Sizzling after-hours

Come dance your Sundays away

Press image
Montage of after-hours flyers

The club is packed and a long queue of people wait outside for their turn to get in. The queue snakes through the parking lot, growing longer as cabs drop more people at the entrance. Hard house beats slip out as the bouncer opens the door briefly, just to allow another five people in. It would be an ordinary nightclub scene, except for the fact that it’s 9 o’clock in the morning, and the sun is blazing in a cloudless sky. For those who like to get their party on all night and all day, the second act begins at the after-hours – after for short.

The leading gay afters are hosted at three venues: Cantho, Code Club and Mary Pop. To ensure a packed dancefloor, only one of these clubs opens on any given Sunday morning, as the majority of the city’s night owls would have been heading to bed. Promotion is basically by word of mouth, with a few kitschy flyers passed out at big clubs like Megga and The Week. The parties usually start around 7am, are in full swing by 9am, and won’t end before 3 or 4 in the afternoon.

After the show

‘On Saturday nights, it seems that clubs make their DJs alternate great songs with crap, so people go buy something at the bar’, believes clubber Paulo, 32. ‘But here, they only play the music we really want to hear. It’s so much fun’.

One of the most popular afters is Energy, held on Sunday nights at Cantho, the underground club at Largo do Arouche that once hosted a party for Marc Jacobs. It features a mix of tribal and current club hits. Not far from there, on the slightly dodgier side of Centro, Mary Pop – a club with a wild mix of music, from samba and hip-hop to ’80s hits – also hosts a gay after- party, Factory, generally on the last Sunday morning of the month. The venue has two floors, with a small restaurant. Upstairs, the dancefloor is conveniently dark, with tribal and progressive house being poured forth by guest DJs from The Week.

Dance until the world ends

The most curious of the venues, however, is Code Club. When it’s not operating as a gay after-hours, this motel-turned-nightclub is aimed at ‘liberal couples’, or, in less euphemistic terms, a swing club for – ahem – ‘straight’ couples. While the dancefloor provides run-of-the-mill diversion, a side door leads to a second space, with a maze of cabins for those in search of more intimate encounters. The slits in the walls invite serious voyeurism, while glory holes allow ... well, you know.  

The after-hours crowd is actually more mixed than you’d expect: fag hags and straight couples team up with twinks, trannies, shirtless muscle marys and off-duty sex workers, and everyone dances like there is no tomorrow – or should we say Monday? ‘I think it’s better to skip Saturday night, sleep decently at home and arrive here at 9am, with plenty of energy to spend’, says Natália, 23, at Code Club in the company of her five gay friends. She seems to be an exception, though. ‘Most of us go dancing somewhere else before. If you’re not off your face, you just can’t endure it’, says Cláudio, 35. ‘Well, you can, but it’s not half as fun’.  

Energy @Cantho Largo do Arouche 32, Centro (3362 1530, 

Code After @Code Club Avenida Professor Francisco Morato 3507, Vila Sônia (3739 1068, 

Factory @Mary Pop Rua Barão de Campinas 375, Centro (3223 9142,

By Thiago Lasco


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