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Melted cheese, dirty basslines and drag racing: 14 New Year’s Eve parties with a twist

By Time Out editors
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Want to get your New Year’s Eve plans locked down once and for all? There’s still time to bag yourself a fine party for the final blow-out of the year. We’ve rounded up 14 of the best NYE events in London, so take a look at the list and get booking.

Scottee’s Naff Drag NYE 

Hold on to your party hats: artist and drag hero Scottee is back for another star-studded New Year’s Eve party. It’s a night of music, performances and dancing – without a single ‘Drag Race’ contestant in sight. He’ll be joined by model Munroe Bergdorf, whose anti-racist activism won her a contract with Illamasqua earlier this year, as well as artist Victoria Sin, dancers Figs in Wigs and east London cabaret idol Russella, plus Knickerbocker DJs Alex Lawless and Aaron Zimbra on the decks in Room 2. Hackney Showroom. Rectory Rd Overground. £20.

Watch fireworks (indoors) at the Festival of Light 

Get slathered in psychedelic body paint and head to Clapham for a New Year’s Eve celebration featuring all the fun of fireworks with none of the standing about in the cold. There will be fire performances, lantern installations, UV ball pits and indoor fireworks, all set to a soundtrack of house, garage, techno and bass. Get in there quick, though: there are only 300 tickets left. The Clapham Grand. Clapham Junction Overground. £41.50.

Get cheesy at a fondue supper club

If your idea of a messy night out is less ‘Who’s up for shots?’ and more ‘Oh, there’s dairy all over my face and clothes’, you’re in for a treat. The Underground Restaurant is seeing out 2017 with a fondue supper club starring comté cheese, and lots of it. The night is BYO champagne and host Regula Ysewijn, a food writer and photographer, promises that the French fromage she’s serving up pairs perfectly with fizz. Oh là làLocation TBC. Tube: Kilburn. £60. www.edibleexperiences.com.

Dance through the lasers at Printworks Presents NYE

Photo: C Faruolo

It’s a special one at the spectacular former printing plant in Canada Water, with a rare late session for NYE in the laser-soaked dance space. It runs from 7pm through to 4am, and the main Press Halls will be kept brimming thanks to sets from house legends MK, Lee Foss and KC Lights, with Robert Dietz and Laura Jones booked for the Charge Bay. Booking is essential. Printworks. Tube: Canada Water. £27.50-£74.25.

End 2017 with a pop party at Guilty Pleasures

Taylor Swift, S Club 7, Rihanna and the Backstreet Boys – if that sounds like the line-up of your dream music festival, then listen up: Guilty Pleasures is putting on an unashamedly poptastic party at Koko for New Year’s Eve. They promise a bash that’s a bit like a wedding but a) without the boring bits like the speeches, and b) has an effing glitter cannon. Well, it sounds like pure joy in a nightclub. Come covered in glitter and leave with even more on you. Koko. Tube: Mornington Crescent. From £20.81.

Show off your moves at the Rivoli Ballroom 

Fun fact: the Rivoli is the only ’50s ballroom still standing in the UK. Its plush ruby interior is often used as a set for retro movies and makes for the kind of photos that’ll bag you double-figure likes on all social media channels. More importantly, the ballroom’s putting on a family-friendly New Year’s Eve party that’ll have revellers dancing away the past 12 months to jive, ballroom, pop and party classics. Good, wholesome NYE fun. Rivoli Ballroom. Crofton Park rail. £25.

Escape to Peru at Ceviche

Feast your way into 2018 at Ceviche Old Street. The restaurant is throwing a Peruvian NYE party with a ’50s exotica twist. The joint will be decked out with stone-faced Inca sculptures for the night, and there’ll be a set menu spanning smoked swordfish, avocado cannelloni and a croissant crown before the tables are cleared and the real party starts. Hello, pisco sours. Ceviche. Tube: Old St. £55 to eat, £15 entry only.

Travel back in time on the South Bank 

The Southbank Centre is throwing another legendary Vintage New Year’s Eve Party, and it’s pretty much the ‘San Junipero’ episode of ‘Black Mirror’. There’ll be five floors of entertainment – spanning the ’20s to the ’90s – including pop-up nightclubs and a beauty salon. Plus, guests can watch the fireworks while necking cocktails on the terrace. Southbank Centre. Tube: Waterloo. From £99.

Feel the bassline at Playaz New Year’s Eve 2017

If you like sweet buttery bass more than Paul Hollywood, then Playaz at Brixton Academy is the vibe for you. Among many treats on offer, Roots Manuva will be playing his classic ‘Dub Come Save Me’ album, while D&B titans Hype & Hazard, Clipz, Sub Focus and My Nu Leng bring the rush. O2 Academy Brixton. Tube: Brixton. £36.25.

Skate your way into 2018 at Skylight

Curling, crazy golf – there isn’t much you can’t do on London’s rooftops. And now there’s one more thing to add to the list: ice skating. Up on the roof of Tobacco Dock, Skylight is home to London’s only rooftop skating rink, which is open until late on New Year’s Eve. Even if you don’t fancy testing your skills on the ice, it’s a pretty sweet spot to see the New Year’s Eve fireworks. There are heated areas, a dancefloor, cocktails and cheese fondue. Skylight. Shadwell Overground. £15. 

Make a splash at the Natural History Museum

Get ready to feel like you’re starring in an episode of ‘Blue Planet II’ at the Natural History Museum’s glamorous New Year’s Eve: Under the Sea bash. The extravagant fancy dress party will feature ocean-inspired cocktails, massaoke (karaoke in a big group), bingo and a silent disco. Attendees will even get to explore the institution’s three exhibitions after hours (although, be warned, ‘Venom: Killer and Cure’ isn’t for the faint-hearted) and, of course, wish Hope, the huge whale skeleton in the main hall, a happy new year. Natural History Museum. Tube: South Kensington. £129.

Party hard at Mangle

Imagine a house party with sofas to smooch on, plus balloons and confetti. Then add one of the most revered figures in house music to the mix. That’s Percolate’s plan for NYE. Kerri Chandler’s leading the line-up at its house party-style fifth anniversary. Let’s hope no one spills red wine on the couch. Mangle. London Fields Overground. £25.

Have twice the fun at Oval Space x The Pickle Factory NYE

It’s double trouble at Oval Space and The Pickle Factory as the two Bethnal Green venues team up to smash out the first night of 2018. Maurice Fulton lines up techno and disco records for a sweet start to the new year, sharing the booth with Panorama Bar DJ Prosumer and an as-yet-unnamed special guest. Across the road, godlike London totem Andrew Weatherall takes over The Pickle Factory for an all-night set of techno (plus an eclectic mix of wildcards). Oval Space. The Pickle Factory. Cambridge Heath Overground. £25-£35.

Enjoy all of your favourite things at Sink the Pink’s NYE ball

Photo: Luke Dyson

What do you truly love? Whether it’s an animal, a food, an emoji, a celebrity, a body part (wink), a TV show or just yourself – dress up as it and head down to Sink The Pink’s ‘Favourite Things’-themed drag ball at the Troxy this NYE. The inclusive gender-twisting crew are known for throwing some of the most bonkers parties in the whole of London. Expect debauchery. Troxy. Limehouse DLR. £38.50.

Find tons more December 31 fun in our ultimate guide to New Year in London, including loads of great things to do on New Year’s Day.

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