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New Year’s Eve in Chicago 2019

Celebrate the arrival of 2020 in Chicago with New Year's Eve parties, concerts, dinners and more

Photograph: Billy Huynh

There's a certain amount of pressure when it comes to making New Year’s Eve plans, especially if you're set on ending the year with a bang. Thankfully, there's a variety of ways that you can welcome 2020 on a celebratory note, whether you decide to feast on a special menu at one of Chicago’s best restaurants, dance in a ballroom at a hotel or sway to the rhythm at a local music venue. If you don't feel like spending another evening on the couch (not that there's anything wrong with that), browse some of the top parties, concerts and meals that you can only experience on New Year's Eve in Chicago.

New Year’s Eve Chicago 2019

New Year's Eve parties
Things to do

New Year's Eve parties

Find giant hotel bashes, intimate celebrations at local bars and more ways to welcome 2019

New Year’s Eve concerts
Music

New Year’s Eve concerts

Noname, Galantis, Guided By Voices and more notable acts cap off another year

Last-minute New Year’s Eve dinner reservations
News

Last-minute New Year’s Eve dinner reservations

Hurry up and lock down a table at some of the city's best restaurants

New Year's Eve photos

Voyager New Year’s Eve 2018
Things to do

Voyager New Year’s Eve 2018

Chicago welcomed 2018 with a bunch of great New Year’s Eve parties, but few had the futuristic, forward-looking flair of Voyager

Chi-Town Rising 2017
Things to do

Chi-Town Rising 2017

It may have downsized its festivities and gone back on its promise of being a free, public event, but the inaugural Chi-Town Rising celebration ended up being a pretty decent New Year's Eve spectacle. Thousands of attendees bought tickets and showed up to stand in front of the Hyatt Regency, taking in musical performances, fireworks and the gradual ascension of a 70-foot tall star tricked out with a video screen. While you're busy completing your list of New Year's resolutions, take a look at our photos from the first (and probably not last) Chi-Town Rising party.

Our favorite photos from Chi-Town Rising 2016
News

Our favorite photos from Chi-Town Rising 2016

Here's what the Loop looked like as 2017 arrived

NYE at the Hilton 2013 photos

NYE at the Hilton 2013 photos

Mike Posner and Bad Boy Bill ring in the new year.

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Archive New Year's Eve stories

Chi-Town Rising reveals its full music lineup
News

Chi-Town Rising reveals its full music lineup

If you want to see some chart-topping pop stars at Chi-Town Rising, you'll have to watch a YouTube video on your phone. Today, the inaugural outdoor New Year's Eve celebration revealed the remainder of its music lineup, on the heels of last month's announcement that Chicago (the band) and American Authors will headline the event. The rest of the bill announced today includes local acts such as the NuBlu Band, Carlito Olivero, Kweku Collins, Radio Free Honduras, JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound, the Heard and the O'My's. Chi-Town Rising's plan to hoist a gigantic star up the side of a building on New Year's Eve seems designed to draw direct comparisons to the ball drop in Times Square—an event that will include Carrie Underwood as its headlining performer this year. While it's great that local acts will get the chance to perform at the public celebration, it seems like organizers could have spent a bit more of the privately funded event's reported "well into seven figures" budget on higher profile performers—the kind of names that might actually attract out-of-town visitors to the city. Unless you've been dying to hear "25 or 6 to 4" just before the stroke of midnight or can't get enough of the ubiquitous commercial ditty "Best Day of My Life," Chi-Town Rising's live music lineup leaves something to be desired. If you must see a great band on the last day of 2015, you're better off spending some cash on tickets to one of the many New Year's Eve concerts in Chicago.  

