This post could go something like this:
It’s summer, it’s warm, it’s the holiday season, everybody’s off. So, what’s the best way to spend NYE in Australia? At one of the many festivals. Pick one: Beyond the Valley, Falls, Origin Fields, NYE in the Park… You’re welcome. End of post.
But that’s exactly the OPPOSITE of what I’m about to encourage you to do.
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NYE 2019 – 2020
PART 26 OF “AM I EVER GONNA SEE YOUR FACE AGAIN?” A RANDOM COLLECTION OF UNKNOWINGLY OBVIOUS FACTS ABOUT THE AUSTRALIAN MUSIC SCENE
I reckon you should definitely skip the crowds and the sweltering heat. Instead, take yourself and your mates to a different sort of party: the local one. And there are a few this year that look like a pretty entertaining start to the new decade.
SYDNEY A NO-NO
But before I’ll let you in on the local parties’ secrets, I wanna make one thing clear: avoid Sydney at all costs. I’m dead serious, even though the cover photo of this post is a still from the Sydney NYE celebrations I was at 2 years ago.
I get it: the fireworks at the Harbour are one of the most iconic things you can experience in your life, comparable only to welcoming the New Year at Times Square in NYC. But trust me when I say this: been there, done that, got a T-shirt. Thousands of tourists flock into Sydney for the fireworks every year and it’s super hard to get a good spot. You actually have to pay heaps of money for a fancy party waaaaay in advance or get there at a stupid o’clock (like early afternoon on the day). And here’s something that will definitely discourage you: you can’t even bring your own champers with you.
This year is special, too. Bushfires are raging through New South Wales (NSW) and Sydney is literally choking on smoke. Many people are calling for the cancellation of the fireworks altogether and spending that fortune on helping the firefighters and bushfire victims instead. Which kinda sounds right if you think about it. Additionally, it’s a matter of safety. Lost Paradise, one of the biggest NYE festivals with the most star-studded line-up, has just cancelled the event due to the extremely high fire risk. And their location is an hour away North of Sydney, not even in the city.
So, what to do instead? Here is a selection of a few less massive parties that you could still consider for your NYE celebrations Down Under.
Hotel Esplanade – aka The Espy – is one of my favourite places in Melbourne. Overlooking St Kilda beach, this historic white building is much bigger than it looks, with many hidden spaces and legendary rooms. Parties at the Espy are amazing and it attracts huge crowds, even on an average weekend. But the wait is totally worth it.
Their NYE party looks epic, too. There is something for everyone: DJs, funk and soul performers, rock bands and the headliner – Melbourne’s own: KINGSWOOD. If you factor in the incredible location, perfect weather and fancy drinks, entering the new decade at The Espy will be definitely something to remember.
NEW SOUTH WALES (NSW)
A few facts about Byron Bay: surfing is life, Chris Hemsworth (Thor from The Avengers) lives in the area, everybody wants to retire there (me included), say hello to sharks and jellyfish and you can ditch your footwear completely. Oh, and Skegss are from there, too.
In case you haven’t heard of them, Skegss are local punk rockers / trouble makers who have generously decided to spend their NYE with the common people, playing at one of the beloved local venues, The Northern Hotel. They’ve invited their good mates Ruby Fields and Pist Idiots to perform as well.
Knowing how crazy Skegss are, all I can say is: Holy Shi*t!
WESTERN AUSTRALIA (WA)
If you’re in the West for NYE, then you shouldn’t miss this event. Especially that The Avalanches are the MCs running the party and they will be supported by local WA talent.
Apart from that, it’s in Freo (Fremantle) – the place to be whilst in Perth ✔️ It’s also organised by a WA brewing company that will be serving a welcoming drink to all (!) arriving guests ✔️✔️And it’s the first party of the sort, so you could help them make history ✔️✔️✔️
Any more questions?
Hobart has a different thing to offer. The Taste of Tasmania is an annual event that takes place in the most famous and beautiful spot in Hobart called Salamanca around the holiday season. I was there last year and it’s… effing delish!
Because it’s mostly a food experience, showcasing rich Tassie flavours and promoting local farmers. But it doesn’t mean that you can’t have a wild party with music whilst foodgasming on all that amazing produce. Which is exactly what they’re planning: “70’S, 80’S and 90’S hits, performed by 100% Tassie artists on 5 live stages.” Plus, there are fireworks on the waterfront.
Shoot your pics through if you can 🙂
If spending NYE on an island is on your bucket list, you could cross it out this year. Just head to Magnetic Island, off Townsville’s coast in the tropical, sunny state of Queensland.
This NYE party is more like the big festivals – with promises of music, food, entertainment and beach life spread over 3 days in paradise. Literally. They also have a silent disco going on and the party headliners are pretty international, representing Australia, USA and the UK.
I guess my job at convincing you here is done.
AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY (ACT)
Let’s be fair: Canberra isn’t the party capital of Oz and it tends to get pretty deserted in the holiday season as most politicians and public servants go back to their home towns. But there are quite a few good places to go out there. And Mr Wolf is definitely one of them.
Compared to the other parties I’ve mentioned, what convinces me most of all about this one is a very affordable entry: AUD 15. And if you’re one of the first 50 peeps to show up, you’ll get a glass of bubbles on the house, too. Considering that there’s a lot of interesting musical talent coming out of the Nation’s Capital recently and Mr Wolf is famous for supporting that talent, you never know who you might bump into this NYE.
So be there, just in case.
NORTHERN TERRITORY (NT)
You’ll surely notice I haven’t mentioned any events happening in NT.
One of the reasons is that it’s a pretty extreme time (weather-wise) to be in the far north – the temperatures range from 27 degrees at night to 35 degrees during the day. Plus, the sun can actually kill you. That is also why there aren’t any major events organised for NYE.
But if the heat and crocs are not something that stops you from visiting Top End in the festive season, I’m sure there’ll be something going on at the beautiful Mindil Beach in Darwin.
Happy New Year!
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