Lifestyle & Culture

Dispatches’ Advance Notice Event Guide: New Year’s Eve 2017-18 Edition (updated)

(Editor’s note: We just updated the New Year’s Eve guide with events infor on New Year’s Eve fireworks in Madeira. If you haven’t made plans by now, there’s still hope!)

We know it’s not New Year’s Eve yet, but we’ve decided to use this week’s edition of our Advance Notice Event Guide to focus on sending out this year with a (hopefully non-nuclear) bang.

Some balls might be dropped, some fireworks might light the sky. But wherever you are in Europe, we at Dispatches Europe want to make sure you have the best time when 2017 passes from this mortal coil so that 2018 can enter into existence.

Amsterdam – King of the Gypsies New Year’s Party: The King of the Gypsies NYEve party seems to be playing on the wildly popular “Peaky Binders” saga, with four gypsy families.

You can take a quiz to find out if you have a gypsy soul. (See the featured vid at the top of the page.) If you do, then you won’t want to miss this New Year’s Eve party in the center of Amsterdam.

This isn’t really a gypsy party. At least we don’t think it is. But the details are tantalizing: An old abandoned theater in the heart of Amsterdam “where we can wonder, take on a game of arm wrestling, listen to violin battles, drink absinthe and dance to Balkan bands and magnificent dj’s.” The best NYEve party that you’ll never quite be able to remember?

This just popped up in our email so we don’t know much about it. But someone spent a gypsy fortune on the graphics and video production.

About the group putting this on:

Lloyd-Acardi has been creating extraordinary New Years events in Amsterdam since the year 2004. Mission statement: Continuously seeking to open the mind of others, and bringing that special atmosphere back to life at this special date and time.

You can get tickets here starting about  65 euros.

Amsterdam – The Grand Ball: Vienna can’t have all the fun, right? If you’re a fan of Viennese balls and happen to be in Amsterdam for New Year’s, then head over to Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam for the 2017 edition of The Grand Ball.

For €130 per person, you can enjoy a champagne toast at midnight, lots of beers and wines, and “luxury canapés” while waltzing in your finest black ties and silver, white and light blue gowns. The “Ice Cold Fever” infects the dance floor from 22:00 to 3:00.

Barcelona – La Noche Vieja: Want to ring in the new year with a few thousand of your newest friends? Head over to Barcelona’s Avinguda de la Reina Maria Cristina and Font Mágica de Montjuïc to experience the magic in Spain known as La Noche Vieja (New Year’s Eve en español).

The festivities begin with projections and firework displays from celebrations of the past, followed by a majestic display of fireworks overhead and the fountain playing along. This is accompanied by eating a grape every time the bell rings at the stroke of midnight.

And speaking of grapes, the fruit is the centerpiece of the festivities, from structures built to resemble them, to the overall celebration of 2018’s arrival at midnight. The grape was chosen for its shape — the circle — “with its symbolism of a never-ending line with no beginning or end, evoking repeating cycles and, consequently, the passage of time.”

And best of all, it’s free to attend.

Barcelona – New Year’s Day at Elrow: This sells out every year, so start planning for 2019.

Elrow is Barcelona’s most popular club, famous for its New Year’s Day party, which starts at 11 a.m. and runs till ….

The main operation is Elrow, Row 14, a 4,500-capacity venue just outside Barcelona.

Elrow is also an international promotional brand that stages dance parties in 52 cities, famous for production values and props. And it all started in Barcelona.

Can you say, “Bucket List”?

Berlin – Silvester Klubnacht at Berghain: Everyone wants to get in, but few are chosen at Berlin’s most famous non-stop nightclub. People don’t come here for a couple of house … many stay the entire weekend.

We’re not sure what’s different about New Year’s Eve (Silvester) other than more people will be lined up outside the 4-story colossal that used to be a power station. The club can accommodate up to 1,500 partiers. BUT, you gotta’ get past the door at this highly selective venue.

There’s the feared doorman Sven Marquard and his crew of bouncers who spend their time arbitrarily selecting who gets in from the line that generally starts forming in the afternoon. The Telegraph, of all publications, has the best post about how to get in.

Tips from that post:

• Speak German

• Convince the bouncers you’re there to see a specific DJ rather than to gawk at clubbers – knowing your Ben Klocks from your Marcel Dettmanns helps

• Don’t dress formally – Berlin is a casual city and the only people you’ll see in Berghain in heels and fake nails are transvestites

• Be yourself, especially if your self is over 25 years old

Special guest DJs schedule for New Year’s Eve include Mykki Blanco, Danny Tenaglia and B12.

Also, if you just fell off the turnip truck from Des Moines, this is famously the most debauched club in Berlin, and that’s saying something.

Okay, good luck!

Berlin – Berlin New Year’s Eve Party: Berlin has thousands of NYE parties at every club, bar and pilsstube. However, the city also has a huge official New Year’s Eve Party that’s free and features big-name artists, both live bands and DJs.

