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September 21, 2023

A 10th birthday party for pop princesses

Night Call co-founder Jenna Hawkins celebrates 10 years of her monthly pop party and applauds how pop music has strengthened her community.

  • Words: Claudia Dichiera
  • Pictures: Supplied

Growing up, my after-school entertainment with my three best friends was (our version of) strict dance routines to Katy Perry’s ‘California Gurls’ in front of a 2008 MacBook, candidly recording a Photo Booth video.


This article first appeared in our 10 Years of CityMag, Spring 2023 edition, which is on streets now.

We would stand atop a sturdy white table, singing ‘Stop’ by the Spice Girls. I attempted to copy my best friend’s every move as she perfectly imitated Scary Spice’s signature hand gestures.

This was my first brush encounter with female empowerment in the early 2010s.

Jenna Hawkins


Though our generations are categorised into different titles, both myself and the co-founder of Night Call, Jenna Hawkins, had the same experience growing up.

“My earliest memories as a child were music — pop music,” Jenna says. “I think with the explosion of the Spice Girls and Britney Spears, I would have been eight or nine, I was just obsessed with the music videos, the dancing, everything about it — it’s just such a fun, colourful type of music. You can’t help but be happy listening to it.”


Night Call’s 10th Birthday
9pm until late, Saturday, 23 September
Rhino Room
1/131 Pirie Street, Adelaide 5000
More info


Jenna has celebrated pop princesses once a month for 10 years at an LGBTQIA+ friendly, female empowerment night called Night Call at Rhino Room.

“Night Call is a pop night,” Jenna explains. “[It started as] a space for me and my friends to go to, which really at the time didn’t exist.

“We just wanted a fun night of the latest pop music but also throwbacks from the 2000s.”

It has since turned into a fully-fledged community, and the monthly Night Call event celebrates anyone and everyone.

“People come ready to dance — that’s a big part of it,” Jenna says.

“We definitely wanted it to be a safe space for the LGBTQIA+ community to come to, as well as just females to come and feel safe, and not judged — really just be able to be yourself and not feel uncomfortable.

“There needs to be different spaces for people and I feel so privileged to be able to offer another space to people that maybe didn’t exist before.”

Jenna recalls instances where a certain song would play and two people from opposing sides of the room looked at each other, pointed, and continued to spend the rest of the night dancing together, as if they’ve known each other for years. Sometimes they will continue to dance together the following month.

Coinciding with its monthly pop party, Night Call also has events dedicated solely to artists like Beyoncé, Dua Lipa and other glamorous icons.

Each event has resident DJs who understand the Night Call memo and spin songs accordingly. Jenna’s famous inclusion is her closing track. Currently, her final song is ‘Ride’ by Lana Del Rey (the full 10-minute monologue version).

Jenna says the passionate community, who hold hands in a circle and chant the lyrics to ‘Wrecking Ball’ by Miley Cyrus as the doors shut up for the night, is what she is most proud of.

“It’s really become something that people have told me they won’t go out unless Night Call’s on. It’s the one thing a month they look forward to,” Jenna says.

“Then seeing those groups of people then become friends with one another through Night Call is pretty amazing — that’s essentially what community is, right? It’s bringing people together and I feel like over the past 10 years that’s what we’ve done. We’ve brought all these different people together through a shared genuine love of pop music.”

Although the event has changed tremendously in its size, location and the variety of pop princesses it honours, the heart and ethos of Night Call has stayed the same.

“There’s still some that came to the first Night Call and they’re still coming today,” Jenna says.

“It’s not reinventing the wheel, but it’s evolving with what pop music is doing now, as opposed to what it was doing 10 years ago.”

Night Call will be celebrating their 10th birthday on Saturday 23 September at Rhino Room.

Connect with Night Call on Instagram for more.

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