Chi-Town Rising is selling tickets for its formerly free festivities
News

Chi-Town Rising is selling tickets for its formerly free festivities

Does a free, public New Year's Eve celebration with fireworks and performances by bands like Chicago and American Authors sound too good to be true? Apparently it is. Once billed as "free to the public," Chi-Town Rising has become another private celebration, albeit on a much grander scale than most. Earlier this month, organizers began selling $150 tickets for access to "Broadcast Boulevard," the location of the event's main Countdown Stage on Upper Wacker Drive between Michigan Avenue and Columbus Drive. Organizers have also been offering up $99 tickets that give attendees access to the "Corona Beach House," a private party that will take place across the Chicago River at 225 E North Water St. The Tribune confirmed that the lineup of bands that was once slated to perform on a public stage in Pioneer Court has now been moved to the main Countdown Stage, which can only be accessed with the purchase of a ticket to "Broadcast Boulevard." According to a tweet from Chi-Town Rising organizers, a free viewing area for the festivities will be in Pioneer Court, but it seems you'll need binoculars if you actually want to see the acts playing on the other side of the river. When Chi-Town Rising was initially announced, organizers estimated 100,000 people would show up to participate in the festivities. Though the number seemed lofty at the time, it seems especially generous now that organizers are charging for access to the main event. We sincerely doubt that 100,000 people will pay

Chi-Town Rising reveals its full music lineup
News

Chi-Town Rising reveals its full music lineup

If you want to see some chart-topping pop stars at Chi-Town Rising, you'll have to watch a YouTube video on your phone. Today, the inaugural outdoor New Year's Eve celebration revealed the remainder of its music lineup, on the heels of last month's announcement that Chicago (the band) and American Authors will headline the event. The rest of the bill announced today includes local acts such as the NuBlu Band, Carlito Olivero, Kweku Collins, Radio Free Honduras, JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound, the Heard and the O'My's. Chi-Town Rising's plan to hoist a gigantic star up the side of a building on New Year's Eve seems designed to draw direct comparisons to the ball drop in Times Square—an event that will include Carrie Underwood as its headlining performer this year. While it's great that local acts will get the chance to perform at the public celebration, it seems like organizers could have spent a bit more of the privately funded event's reported "well into seven figures" budget on higher profile performers—the kind of names that might actually attract out-of-town visitors to the city. Unless you've been dying to hear "25 or 6 to 4" just before the stroke of midnight or can't get enough of the ubiquitous commercial ditty "Best Day of My Life," Chi-Town Rising's live music lineup leaves something to be desired. If you must see a great band on the last day of 2015, you're better off spending some cash on tickets to one of the many New Year's Eve concerts in Chicago.  

Chi-Town Rising is planning an even bigger New Year's Eve celebration
News

Chi-Town Rising is planning an even bigger New Year's Eve celebration

As you've likely heard, Chi-Town Rising—the large-scale, televised, outdoor New Year's Eve celebration that debuted in 2015 and drew a reported crowd of 90,000—is returning to downtown Chicago on December 31. This time around, organizers are focused on making the event "bigger, better and even more accessible to Chicagoans and visitors alike," promising more viewing areas, a fireworks display and the return of the gigantic Chicago star, which will scale the side of the Hyatt Regency Chicago at midnight. In a press release, event organizers Arena Partners revealed that all outdoor viewing areas on both the north and south side of the Chicago River will be free and open to the public. In 2015, Chi-Town Rising was initially pitched as a free event, but in mid-December, organizers began selling $150 tickets that granted guests access to "Broadcast Boulevard," the center of the festivities at the foot of the Hyatt Regency—those who didn't purchase a ticket were able to watch from a plaza across the river. This year, Chi-Town Rising will feature a variety of ticketed parties at indoor venues around the city (including the Hyatt Regency and Howells & Hood), featuring musical entertainment, refreshments and views of the outdoor festivities. Returning attractions from last year's event include the free Family Countdown Celebration in Grant Park, which provides live entertainment and a “Halfway to Midnight” countdown for kids who can't stay up until the star rises. New to this year'

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More from New Year’s Eve in Chicago 2019

New Year's Eve parties

Find giant hotel bashes, intimate celebrations at local bars and more ways to welcome 2019