PARTY RADAR Let’s kick this sorry ass-end of a year bah-byeeeeee and hit the dance floor for a couple days running, shall we? Below are my top picks for moving past the sh*t and into the champagne.
And hey, why not finish off 2018 by saving local media? And nudge your favorite club or party to advertise with us! 💁 Hey, I made it through this without making a “ball drop” joke, surely that’s worth something. (PS Here’s my annual list of New Year’s Day parties for the real champs.)
NEW YEAR’S EVE PARTIES OF NOTE
NEW YEAR’S EVE AT LA PEÑA WITH SAMBADÁ & BRAZA PARTY! I love the Braza party, and this event sounds full of gorgeous color and flavor. Dance with a Brazil-loving crowd and hear some great live music from Santa Cruz’s SambaDá. 9pm-2am, $35. La Peña Cultural Center, Berkeley. More info here.
THE MIDWAY NYE 2019 Sure, you’re ready for an all night party with Little Dragon, Modeselektor, TokiMonsta, and Mayan Warrior—but are you ready for a sustainable future? I mean, yes, duh, but this NYE, The Midway is eliminating all single-use plastics going forward. “To compliment the switch, The Midway will install an art exhibit by creative duo YuJo highlighting the negative effects of plastic pollution. The artists are known for creating sculptural works around the world, including the life-size blue whale made from discarded plastic at Crissy Field.” Which sounds pretty cool. 9pm-4am, $89.50. The Midway, SF. More info here.
NEW YEAR’S GAIETY WITH PEACHES CHRIST + SF SYMPHONY What a combo! “Ring in 2019 with San Francisco’s famed drag sensation Peaches Christ, plus Jane Lynch, Cheyenne Jackson, Edwin Outwater, and the SF Symphony! Featuring a star-studded lineup of surprise guest stars, delectable vocalists, and drag queens galore, you’ll be regaled by big laughs, big fun, and even bigger hair.” 8pm, 35+. Davies Symphony Hall, SF. More info here.
PLANET STUD NYE The Stud blast off into a pan gender-welcoming future, with Berlin/SF wonderperson Femanyst aka Lady Blaktronica dropping banging techno, plus gayphextwin live, and DJs Siobhan Aluvalot, Adam Kraft, and me, DJ Marke B! Drag bonanza at 9:30 and 11:30. 8pm-4am, $15-$20. The Stud, SF. More info here
POPSCENE INDIE NYE Local band Geographer should probably be bigger, but they stay our own rather open secret—here they DJ a special set for the awesome indie-dance juggernaut that is the Popscene party. 9:30pm-2:30am, $14+. Monarch, SF. More info here.
THE QUEEN’S BALL There’s a lot going on with this one: drag show, aerialists, Groovewell playing funky tunes all night in the side room … but the DJs are the main draw: UK’s brilliant Maya Jane Coles, Lily Ackerman, and a live performance by the great Ah Mer Ah Su. 9pm-3am, $60-$70. Great Northern, SF. More info here.
CAT CLUB NYE It’s an 80s extravaganza! Cat Club SF, Club Gossip, and the 1984 party come together to take you way back. Party like it’s, er, 1985! 9pm-4am, $25. Cat Cub, SF. More info here.
SHANNON & THE CLAMS Oakland garage rock phenoms ring it in, with Once and Future Band and Glitter Wizard. 9pm, $40-$50. New Parish, Oakland. More info here.
UNDERGROUND SF NYE BASH Ace house spinner DJ Spun comes in from NYC to throw down, with Elexos Park and Woozy backing up. 8pm-2am, $5-$10. Underground SF. More info here.
MACEO PARKER A funky New Year indeed, when “the king of the funky saxophone and one of the primary architects of modern R&B” comes raring in to SFJAZZ. Love him. 10:30pm, $60+. SFJAZZ. More info here.
TRAP CITY NYE The Best of the Bay Best Hip-Hop Club winner throwing a party in a huge video arcade with a superhero theme? Up, up, and a way. 9pm-2am, $10. The Emporium, SF. More info here.
BOOTIE NYE The crazy kids of Bootie bring you three different balloon drops, dozens of entertainers, like eight different dance rooms, and their patented brand of mashed-up Frankenpop. 9pm-3:30am, $20+. DNA Lounge, SF. More info here.
GLAMAMORE’S NYE Everyone’s favorite drag matriarch promises a dazzling evening of drink and drag (and plenty of cute baby boy new years, of course). 10pm-2am, $10-$15. powerhouse, SF. More info here.