ve done the latter, and it did not take more than 5 minutes.
The procedure is simple: take your test on camera and wait 15 minutes for the results. The call will then end and the invoice will be billed to your account.
Of course, you can even take the ART test outside the club for $15–$20, but it’s quicker and cheaper through the Minmed app.
Inside the Nightclub
Once you’re inside, you’re good to go. If you booked a table like my friends did, all you have to do is follow the staff to your table. Do note that intermingling between groups is not allowed, so it’s advisable to just stick to your table and vibe to the music with your friends. Feel free to even hit the dance floor after drinks to mingle and meet new people!
Travelling To and Fro
Finally, you’ve reached the end of the night and you’re ready to go home. If you’re on a tight budget, it’s recommended for you to wait until 5:30am for the first train. In my own experience, I left the club around 2am, but taxi drivers tend to cancel on you frequently until the prices spike. The taxi fare can range from $20–$40, so be ready to incur more costs for cab rides.
Where to Club in Singapore?
Located at 133 Cecil Street, Cherry Discotheque is a treat for clubbers who love to go old-school. Embodying visual cues of the retro aesthetics of the 80s, this intimate underground club is home to a variety of arcade games, neon signs, a checkered dance floor, and VHS-inspired visuals all around that contribute to its iconic, retro-future vibes and grittiness.
Address: 133 Cecil St, Singapore 069535
Opening hours: Tuesdays to Saturdays from 8pm–3am
Contact: 9826 5055 or 9025 9567
Since 1991, Zouk has made a name for itself, being the first (and biggest!) club that is consistently ranked the first in Asia and top 10 globally according to DJ Mag’s Top 100 Clubs poll. Zouk is known for introducing house music to Asia, with its stage regularly hosting international guest DJs along the likes of Hardwell, Tiesto, and Disclosure.
Pro-tip: Zouk is not currently taking in any walk-ins. Be prepared with your tickets at the entrance.
Address: 3C River Valley Road, Clarke Quay, #01-05 to #02-06, The Cannery, 179022
Opening hours: Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and PH Eves from 10pm–late
Contact: 6738 2988 or 9006 8793
One of the newest members of the Singapore clubbing scene, Yang Club is most famous for being the first upmarket International Asian Club with a distinct entertainment direction, making sure its music is always top-tier for their partygoers. Its goal is to position themselves as the spearheader of trends in the nightlife industry, aiming for its nightspot to be the future top-of-mind experiential nightclub identity for partygoers in Singapore.
Address: 3A River Valley Road, #01-02 Clarke Quay Singapore, Singapore 179020
Opening hours: Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 10pm–3am
Contact: 9726 0307
Headquarters by The Council
Tucked away in the underbelly of Boat Quay lies Headquarters by The Council, one of the newest and most authentic underground dance music hideouts where you can dance the night away with great company. If you’re looking for a dinner spot before you party on the lower levels, do visit its bar Upstairs. This is where you can enjoy your favourite comfort bar foods such as pizzas and tacos, while also feasting your ears to the sweet melodies of live music.
Address: 66a Boat Quay, Singapore 049854
Opening hours: Wednesdays to Saturdays from 6pm–2am
Contact: 9667 9424