Yeah, we know … New Year’s Eve is amateur night. There’s way too much traffic, and everybody acts like a drunken fool. If you’re single, you have nobody to kiss. If you’re coupled, it’s way cheaper to stay home, Netflix and chill some cheap champagne. OK. But even with all the headaches — especially the next morning — that going out on NYE can bring, sometimes the stars align and make for a special, life-affirming night. Old friends, new friends, cool sounds, hot looks, good food, great drinks — a wonderful New Year’s Eve can set the tone for a wonderful year. So take a chance, get dressed up and go out. Here's our guide to the best events (most of these happen every year, so they’re proven picks) to help you decide where. Happy New Year and sorry we can’t help wth Uber or Lyft wait times or rates, but don’t drink and drive!
All events here are 21 and over unless otherwise stated, and start around 8 or 9 p.m. and end at 2 a.m. Click links to buy tickets. See Music Listings and Music Picks for the best NYE concerts and music events, Squid Ink for the best restaurants hosting NYE and GoLA for even more celebratory stuff.
This hip hotel is the locale for two of the haute-est events in town. At Burger Records' Bash, an impressive lineup promises to pump up the volume with Ariel Pink (solo set), Redd Kross, The Flytraps and the bubble-glam DJ duo of Velvet Tinmine (Don Bolles and Noah Wallace) providing the sounds for a stylish crowd. More info and tickets here. For Giorgio's fifth annual Masquerade, Bryan Rabin and Adam Bravin once again bring in a special host for their final glitzy dressup and dance soiree of the year — New York nightlife queen Susanne Bartsch! Also bringing NYC flamboyance for the fete: a live performance starring Joey Arias. Info and tickets here. Both at 8300 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood; standardhotels.com/la/happenings.
Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel
Another solid option for NYE, the Hollywood Roosevelt hotel’s annual multiroom reveler features five-hour open bar, headliners The EC Twins on the decks (plus more DJs all night), outdoor heated tent, wall projection countdown in main ballroom, LED wall countdown and projection at the Tropicana Pool, and access all over the hotel including Teddy’s nightclub. 7000 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; more info and tix at vipnightlife.com/ec-twins.
W Hotel — NYElectric
VIP Nightlife presents its sixth annual biggie bash with four-hour open bar, top DJs and more, all on the rooftop overlooking the Hollywood hordes. W Hollywood Rooftop, 6250 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; vipnightlife.com/event/90399/nyelectric.
BARS & CLUBS
Part Time Punks
PTP, usually at the Echo, moves downtown for the evening for a sweet and tender (but sure to be wild) NYE party featuring guest DJ Jose Maldonado from Smiths tribute band Sweet and Tender Hooligans spinning post-punk, new wave and indie dance faves. Moroccan Lounge, 901 E. First St., downtown; parttimepunks.com.
Lure and Le Jardin mesh for this mega-shindig hosted by Too $hort (who also performs). Four-hour premium open bar, party favors, complimentary champagne toast and more. 1439 Ivar Ave., Hollywood; lurehollywood.com.
Minimal Effort: NYE
Always an epic gathering, this one is anything but minimal with “8 hours of music, 5 stages, powered by Funktion-One (official) sound, LED light installations, live painting, vendors, food and more.” Biggies on the decks include Sasha (extended set), Skream, Justin Jay, Will Clarke, YokoO, Super Flu, Layton Giordani, option4, Human Resources, Hats&Klaps, Jonnie King and VNSSA, with more added as the event gets closer. The Belasco, 1050 S. Hill St., downtown; minimaleffort.net.
New Queers Eve
L.A.’s bodacious Boulet Brothers have had quite a year and to say thanks, they are making their New Year’s Eve party free this year! Lots of fab co-hosts for this one (House of Avalon, Biblegirl/Biqtch Puddin, Abhora, Ollywood, Stefano, Rosso, Gigi Goode, Kiki Xtravaganza and more) plus stage shows hosted by the Boulets with Manila Luzon, Le Femme and Artoor. DJs Mateo Segade, DJ Pastabody and Stanley Frank Sensation spin grinding grooves. And don’t miss the “massive midnight makeout countdown.” Globe Theatre, 740 S. Broadway, downtown; globetheatre-la.com
Club ’90s NYE
Time moves forward but Club ’90s, Y2K and Juicy go back on the dance floor spinning ’90s and early-’00s jams from all genres on two floors, Midnight countdown with free champagne while supplies last; themed photo booth; giveaways. Over 18. Full bar with ID. Los Globos, 3040 Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake; more info here.
A Night at Max's
DJ Apollo Staar re-creates a rockin' eve at NYC punk haven Max's Kansas City at the oldest dive bar in Hollywood. Enjoy 70s rock & roll all night plus party favors and a toast at midnight. Free all night. 1621 Cahuenga Blvd., Hollywood; more info here.
Sex Cells' NYE XXXtravaganza
Lethal Amounts offers an XXXtra raucous way to ring in 2019 with decadent dance faves My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult, dance music legend Egyptian Lover and NYC's queer glam dance duo Sateen. DJs Matthew Pernicano and Danny Fuentes spin. Echoplex, 1154 Glendale Blvd., Echo Park; spacelandpresents.com/events/the-echo/
Here’s one to get dolled up for! Union Station makes the perfect backdrop for this lavish happening in homage to the Roaring Twenties. Enjoy burlesque, live jazz, open bar featuring champagne and specialty cocktails, and CLASSIXX doing a dramatic DJ set. They also tout a 60-foot, midnight ball drop and the most dapper crowd in town (’20s retro attire is strongly encouraged). 800 N. Alameda St., downtown. prohibitionnye.com.
Grand Park and the Music Center invite all Angelenos to ring in the New Year together at the closest thing we have to New York’s Times Square ball drop. With music and dancing on two stages, this is the big one for people who like crowds. There's 3-D digital video mapping on projected on City Hall with a light show, plus photo booths and food trucks. The mainstage lineup includes Aloe Blacc, Maya Jupiter, Irka Mateo y La Tirindanga, Georgia Anne Muldrow, DJ Day and The Grand Scheme. The Get Down stage will offer all-female DJs including Angela Spiñorita Blanca, Ericalandia and Angel Kronika. Biking or taking Metro to the event is encouraged. 200 N. Grand Ave., downtown; all ages; free; nyela.grandparkla.org.