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The Best Virtual New Years Eve Events To Ring In 2021

From 24-hour raves to live stand-up shows, here are the gigs you need to know about.

A virtual New Year's Eve party.
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The period between Christmas Day and New Year's Eve is usually a time to plan a sparkly outfit and get thinking about who you want to snog at midnight. However, like almost all events in the past ten months, New Year's Eve is going to look very different this year. For most of us, December 31 will be spent with a smaller group than usual – or perhaps even alone. After the year we've had, a quiet New Year's Eve might be just what we need but, if you do want to celebrate with something a bit bigger, there are also some great virtual New Year's Eve events happening that will have you dancing around your living room, laughing out loud, and reflecting on the year gone by.

Unsurprisingly, virtual events have been all the rave this year. Whether it's Sophie Ellis-Bextor hosting kitchen discos via her Instagram live or the 2020 Girl Up Leadership Summit with Michelle Obama and Meghan Markle in attendance – the movement to online gatherings has been necessary and, more often than not, highly successful. And along with the star-studded public events, many of us have been hosting our own happy hours, work socials, and – of course – Zoom quizzes. These events been doing a lot of heavy lifting this year, maintaining our social connections with friends and family.

Many of us will of course be calling our loved ones when the clock strikes midnight on December 31, but if you can’t face another virtual trivia round here are some public events that you can attend with all of your pals. All you’ll need is a WiFi connection. But if you’re anything like me you’ll still be digging out a glitzy outfit and some bubbly.

YouTube Hello:2021

Hosted by comedian and The Duchess star Katherine Ryan, YouTube's Hello:2021 is an extravaganza that will celebrate all things 2020 (think Zoom quizzes and bedroom discos). It starts at 10.30 p.m. and will feature performances from Dua Lipa, Raye, MNEK and more. Watch out for appearances from RuPaul, Michaela Coel, Naomi Campbell, Big Narstie, and the man of the year – Joe Wickes. This is a not-so-quiet night in.

Tune in free on YouTube.

Haçienda Rave

The team behind Manchester's legendary (but sadly now closed) Haçienda nightclub is opening its (virtual) doors again for a 24-hour, stay-at-home rave. It’ll feature sets from Carl Craig, Danny Tenaglia, DJ Paulette, Moby, and Peter Hook, among many others. While you might not be able to remember the last time you stepped foot in a club, the Haçienda will bring the rave to you. It starts at 10 a.m.

You can watch and donate money on the United We Stream website.

Edinburgh's Hogmanay

There’s no need to write off Hogmanay this year. Events began on Dec. 28 and will run up until Dec. 31. We've already had a torchlight moment in honour of Scotland's NHS workers, but there's so much more to look forward to including more stunning light displays, live poetry readings, and drone shows.

You can watch on Edinburgh’s Hogmanay website.

Rave to the Moon

Rave to the Moon will be a rave from home that will show you performances from around the world. You acn expect sets from Basement Jaxx, Beardyman, Mr Scruff, Emily Dust, and more. But where does the name come from? Well, organisers worked out that, on average, you make 6,000 steps on a night out and if 16,000 people tune in that will equate to 577 million steps – about the same distance to the moon. Time to get those feet moving. Doors open at 8 p.m.

The event is free and attendees are encouraged to donate to a charity of their choice in lieu of an entrance fee. You can tune in on Mixcloud Live.

Tommorrowland

Tomorrowland is the pinnacle event for many festival goers, with tickets selling out outrageously fast each year. But for NYE 2020, it's been made available to everyone. Major Lazer, David Guetta, Martin Garrix, and Armin van Buuren are some of the biggest names that will have a set on their website. The stream kicks off at 8 p.m.

Tickets cost £18 and you can watch on the Tomorrowland website.

Just The Tonic

We are all due a little bit of a laugh this year and that's exactly what's in store with Romesh Ranganathan and Al Murray at their virtual NYE event with Just The Tonic Comedy Club. There will be sets throughout the night from different comedians and you won’t even have to get out of your PJs. Things kick off at 7:30 p.m.

You can buy tickets for the comedy set of your choice on the Just The Tonic website.

We Dance As One

Defected Records have kept the party going during the pandemic and have said their final live stream party (starting at 5 p.m.) will bring together Gorgon City, Roger Sanchez, and Inner City for a New Years Eve stream to remember.

You can watch on Defected’s YouTube, Facebook and Twitch channels.

BBC One Highlights Of The Year London Fireworks

London's famous NYE firework display has been cancelled this year, but the BBC have announced that, in place of their usual live stream, they will be showing a special broadcast that highlights the most uplifting moment of 2020. These will include the Black Lives Matter campaign and Captain Tom Moore’s fundraising efforts.

Watch on BBC One.

Music Gigs

The majority of music gigs in 2020 have been cancelled but many artists have pledged to see in the new year with their fans. The likes of Justin Bieber, BTS, Halsey, and Kiss are hosting New Years Eve shows across various platforms. You can book tickets via their social media and websites.