FOR NEW YEAR’S EVE DEC 31, 2016, GO TO THIS PAGE!!!
Here’s my annual rundown of the best New Year’s Eve Swing dance events in Los Angeles and Orange County on December 31st, 2015. People started asking me about this in November, so I guess it’s useful!
I was kind of bummed to hear that Lindygroove is not having a New Year’s Eve event this year, especially when NYE falls on Thursday. Lindygroove has always been a relatively low-cost option for single dancers to go to… no partner required. Plus, you could walk out to Colorado Blvd. afterwards and see the crazies camping out for the Rose parade – kind of fun. But, I suppose the folks who put on Lindygroove faithfully every week deserve a break!
So far, I’d say Don the Beachcomber is emerging as the “default” place to go for a relatively affordable NYE where there will be other folks to dance with. But, new events are coming online every day, so stay tuned.
Note that this is a LIVING document which I will constantly update as more events come up (and they will), so bookmark this page and check back frequently.
The Day Before New Year’s Eve (New Year’s Eve Eve)
Note, these events are on the day BEFORE New Year’s Eve. Please don’t get confused and show up to these on New Year’s Eve.
The Cicada Club (SOLD OUT!)
It’s hard to image a more classy way to spend New Year’s Eve (Eve) in Los Angeles than celebrating it at the art-deco Cicada Club. Everyone will be dressed vintage, or at least dressed up, for this formal event. The band will be Dean Mora and his Orchestra, an excellent pick. Admission is $35 in advance or $40 at the door, but get your tickets early; this is a good deal and will sell out! They have a three-course dinner special for an additional $49.
Even though I know there will be folks to dance with there, I suggest bringing your own partner or dance crew to this. My review here.
I don’t know any specifics yet, but I’m sure Strutter’s Ball will utilize their day-before-NYE timeslot for something fun and affordable! I’ll let you know as soon as I have more details.
New Year’s Eve (Thursday, December 31st)
Don the Beachcomber entered the scene as an impressive new Swing venue this year. It’s a huge multi-room, multi-stage Tiki-themed restaurant/bar with “pirates of the Caribbean”-style decorations. The promoters at B&B Musical Thrills have been booking some of the best local bands around. For New Year’s Eve, it’s a rockabilly extravaganza with James Intveld and Big Sandy and his Fly-Rite Boys.
Prices start at $32.64 in advance and go up from there. Not a bad deal for New Year’s Eve. If you’re into rockabilly music, this is the place to be! I know a good number of Swing dancers who are already signed up to go to this, so there should be plenty of folks to dance with. Unlike many other NYE events, this is an all-ages event, by the way. Read my full review of Don the Beachcomber.
The Queen Mary always has an elaborate and expansive New Year’s Eve celebration, and this year is no exception. It will feature seven “stops” (rooms), in New Orleans, Havana, Beijing, Lahaina, Hollywood, Tokyo and Moscow. Entertainment will include a “New Orleans Jazz Band” (not sure which one), as well as Hedgehog Swing from 7PM to 11PM at the “Hollywood” stop. General admission is $99 and goes up from there. Fireworks at midnight. This sells out each year, so get your tickets ASAP if you want to go. I went in the early 2000’s with a big group of dancers and had a good time. Needless to say, bring a partner or group! This is not something you show up to alone.
It has become a tradition for Stompy Jones to play at Disneyland on New Year’s Eve, and thankfully that tradition continues in 2015. The crowds will be big, and the park can sell out, so get there at a reasonable time. I’ve done this before, and the crowds are heavy, but it’s manageable. This is a rather pricey option at almost $100 per person, but hey, it’s Disneyland. Most of the new annual pass packages don’t include New Year’s Eve except for the insanely expensive top tier ones, so this might be the last year that a lot of annual passholders can go.
If Disneyland is too rich for your blood, then check out Knott’s Berry Farm, featuring the Jumpin’ Joz Band and the Memories Swing dancers. There will be lessons as well. Ring in the New Year with fireworks at midnight. This could be a fun option for you and your Swing dance friends. If you buy online, tickets are only $47 in advance if I understand their website correctly, making this a darn good deal.
Voted Long Beach’s most romantic restaurant, the Skyroom will be featuring the Boyz & the Beez. Cost is $179 per person including a five-course dinner (twilight seating at 9PM). You’ll have a view of the fireworks going off at the Queen Mary! Read my review of the vintage Skyroom here.
Joe’s Bar in Burbank will be having a casino-themed New Year’s Eve party with Flat Top Tom & His Jump Cats, Aileen Quinn & The Leapin’ Lizards, Maureen & The Mercury 5, plus more. The festivities start at 7PM and go to 2AM. Tickets are $27.37 in advance.