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.
El Cid will have two dinner seatings featuring Flamenco dancing, but starting at 11PM, they’ll have Gypsy jazz with the Hot Club of LA until 2AM. You can show up just to dance to the Hot Club if you like – no need to buy dinner. No price info yet. More details as I get them.
Swingtronic’s Marshall Watson is helping to recreate last year’s event at the Monte Cristo with Vendetta – A 1920’s Prohibition-Era Party. 9PM-10PM will feature Prohibition-era music. After 10PM, the DJ’s will take over with electroswing and remixes. Cover is $30, but you can get in for as little as $10 if you sign up on the guest list and go early.
The amazing Clifton’s Cabinet of Curiosities in Downtown LA is hosting New Year’s Eve party co-hosted by Dapper Day and Folly. The awesome Big Butter Jazz Band will be headlining along with the Black Top Trio (no one seems to know anything about that band). Dita Von Teese will be hosting. Tickets start at $100 and go up from there. Sounds like a great time, but bring your own partner for sure.
The Culver Hotel will be featuring Sylvia & the Rhythm Boys for New Year’s Eve. There are two dinner seatings for $95 or $85 but there is no cover charge for entry. This is definitely a “bring your own partner” type of event. It’s unclear how much space there will be (if any) for Swing dancing.
Kinda late to be realizing this, but Atomic Ballroom will be open for New Year’s Eve due to Lindygroove being closed. Here’s the statement from Shesha:
“When we found out LindyGroove (normally Thursdays) was dark on NYE and that Rusty’s dance was on New Year’s Day we decided ATOMIC must be open for NYE to offer a safe and amazing and affordable NYE party for Lindy Hoppers in So Cal. Since it’s a last second promotion please pass it on. I’ll spam you with the details ASAP. Trishaand team will be hosting and I know already Tyler is DJing.”
New Year’s Day
Stompy Jones plays at Rusty’s Rhythm Club at 9PM, the day after their Disneyland gig. Tickets are $30 in advance, or $35 at the door. This could sell out, so consider buying in advance. This is billed as a formal event, so dress up in your formal or vintage attire.
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