There’s no shortage of delights in Melbourne over the festive season, and New Years is the cherry on top of the celebratory cake. Fireworks fill the sky, the CBD is packed to bursting and worse-for-wear brunchgoers make the most of Melbourne’s cafe culture the next morning.
All of which is great, but what happens if you want to escape the crowds? Turns out there’s some great under-the-radar events as only Melbourne can put on. If you’ve left it til the very last minute or prefer to keep things spontaneous, here are some solutions for a less ordinary NYE experience that still feels very Melbourne.
Step Back in Time
Ring in the new year in style, as only State of Grace know how. Their pop-up ‘Cotton Club’ is set to recreate the prohibition era with a Gatsby-style cocktail party. Keen beans can get in early and enjoy a 3 course dinner before the debauchery begins or simply swish in for the drinks – it’s all covered from cola to cocktails. Plus there’s live entertainment, canapés for days and the opportunity to embrace your inner aristocrat.
Tickets are $140 for a drinks only package or $160 to include dinner.
Doors open at 7pm. Tickets here.
Closest Digs: The Larwill Studio or The Olsen
Play That Funky Music
For the past few years a soul revolution has been quietly taking over Melbourne and it comes in the form of a monthly party called Soul A Go-Go. Now, they’ve upgraded to a bigger space and brought in some of their best live players to perform for this mega-occasion. Happening just up the road from The Olsen on Richmond’s infamous Swan Street strip, can wear your best dancing shoes without the sore feet. If you prefer your party tunes old-school and high energy, this will be just your thing.
Tickets from $30.
From 9pm-3am. Tickets here.
Closest Digs: The Olsen
Have A French Fling
No, we don’t mean getting cheeky with the first Parisian you can find. Our favourite cheesemongers at Milk The Cow fromagerie are putting on a ‘night of decadent splendour’ that includes hours of French beverages (think cocktails and champagne), plenty of nibbles and the best of their French and European cheese selection. With live music and performances, this is certainly not just for the Francophiles out there.
Tickets are $135 per person.
From 8pm-1am at both the St Kilda and Carlton fromageries. Tickets for both venues here.
Closest Digs: The Blackman
Embrace Your Inner Cheapskate
If you prefer your New Years cheap and cheerful, trusted Prahran outpost Lucky Coq has your back. Their ‘No Frills NYE’ is back for another year, with free entry, free barbeque and local DJs taking care of the tunes. Meet the locals, sink a local beer or three and enjoy their rooftop if the weather is good. Taking place throughout the day and night, it’s the unpretentious answer to the ‘more is more’ NYE parties.
Runs all day. No bookings taken but all the details can be found here.
Closest Digs: The Cullen
Get Down and Dirty in St Kilda
Melbourne’s favourite rough n’ tumble music venue is always good for a local gig, and their NYE celebrations make the most of their regular cohort. Young guns Kingswood are joined by DZ Deathrays, Adalita, the Griswolds and more. It’ll be loud, edgy and boisterous – but in a way only Melbourne’s music scene can be. Our tip? With the Blackman just down the road, you can revel in the luxury of your suite at the end of the night.
Tickets are $72.95, available here.
Doors open from 7pm, with no closing time - so buckle up for a big one.
Closest Digs: The Blackman or The Cullen
Stay In With Style
“But NYE is all about getting out!” we hear you say. That’s all well and good, but what if the views come to you? The Olsen, The Blackman and The Larwill Studio are all perched to look out on the city and take in the glittering fireworks at midnight. Plus, when you can get your own champagne, ice cream and other guilty pleasures delivered to your door, why would you worry about missing out? All the good stuff is already at your fingertips.