New Year’s Eve parties and events
The party: Some details of this event are still shrouded in secrecy (hence the name), so attendees can likely expect more than they bargained for after arriving. Held at notoriously badass party space Fair Market, just east of downtown, the ticket includes complimentary drinks and coat check, catered pizza, specialty cocktails and music by Austin essential DJ Mel (plus support from Charles Moon). Black tie attire is optional, and a percentage of ticket sales go to the Clifford Antone Foundation.
Cost: $145 (21+)
The party: In keeping with their boast that this shindig has been an Austin tradition since 1997, downtown bar Speakeasy’s main NYE attraction is a performance from ’90s British hit-makers Suede. Of course, that’s just a portion of the total package, which—depending on what tier you purchase—could include bottle service with a view of the city lights from rooftop bar Terrace59, or exclusive access to the 1920s-style Kabaret Room. Every ticket gets you a complimentary champagne toast at midnight, plus party favors like festive hats and noisemakers to amp things up during multiple balloon drops. Cocktail attire encouraged!
Cost: $49-$188 (21+)
The party: If you’re looking to blend in with the locals, consider heading to this long-running ATX New Year’s Eve tradition. Ring in 2018 with Austin’s most important hometown musical hero, Willie Nelson, who wraps up his third and final night at ACL Live on NYE with support from his son, Lukas Nelson (and his fantastic band, Promise of the Real) and Atlanta-based rockers, Blackberry Smoke. Don’t miss this occasion with the Red-Headed Stranger, whose career now spans six decades and more than 200 albums; Father Time Texas and Baby New Year are making appearances, too!
Cost: $99-$157 (all ages)
The party: Spinning off their recent addition to ACL Fest, C3 Presents is throwing a NYE silent disco party featuring your favorite 80s, 90s, 2K, hip-hop/R&B and EDM/Top40 tunes. It’s dubbed a “disglo” because the headsets let you choose between three DJs (DJ Steady B, DJ DK or DJ Kimmy K) playing simultaneously, denoted by a corresponding colored LED display so you can groove along with anyone on the same channel. Dancing is encouraged (duh), but all you gotta do to talk is lower the volume or take the headphones off. Complimentary champagne toast at midnight for all the 21+ peeps!
Cost: $30 (all ages)
The party: Head to the Highball (adjacent to Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar) for a New Year’s Eve of laser light shows, confetti blasts, a mechanical bull, photo booth, hookah lounge, build-your-own hot chocolate bar, a dance party featuring 2017’s biggest hits plus plenty of throwbacks, and billions of champagne bottles a’poppin’! OK, maybe not billions, but there will be a complimentary champagne toast at midnight, and besides that they’ve promised “the best time you’ll have for 364 days.” With three of Alamo’s theaters open for surprise party activities, who knows what else is in store.
Cost: $30 (21+)
The party: All we know about this NYE party right now is that it features one of Austin’s most legendary live bands—the incomparable kings of laser-strewn dance-rock, Ghostland Observatory—in one of the city’s best intimate music venues. VIP packages include a signed, limited edition show poster, early entry, Mohawk swag bag (koozie, T-shirt and enamel pin) and a bottle of champagne. The Facebook event promises “more details and special guests to be announced in the coming weeks,” but the irresistible pulse of Ghostland’s music alone should be enough for anyone with “exercise more” penciled into their New Year’s resolutions. Get a jumpstart the ATX way!
Cost: $69.50-$125 (all ages)
The party: Put on your spiffiest tux, your sparkliest sequined dress and your best spy attire for Eberly's James Bond-themed fête on New Year's Eve. Tickets to the party include access to a full casino, live music, burlesque entertainment, food, James Bond- themed cocktails and a champagne toast at midnight. Try your hand in the casino room for a chance to win prizes, including a bottle of vintage Veuve Clicquot, Eberly gift cards, and an Austin staycation package complete with brunch at Stubb’s BBQ, a one-night stay at South Congress Hotel, and ticket vouchers for ACL. All that outfit planning will come in handy, too—a costume contest will award the best James Bond, Bond girl or villain.
The party: Last year, the Four Seasons Hotel’s Lobby Lounge rang in the New Year with a sold-out Mad Men-themed bash, and this year they’re implementing an “air of revelry and mystery” with a Latin-influenced masquerade. Snack on gratis hors d’oeuvres, sip handcrafted cocktails (one free drink per ticket), raise a complimentary glass of champagne under a balloon drop at midnight and dance all night long to the Latin jazz of the Brew. Go find (or start making) the perfect masquerade mask now!