Last year, they included Jermaine Jackson and Fun Factory. And of course, 2018 will be ushered in with a giant fireworks show.

Did we mention this is free?

There is one catch: As you can imagine, this is pretty popular and Politzei shut off the area once it reaches capacity. Berlin New Year’s Eve Party is literally in the middle of the city on a two-kilometer long stretch of Straße des 17. Juni between Brandenburg Gate and the Victory Column.

The “official” party doesn’t start till 19:00, but the area is open during the day and you can stroll down the Straße des 17. Juni and watch rehearsals.

Brussels – Happy Brussels: Are you in need of lots of wubs to dance away 2017? Then Happy Brussels has what you need.

For only €59.80, one pass will grant you access to eight clubs and parties with over 50 DJs blasting open the way for 2018 to get down with its bad self with all the dropped basses and wubwubwubwuuuuubs you can handle.

Should you need a break, the pass will also net you free entrance into Atomium — Brussels’ tribute to the iron atom, erected for the 1958 World’s Fair — a free screening and exhibition at Cinéma Galleries, a free welcome drink at the Brussels Tourism Info Place, and a free guide to all of the shops, restaurants and bars scheduled to be open for the fireworks to come.

Copenhagen – New Years Eve Copenhagen x Around The World x HIVE x 2017/2018: After watching the Queen’s New Year’s speech at 18:00 New Year’s Eve, put on those red shoes and sway to the sounds of HIVE’s New Year’s celebration.

From 22:00 to 5:00, the nightclub will ring in the New Year on the hour every hour, starting with Dubai at 22:00, followed by Moscow, Copenhagen, London, Reykjavik, Cape Verde, Rio de Janeiro, and finally, Buenos Aires. In between, acrobats and dancers will dazzle your senses amid the many champagne flutes and confetti rainstorms.

Tickets to HIVE’s Around The World celebration range between DKK 150 and DKK 2,400 (€21 – €323), depending on how fancy you want to be to ring in 2018.

Den Haag – Various New Year’s Eve Events: Den Haag (or The Hague) is one of our favorite cities, the de facto capital of the Netherlands and one of the most elegant cities in Europe. There’s a large expat population which Dispatches has so-far neglected. We’re going to rectify that starting with this post.

Den Haag has several notable New Year’s Eve offerings including:

The big bonfire on the Noorderstrand beach at Scheveningen. Volunteers work for days to build the biggest bonfire in the Netherlands, which is lit at midnight. And this being the Netherlands, the night includes fireworks and DJ … and about 120,000 of your closest friends.

• New Year’s Eve party at the Hofvijver. This is at the big lake right in the center of all the ancient government buildings, which includes the Binnenhof and the Mauritshuis. One of the most photographed spots in the Netherlands. More fireworks. More music. And a huge video show thrown in, all for free.

New Year’s Day Dive: If you’re an expat in the Netherlands, this should be required to stay in the country.

Every New Year’s Day across the Netherlands, Dutch people partake in the traditional New Year’s Day Dive (Plunge or Swim, we’ve seen it different ways.) The main destination for the biggest crowds is Scheveningen Beach.

Ten thousand – yes, 10,000! – people tougher than we are show up for a swim in (or a very quick plunge into) the frigid North Sea, average winter temperature 5 degrees (42 degrees Fahrenheit). At which temperature humans have about a 30-minute survival window. Watch the video and note how the crowd sprints into the water, then right back out because there’s this thing called hypothermia. Which apparently the Dutch are immune to.

Ahhh, brisk and refreshing.

Eindhoven – Plus One: We can’t leave ourselves out of the festivities, yeah? Get ready to drop that beat on 2017 at Eindhoven, Netherlands’ own Plus One, held at Klokgebouw.

The lineup for this year’s festival includes: Ronnie Flex; Lil’ Kleine; Biggi & Elton Johnathan; Bizzey; Ruby Kolectiv; and The Partysquad.

Admission to Plus One is €37.50 for regular admission, €42.50 for late admission. E-lockers are €7 and €9. The party starts at 21:30, doors close at 3:00, and the party welcomes the first sunrise of 2018 at 6:30.

London – A Vintage New Year’s Eve Party: You want to see the fireworks over Big Ben as it briefly comes out of its four-year vacation for New Year’s, but tickets are sold out. What’s there to do now?

Go back in time, of course. Head over to Southbank Centre in your TARDIS for its A Vintage New Year’s Eve Party. Five pop-up vintage nightclubs playing hits from the 1920s to the 1990s, photo studios, hair and beauty salons to nail down the right look of choice, and views of the Thames as the big show pops off at midnight are all in store at the party.

Tickets to A Vintage New Year’s Eve Party range between £99 and £184 (€113 – €209), depending on how hungry you are or not.

