Simon Caldwell in Sydney

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  • In Sydney these days, it seems everyone's out to one-up each other. A promoter takes advantage of an interesting club space, another finds a loft and another finds a new warehouse. The result is a city with an immense collection of atypical venues. Never Mind the Balearics were the latest outfit to make use of something a little leftfield, with an event headlined by Simon Caldwell. Attendees were not told where the party would be—just that it would be "somewhere on Sydney harbour." Water taxis were included in the ticket price, and people were told to go to a meeting place beside the Sydney Opera House to be taken to the destination. The sun came out just in time for the boat ride and it made all the difference. The venue was a fenced-in pontoon located about 15 minutes east of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The landscape was amazing, with uninterrupted views of the city skyline and the iconic bridge, with many people taking advantage of the safe harbour swimming pool by taking a dip throughout the day. There were beds on deck for people to relax on, and DJ/promoter Pete Dot even fired up the barbecue at one point. By about 5 PM, nearly all the 200 partiers had made their way to the dance floor. The local lineup delivered. As the event's name would suggest, Balearic beats were a key musical factor for the day, as well as some old disco jams and soul. InnerWestSoul had the afternoon set and eased the crowds onto the dance floor with party jams like ELO's "Evil Woman" and 6th Borough Project's "So Glad." Simon Caldwell's slot was something special, taking it deeper with tunes like "In Love Again" by Red Rack'em as the sun set over the Harbour Bridge. Pete Dot bought the evening home with a set of upbeat tunes, Faze Action's "Kariba," Rahaan's edit of Brass Construction's "Happy People" and a Greg Wilson edit of Roxy Music's "Love Is the Drug." When the revelers had to leave after eight hours by the water, it was no surprise that it appeared as though they could've partied on the pontoon all night. Despite being four days from the start of summer, it was great way to enjoy some sunshine, a beer, good beats and remind people why Sydney can be one of the most unique places to party in the world throughout the summertime.