If you're a regular on Sydney's underground circuit, there's a good chance you've met Antje Hellenbrand at the beginning of many of your nights. Here, the veteran host shares her experiences of working the door.
So I’ve been a door girl for about 7 years now, since the day my boss moved me from working the bar to the door during the relaunch of a club in my hometown in Germany. I actually started working the door at a hip hop club in Frankfurt and a techno club in Wiesbaden at the same time. It was interesting to see how the different scenes worked but to be honest I wasn’t really thinking of the job as a career, I just wanted to go out after having a baby and was happy to find a way that I could combine partying and making money!
I really learned about the industry and running events when I came to Sydney. I started about 2 years ago at the Burdekin Hotel through friends from Subsonic and slowly but surely I met more people and started receiving more bookings.
It's actually super fun to run the door at a party. Every night is different and surprising so it never gets boring. I love welcoming people - we all just want to have a good time together, so people are super nice most of the time. Sometimes we do have to deal with difficulties but it's all part of the game, and necessary to keep the door running smoothly. My background is in marketing management, so I see the industry as a marketer as well as a party girl and I’m also involved in bookings and creating events. I also see it as my duty to help artists to develop.
There is a huge variety of parties going on in this city, lots of door hosts, venues, festivals and competition but me and my door host colleagues work together. We share jobs and forward bookings to each other which is really cool, like a little agency. I currently work regularly for Goodbar, Borough, SubClub, Momentum Agency, Blueprint and By Your Side which I’m grateful for.
I really enjoy the atmosphere, the music of course, having a good chat, a hug, a smile, a compliment, a drink, a good joke, when it's getting a bit crazy and weird… that's what it's all about. And when you finish work and your boss tells you to have a drink and a little boogie, then I never say no and I feel as though I'm in the right place.
There are challenges, of course. Sometimes you don't get the job because the club has their own policies and it's hard to get in. But that's how it goes, we work in a tough business and another party means another chance.
To run a door smoothly is also about security. With experience you can tell when danger is in sight and help prevent bad things from happening, so communicating with security is a must. Fortunately our scene is very peaceful compared to the hip hop scene in Germany, that was a different level!
The next step for me is to work in clubs in different countries. I’ve also written some tracks and have ideas for producing, so I definitely see my career continuing in the music industry... and I'm looking forward to partying on!
You can catch Antje working club doors all over Sydney.