Issue 26

AV Case Study: Circus Bar & Nightclub

A late-night stalwart of the Melbourne hospitality scene now boasts one of the best PAs in town.


1 May 2024

Text:/ Christopher Holder

South Yarra has long been Melbourne’s go-to late-night hospitality hub. While Melbourne CBD goes through ebbs and flows of hospitality trends, South Yarra has retained its nightclub credentials.

Helping to keep the faith is the GoodCompany Bar Group. It came onto the scene buying up a number of establishments in and around South Yarra, including Electric, La La Land, Emerson, Rossi and Somewhere. The strategy is to provide patrons with a GoodCompany option from the beginning of the night, right through to sunrise and beyond. That’s where Circus cuts in. It’s a late-night option; a bar and club you will find yourself in well after midnight – when other venues have run out of puff, Circus has only got started.


Circus has been an hospitality mainstay for 15-plus years and enjoys a 24-hour license, allowing it to be a welcome backstop for hospitality workers enjoying knock-off drinks and a chance to let off some steam, as much as it’s popular with those ready to party through the night.

The 350-cap venue’s main room is single shopfront width, with a rooftop option for those seeking some air and respite.

Rob Anthony looks after the GoodCompany Bar Group’s music offering. Not only does he book DJs for all the venues in the group, he curates the Spotify playlists, ensuring each venue has the perfect music offering at any point in the day. Rob is a DJ himself so he knows what keeps international (and local) DJs happy and wanting to return: “It’s gotta be the audio. When DJs arrive, as soon as they’re through the door of Circus, they know they’re in for a good night. The new PA is that good.”


The new PA Rob’s talking about is a d&b xS Series system, based on a pair of 24S full-range loudspeakers for the dancefloor, teamed with three 18S-Subs a side. The DJ doesn’t miss out, with a pair of 12S full-range loudspeakers for foldback. It’s a powerful system that provides all the impact required for house and techno (the predominant genres), while retaining clarity and ultra-low distortion characteristics.

“As a DJ I know what it’s likes to play at venues where the sound system is not quite there,” explains Rob Anthony. “Your ears ring after a couple of hours. These d&b loudspeakers are brutal but pristine and helps to explain why visiting international DJs almost always extend their sets – sometimes it can be hard to get them to leave!”


Summit Audio Visual spec’ed and installed the new d&b PA and has become GoodCompany’s go-to audio and lighting contractors. Director Goran ‘Gozza’ Joncevski went on the journey with GoodCompany’s directors, both parties were aware of the benefits of investing in the best audio possible.

“Our job was easy,” according to Gozza. “GoodCompany wanted a d&b PA, so really it was simply a matter of finding the best d&b fit for the venue.”

The club went through a few iterations of the audio design until it was determined the xS Series provided the best fit, not only from an audio perspective but aesthetically as well.


The dancefloor justifiably gets the lion’s share of the audio firepower but a complementary distributed audio design ensures the right atmosphere throughout the club. d&b 8Ss act as delay loudspeakers through the bar area with a pair of the more compact 5S for the VIP space. Upstairs, a further six 8Ss, all stereo imaged, cover the terrace, along with four 12S-Subs to fill out of the lows.

Brand new d&b 30D amplifiers power the loudspeakers, while d&b’s R1 playing ringmaster of control.

All up, the d&b combination is luxurious audio experience for patrons and performers.

Rob Anthony said it best: “For a nightclub to be truly successful and enjoy longevity, you’ve got to have a great sound system and that’s what Circus has. I’m not surprised by the fact it’s becoming the place for big DJs to come and play at, and want to play at, because they’re hearing so many good things about the sound system. When they arrive, they’re in their element. They’re having fun, and I know they’ll be back.”

Summit Audio Visual: 0402 702 215
NAS (d&b):


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