If there were ever a New Year's Eve celebration to get excited about, it's this one. 2020 has been, by nearly all accounts, a miserable year. But even though you may want to go out and party like never before to ring in 2021, this year has one last cruel twist in store for you before it retreats to the bowels of Hell from whence it came. As the coronavirus pandemic is raging worse than ever, it will be much safer to stay in this New Year's Eve and stream Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve rather than going out and risk exposing yourself or others to the virus. So, how does one go about streaming the show on Dec. 31, 2020?
As usual, this year's festivities will be hosted by Ryan Seacrest, the ball will drop in Times Square, and a number of music stars will perform. But this year's show will still be very different from any other in the event's nearly-50-year history. In a typical year, roughly a million people pack into New York's Times Square and collectively hold their pee (or don't) as they wait for the ball to drop at midnight. But with quarantine measures still in effect, this year's show will go on sans audience for the first time ever.
The celebration will certainly feel weird without an audience, but there will be plenty of virtual performances from musicians around the country that will help alleviate some of the awkwardness. Lucy Hale and Billy Porter will cohost with Seacrest, and Machine Gun Kelly, Porter, Cyndi Lauper, and Jimmie Allen will perform in New York. Jennifer Lopez will serve as the headliner in her hometown with a performance leading up to the ball-drop. The L.A. portion of the show, which will be hosted by Ciara for the fourth-straight year, will see performances by Brandy, Doja Cat, Ella Mai, Lewis Capaldi, Maluma, Miley Cyrus, Nelly, Saweetie, and arguably 2020's biggest breakout star: Megan Thee Stallion. There will also be a broadcast from New Orleans hosted by Big Freedia with a musical performance by PJ Morton. President-elect Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden will also make a remote appearance to remind everyone that 2021 is guaranteed to improve in at least one area.
Admit it. You're curious to see what this show will look like. And since you'll be staying home, you might as well watch it, right? Well, the easiest way is on TV, as it's broadcast for free on ABC. If you'd rather stream it, then you can do so on ABC's website or the ABC app. But to use either of those options, you'll need to log in through your cable provider. If you don't have cable, then you'll need to stream the show from a service that features live TV and carries ABC. Those services are Hulu + Live TV, YouTube TV, fuboTV, Vidgo, and AT&T TV Now. All of these services require a paid subscription to use, though most offer a seven-day free trial period for new users, so you can still watch for free as long as you cancel the service in time. Depending on where you live, another option is Locast, which streams local broadcast channels in select markets. While technically free, the service is essentially unusable unless you make a $5 donation.
With all of these streaming options at your disposal, all that's left to do on Dec. 31 is to put on your comfiest clothes, pop a bottle of bubbly, and settle into your couch as you get ready to cast off 2020 by streaming Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve 2021.