Madeira – Watching fireworks on the bay: This island in the Atlantic (part of Portugal) is renowned for its New Year’s Eve Fireworks display. Locals like to say the display in the capital city of Funchal was the biggest in the world, recognized by the Guinness Book of World records.

The best way to see it is from Funchal Bay on an excursion boat. And there are lots to choose from.

Madeira Wind Birds has a cruise for 105 euros on a catamaran that hold 100 people. That price includes wines and snacks and a sightseeing tour. Wind Birds, unlike its competition, actually has a website with info. But it looks like there are dozens of other options.

You can read more about Madeira here from Dispatches.

Munich – Tollwood New Year’s Eve Gala + New Year’s Eve Party: For 10 years, the biannual Tollwood Festival has been bringing concerts, performances and exhibitions to the center of Munich, one of Europe’s most exciting cities. The music and arts festival occurs in the summer and winter, the latter occurring now through New Year’s Eve.

When New Year’s Eve arrives, Tollwood brings everything to a close with its New Year’s Eve Gala and New Year’s Eve Party. At this year’s gala, Hannes Ringlstetter and Ecco DiLorenzo & His Innersoul bring comedy and funk together under the roof of the Grand Chapiteau. Meanwhile, the party on the Tollwood Festival Ground is five stages of live reggae, blues, rock, classical, and DJs.

Tickets to the gala are €142.80 – €152, which also grants access to the party outside. Ticket to the party, on the other hand, are €24.85.

Paris – Crazy Réveillon: There are many ways to spend La Réveillon de Saint Sylvestre in Paris, but if a sexy celebration is what you’re after, then the famed Crazy Horse is the place to go for its Crazy Réveillon!

Crazy Horse is a cabaret unlike no other, and there’s no better way to experience the magic of Crazy Horse than during one of the three shows held during the last few hours of 2017 and first hours of 2018.

The 2017 shows will have half-bottles of upgraded champagne and 12 grams of Petrossian Eggxiting Caviar, while the first show of 2018 exchanges the caviar for a sweet delicacy. And of course, all three shows will have some of the finest burlesque performances you’ll ever bear witness to.

Tickets to Crazy Horse’s Crazy Réveillon are €210 for the 19:45 show, €250 for the 22:15 show, and €170 for the 1:00 show.

Paris – Concrete: Paris will never be confused with Berlin when it to its club scene, but it has its moments.

One of Paris’s most talked-about NYEve parties is at concrete, which is three-floor party boat on the Seine. Concrete is most famous for its all-day-all-night New Year’s Eve Party.

There’s not a lot of info on the website, which directs you to Facebook and Twitter for updates. And there aren’t any right now for New Year’s Eve.

But Resident Advisor has a list of the NYEve DJs:

Concrete (00:00-12:00):
Tom Trago
Leo Pol (live)
Grego G

The entry fee is 25 euros.

Prague – Prague Boats NYE With Jazz: There’s lots of ways to catch the fireworks over the heart of Prague when 2018 arrives, including a few river cruises on the Danube, like the Prague Boats NYE With Jazz.

Aboard Prague Boats’ Kotva, the five-hour extravaganza includes: a buffet featuring the Czech traditional New Year’s meal of lentils and ham; a jazz trio playing throughout the cruise; and views of Prague Castle, National Theatre, and the Dancing House.

Tickets are €195 (€175 with a 10 percent online discount). Boarding starts at 19:30, the cruise runs from 20:00 to 1:00.


Stockholm – Nyårskonsert!: The nights are so long in Stockholm that the days are but brief moments of light in an otherwise darkened shroud of winter. But don’t let it prevent you from celebrating the new year, though.

Stockholm Cathedral will welcome 2018 with Nyårskonsert!, featuring “two jubilant masterpieces for choir, soli and orchestra”: Bach’s Magnificat and Mozart’s Coronation Mass KV 317.

Tickets to Nyårskonsert! range between SEK 80 and SEK 320 (€8 – €32). The performance runs from 16:00 to 17:30.

Vienna – Hofburg Silvesterball: The Viennese ball season is not exempt from the changing of the guard, so why not ring in the New Year in your most fabulous ball attire at the Hofburg Silvesterball 31 December, held at Hofburg Vienna (Imperial Palace)?

What to expect during the Silvesterball? “Top-class performers from Vienna’s opera houses, big-name bands and orchestras, as well as catchy rhythms from waltz to jazz to DJ sounds,” as well as “a fantastic midnight show and a fireworks display above the old town.”

Tickets to ring in the new year at the Hofburg Silvesterball range from €165 for access to all ballrooms and a glass of sparkling wine during the welcome portion of the ball, to €680 for a seat reservation in the Festhaal with a four-course meal with red or white wine and mineral water, and a glass of champagne for when the clock strikes 2018; the €720 Festhaal tickets are already booked up.

The festivities start at 18:30, and continue until 4:00 the following year.

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