Cost: $75 (21+)
The party: With a warm interior décor and two stages for non-stop live music, the campus-area Spider House Ballroom is known for throwing superb shows any night of the week. On NYE, they’re raising the stakes with an all-local bill of bands (for the affordable price of one regular show) featuring some of Austin’s most notorious talents: Big Bill, the Ghost Wolves, the Rotten Mangos and much more. Expect cheap drink specials all night and more announcements as the party nears.
Cost: $10 in advance/$15 DOS (21+); $15 in advance/$20 DOS (18+)
The party: For this Brazilian spin on “Ano Novo”—which features samba dancers, capoeira performances and Caipirinhas—wearing white symbolizes purity, peace and renewal for the New Year. But that doesn’t mean you can’t snazz it up a bit. Organizers encourage adding different colors (incorporating sequins aplenty, obvs) to attract certain luck in 2018: red for romance, green for health, yellow for wealth, blue for peace and purple for inspiration. The all-inclusive ticket gets you flowing champagne, midnight snacks and VIP lounge access (by reservation). Bonus: this bash runs about an hour later than other downtown NYE party.
Cost: $125-$1,350 (21+)
The party: If funky reggae music gets you lit, Flamingo Cantina is your destination for NYE. Ease into the 2018 groove with two sets from the founding fathers of Austin roots reggae, the Mau Mau Chaplains, plus DJ Jah Bill spinning all the hits before, in between and after so the party never stops. No time for a pre-show dinner? No worries—Winston’s Kitchen will be on hand serving up traditional Jamaican vittles so you’ll have a solid foundation for all the champagne to come.
The party: Welcome 2018 under the shining stars with 180-degree views of the city at this VIP New Year’s Eve event held at the Westin Austin Downtown’s 20th floor rooftop pool bar. Musical talent from the Boss Brass Band plus a lineup of DJs are set to light up the dance floor while you enjoy an open bar, passed bites, cabanas with fire pits (by reservation) and a champagne toast at midnight. Limited NYE accommodation packages—some which include breakfast the following morning at the hotel’s restaurant Stella San Jac—are also available, so you don’t need to worry about responsible transportation to and from the party.
Cost: $165-$1,400 (21+)
The party: The Austin Social Affair advertises this NYE bash as a chance to “immerse yourself in the shimmering elegance; where the crowd is dazzling and the night is anything you want it to be.” Elegant attire is required at this shindig, and you’ll doubtless want to don your most thrilling Hollywood-worthy threads as roaming “paparazzi” photographers snap your pic while you indulge in a champagne room (that’s right, a dedicated bubbly space), VIP cigar lounge, passed gourmet hors d’oeuvres, photo booth and DJs dishing out non-stop entertainment on the dance floor.
Cost: $95-$1,000 (21+)
The party: This NYE party at Caroline’s hip upstairs space offers entertainment by DJ WillGood, a photobooth, themed craft cocktails by Flor de Cana Rum, Wild Turkey, Campari, Grey Goose, Absolut Vodka, Deep Eddy, Avion Tequila and Patron, plus a balloon drop and complimentary champagne toast at midnight. And since the shindig’s free (with RSVP), you can invest more cash in those tasty libations (or a group shareables menu) and truly party like there’s no tomorrow from a rooftop in the heart of downtown.
Cost: Free (with RSVP)
The party: Just because it’s not outrageously debaucherous doesn’t mean it won’t be a fulfilling New Year’s celebration. The Austin Zen Center opens its event description with an apt quote from renowned Zen Buddhist monk Suzuki Roshi: “Moment after moment we should renew our life, we should not stick to old ideas of what life is, or what our way of life is. Especially at the end of the year we should completely renew our feelings and completely clean even our cars. If we always stick to old ideas and always repeat the same thing over and over again, then we are confined in our old way of life. Some excitement or some occasion is necessary to encourage us along.” Aligning with that mindset, there will be temple cleaning, chanting for compassion/awakening, toshi-koshi noodles to symbolize “year bringing,” sitting and walking meditations, literally ringing in the New Year with 108 (!) bells and a bonfire purification ceremony accompanied by celebratory toast (we’re guessing it’s tea).
Cost: Free (with RSVP)