Carni in South Preston must surely be the best converted industrial venue in Melbourne. If you can imagine an edgy warehouse party that incorporates a well setup bar, working toilets, warmth (from very a functional fireplace), really friendly hosts and no risks of the police coming in to shut you down, then this is Carni. On Friday night I was there for a RRR fundraiser and the owners had opened up yet another space within the huge building. This was a cavernous 2 story warehouse shell in the rear adding to the front room, the main dance floor and bar area, the side gallery space and the outside stone garden (with water feature). No doubt there’ll be more areas I havent seen yet.
Anyway, it was a great night with two stages – the front stage had the live bands dafrix, red eyes and bomba (plus a very good roots reggae dj in between sets) and the huge back room played trance and electro. I kept to the front bar for the evening and was rewarded with a great Red Eyes set, the best of that evening. The crowd, being RRR listeners and people from around the region, was also fantastic (being the highly energetic dancing and cheering sort) and quite diverse. It’s not until you’ve been to a venue where the majority of the people there are drunk horny early twenty-somethings (which was what Miss Libertine in the city on Saturday night was) that you appreciate what a good crowd is.
The only drawback with Carni is its early closing time of 1am but then when the party is great, you always want it to keep going. The 1am close time from what I can tell is determined by its licencing laws and the apartment buildings around it. Everytime I go to Carni, I fear that even that will be revoked in time as new development brings neighbours. If so, it will be a huge loss to the area.
Go to Carni while it still exists. Now that it has its calendar of events online, there’s no excuse.