Now that 2015 is coming to a close, there’s one thing left to do: party like cuh-razy. With a million midnight countdowns, firework shows, and dance parties about to consume December 31st, we’ve compiled a list of the best NYE celebrations to attend in both Orange County and Long Beach. Whether you’re a music junkie who wants to see a good show or a party animal with a high tolerance for bass and drums, there’s an event to satisfy just about everyone this Thursday.
10. Soulection NYE at Observatory
Say hello to 2016 with Soulection, a Los Angeles-based record label, radio show, and music collective known for its remixes of rap and soul music. Soulection founders Joe Kay and Andre Power will be there, along with artists Abjo, The Whooligans, Sasha Marie, Orijanus, Kronika, Andres, Eden Hagos, Jared Jackson, and The Internet. Soulection, which started out as a local podcast produced in Kay’s grandma’s house in South El Monte and a Santa Ana venue, has quickly gained a massive following. 503 South Harbor Boulevard, Santa Ana; observatory.com
9. Gatsby Glam NYE at Aqua Lounge
For some, life is better in feather-embellished headbands, silk shawls, and flashy neckties. If this sounds like you, stop by Aqua Lounge in Newport Beach for its Roaring Twenties-themed NYE party. Indulge in an appetizer buffet, craft cocktails, and the chance to call everyone “Old Sport” without raising eyebrows. Aqua Lounge, 690 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach, CA 92660; aqualoungenb.com
8. NYE Rockin’ Luau Party at Don the Beachcomber
Swing, rockability, and hulability fiends: if your idea of ringing in the New Year requires your favorite music in the background, stop by Don the Beachcomber’s NYE Rockin’ Luau Party. James Intveld, Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys and The Hula Girls will be playing in three different rooms, and guests can roam (and dance) around each freely. Of course, no luau party can be without a buffet (did anyone say kuhlua pulled pork?) and a coconut bar—so definitely expect that. 16278 Pacific Coast Hwy, Huntington Beach; donthebeachcomber.com
7. Fresh NYE
Fans of hard music, trance, and err, anything involving heavy drums and bass will love Fresh NYE at Seaport Marina Hotel. Hard artists Mad Dog, Audiofreq, and Lady Faith are headlining the event among others; trance fans will get a kick out of Johnaskew, Driftmoon, and Magnus. The party will take place in two rooms at the hotel. Get ready to untz untz untz away! 6400 E. Pacific Highway, Long Beach; gofreshyourself.com
6. First Night in Fullerton
For an alcohol-free celebration with the entire family, hit up downtown Fullerton for its annual First Night NYE festival. Carnival games and food stands will line Harbor Boulevard and Wilshire Avenue and, by midnight, a fireworks show will light up the sky. If NYE without alcohol doesn’t seem right to you, hop around the nearby bars. E. Wilshire Avenue, Fullerton, (714) 738-6545; cityoffullerton.com
5. Mansion OC NYE Bash
RIP Shark Club. Enchantee, Mansion OC. To debut Mansion OC, located in Shark Club’s old location, the venue is hosting a NYE countdown party featuring LA-based DJ Scotty Boy. Expect a bass-heavy lineup full of EDM, hip hop, and house tracks. With two dance floors and an open bar, you’ll be welcoming the upcoming year with tons of endorphins and sweat. 841 Baker Street, Costa Mesa; event page
4. 5th Annual OC Midnight Kiss New Year’s
OC Midnight Kiss is your traditional NYE party, complete with top 40 and house music playing on the dance floor. The party, which is located at the Avenue of the Arts Hotel, will take place in three different rooms. An open bar, champagne toast, complimentary party favors will accompany your midnight countdown. 3350 Avenue of the Arts, Costa Mesa; event page
3. New Year’s Eve Aboard the Queen Mary
On NYE, the Queen Mary will transform seven ports into different destinations: New Orleans, Moscow, Beijing, Tokyo, Hollywood, Havana, and Lahaina. Each port will have its own DJ and food and performances based on the port theme. The Hollywood portion of the ship, for instance, features the Hedgehog Swing Band and a “Glitz and Glamour” bar. 1126 Queens Hwy, Long Beach; queenmary.com
2. Havoc NYE at Yost Theater
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
If by 11:59 p.m. on December 31st you want to be dancing to trap and G-house among a laser light show and LED screens, then swing by Havoc NYE at Yost Theater. The party, which starts at 8:30 p.m., features artists Destructo, Sweater Beats, Milo & Otis, Gladiator, Aryay, Vindata, Kicks N Licks, and DJs from Modern Disco Ambassadors and Focus. 307 N Spurgeon St, Santa Ana; yosttheater.com
1. Downtown Long Beach’s NYE Celebration
Headlining this year’s NYE celebration in downtown Long Beach are indie pop band Saint Motel, singer-songwriter ZZ Ward, folk musicians Houndmouth, and throwback rockers group Vintage Trouble. Hosted by the Downtown Long Beach Associates and Knitting Factory Entertainment, this event features three stages stationed between 1st and 4th Streets. Long Beach Press-Telegram reported that roughly 13,000 people attended the event last year.