G.A.S.S. (apparently standing for Great And Secret Show) is the Friday night residency at the club of the same name in Johannesburg, South Africa. The club sits in what has become known as the 'Gay Heartland', an area of Braamfontein about two blocks by two blocks, characterised by its gay community and excellent dance clubs. In fact, the Saturday night residency at G.A.S.S. is the incredibly popular Therapy. Other clubs in the area include Venom, Purple Fly, C Men and Reload.

More than 5 years old, G.A.S.S. has for years been one of the premiere (albeit rather underground) Friday night parties in Jo'burg. Often seen as both independently trend setting and commercially accessible, the club has attracted and nurtured a dedicated following of Friday night regulars.

G.A.S.S. has two dance floors: inside is THO, or The Harder Option, where trance, techno and hard house blow the dark and smoke away. Outside is TLO, The Lighter Option, which carries a far funkier vibe, sometimes even tribal.

International DJ's such as Chris Liberator, Mark Tyler, Dave Randall, Dimmer and Sterling Moss have all played at G.A.S.S.; however, the club is perhaps more famous (and beloved) for nurturing unsung homegrown talent, especially on the TLO floor, Stuart H(illary) and trevthedev being perhaps the most accomplished (and popular).

From a subjective view, G.A.S.S. is probably the best club in South Africa. The relaxed atmosphere, friendly people and incredible music make for one of the best vibes you could find. In addition, G.A.S.S. are constantly trying to find new ways to entertain, from projecting 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon' onto the walls opposite the club, to selling balloons of nitrous oxide, to dress-up superhero parties. Truth be told, the feeling of being spoken to by a fully-realised, seven-foot Incredible Hulk while listening to Turkish dub music on a balcony overlooking a thousand crazed dance addicts is relatively indescribable.

Sadly, recent court action due to licensing issues may see the end of G.A.S.S., and the Gay Heartland as a whole. It would be a great shame to lose such a vital part of our culture, gay or straight, to beauracracy.

sources: http://www.clubgass.com, http://www.mambaonline.co.za, http://www.gayheartland.co.za (suspended)

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