Here’s my annual rundown of the best New Year’s Eve Swing dance events in Los Angeles and Orange County. With New Year’s Eve landing on a Saturday, this year’s New Year’s Eve events could be especially popular.
Note that this is just the first edition. I will constantly update this as more events come up (and they will), so bookmark this page and check back frequently. I’ll let you know of updates on my Facebook page.
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.
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 well, for this formal event. The band will be Dean Mora and his Orchestra, an excellent pick. Dinner reservations are already sold out. Admission for the dance only is $40 in advance or at the door, but don’t wait that long – these tickets will sell out as well.
New Year’s Eve (Saturday, December 31st)
Don the Beachcomber is a huge multi-room, multi-stage Tiki-themed restaurant/bar with vintage jungle decorations and waterfalls. For New Year’s Eve, it’s a rockabilly / Swing / Honkey Tonk / Hulabilly extravaganza with James Intveld, Big Sandy and his Fly-Rite Boys, Ramblin’ James & The Billyboppers and The Hula Girls!
Prices start at $40 in advance and go up from there. Not a bad deal for New Year’s Eve. If you’re into good live music to dance to, this is the place to be! This sold out last year, so get your tickets early. This is an all-ages event.
PBDA is having a New Year’s Eve Black and White Ball with the popular and energetic do-wop group, Lil’ Mo & the Dynaflos. Cost is only $35 in advance or $40 at the door. There should be plenty of people to dance with. All-ages.
Atomic Ballroom in Irvine is having their Swingin’ New Year’s Eve Party featuring game room, hors d’oeuvres, cider toast at midnight, photo ops, and NYE party favors. There’s a class at 7:45PM and the party starts at 8:30PM. $20 in advance or $20 at the door. More info on the Atomic Ballroom website. All-ages.
The Queen Mary always has an elaborate New Year’s Eve celebration, and this year is no exception. Entertainment will include Hedgehog Swing with sets at 6:45, 8:30 and 10PM, plus a lot of non-Swing DJ’s and bands. 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. 21+ only.
It has been a tradition for Stompy Jones to play at Disneyland every New Year’s Eve, and I was just informed that that tradition WILL continue! Rob just announced it on his Facebook page. Set times are as follows:
- 7:15-7:45 PM
- 8:15-8:45 PM
- 10:30-11:00 PM
- 12:05-12:35 AM
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy will be playing on a stage in front of the castle. There’s no dance floor, and it surely will be packed, but I know Swing dancers are good at finding creative places to do swingouts!
If Disneyland is too expensive, check out Knott’s Berry Farm, featuring the Jumpin’ Joz Band and the Memories Swing dancers. There will be lessons as well. There will be fireworks at midnight. This could be a fun option for you and your Swing dance friends. If you buy online, tickets are only $49 in advance if there is no surcharge for NYE. At the gate, tickets are $75, so definitely get them in advance!!! Folks with a 2016 annual pass get in FREE on New Year’s Eve! Or, you can buy a 2017 annual pass for $90 and still use it on New Year’s Eve 2016. All-ages.
Clifton’s Cabinet of Curiosities in Downtown LA is having a Luau/Tiki-themed feast followed by Polynesian performances on five(?) floors. Band will be Phat Cat Swinger. Party starts at 7PM and goes to 3AM. Tickets start at around $80. 21+ only.
An update from Marco Palos of Phat Cat Swinger: there are tickets to Clifton’s for $30 that will give access to most of the venue. Also, we’ve been given a promo code that should take of 1/3 of the ticket price! Enter “PhatCatSwinger” if you’re interested. Get tickets here.
The Barkley restaurant in South Pasadena is having a New Year’s Eve Bash featuring Angel Town Combo. There is no cover, and this is not a huge place, so reservations are required. I’m not sure how danceable Angel Town Combo will be; they might be more “jazzy” and not as much Swing. Someone correct me if I’m wrong.
Please Check this List Often
This list is made better with YOUR help! If you know of a New Year’s Eve event not on the list, please let me know in the comments below and I’ll add it!
When I get any updates, I’ll post this page on my Facebook wall, so Like it if you want to stay informed!
Which New Year’s Eve event are you going to? Leave a comment below! – Brian