Whether you want to get funky on the dancefloor or watch a giant ball drop, here are the most fun celebrations to ring in 2020.
Los Angeles, in all its vastness and cultural abundance, can get overwhelming when it comes to choosing how to spend New Year’s Eve. There’s a lot to do. Of course, hanging out in your pajamas and falling asleep next to some deliciously goopy take-out before the ball drops is totally wonderful but, if you want to leave the house, a bounty of celebratory activities beckon. Whether you like funk, post punk, techno legends, pop stars, bingo and conga lines, or just want to get dressed up like a flapper and dance the night away to the hits, here are some good ideas for ringing in the new decade.
Swamp Dogg at the
Irreverent cult R&B hero Swamp Dogg thrives on the notion that “A dog can do anything, and you still love him.” It’s true, the naughtiest of his songs over the last 50 years only endear him, even on his latest record where he examines love and loss through heavy-handed auto-tune. Second on the bill is Texas blues guitarist Guitar Shorty, as skilled on the axe with his hands as he is with his teeth, credited with influencing both Jimi Hendrix and Buddy Guy. The show begins with Swamp Dogg collaborator Larry “Moogstar” Clemon, who got his nickname playing for funk and r&b acts like Cameo, George Clinton and the Zapp Band.
Tony Humphries, Geneva Jacuzzi and more at the Standard DTLA
The Standard spreads its party wings across three spaces in the hotel. Rooftop entertainment includes house music legend Tony Humphries of Zanzibar and Kiss FM fame, twisted synth pop performance artist Geneva Jacuzzi, plus DJs TK and Dirty Dave. In Le Club, DJs Earthboogie and Magic Touch & Matt McDermott keep the dance party going. Lastly, enjoy a 1920s Berlin-inspired theatrical dinner party by Disco Dining Club.
Part Time Punks brings back DJ Jose Maldonado from long-standing Smiths and Morrissey tribute band Sweet and Tender Hooligans to usher in the new year again with all the favorites from the 1980s and 90s in britpop, glam and post-punk. If you want to party like it’s 30 years ago, Maldonado will spin The Smiths, New Order, Joy Division, The Cure, Iggy Pop, David Bowie, Blur, Pulp, Suede, The Clash and then some, all night long.
This soiree’s theme is “I Wanna Take You Higher” and they mean it in every sense. It’s headlined by New Orleans funk band Dumpstaphunk playing a special Sly and The Family Stone set alongside surprise special guests. DJs Gaslamp Killer and Houseshoes provide elevation via futuristic freak funk and deep grooves. Harpist Low Leaf graces the evening with jazzy soul nourishment. Meanwhile, Cirque du Soleil dancers and performances turn the giant dome into their own playground, and the party even boasts a Mary Jane hang space. Higher, indeed.
After a five-year wait, Canadian-born, L.A.-based Robert Alfons put out
“The Destroyer” this year, a two-part TR/ST album brimming with synth-driven
dark wave, which found him reunited on many tracks with his former bandmate,
Austra’s Maya Postepski.
Rounding out this party’s lineup of danceable darkness are electro goth
musician Light Asylum and provocateur Actually Huizenga’s Patriarchy,
plus Machine Club DJs spinning
Currently a full-band ensemble comprised of Jeffrey Paradise, The Rapture’s Vito Roccoforte and Mattie Safer, Toro y Moi’s Brijean Murphy and Pharaohs’ Casey Butler, Poolside knows how to put on a party — and double-duty both a live performance and a late night DJ set. They are joined by squishy dream pop band the Undercover Lovers, and laidback balladeer Katzù Ozo.
Ring in the new year in a 6000-foot vintage DTLA warehouse with a futuristic funk soundtrack helmed by master of the funkmosphere and boogie champion DâM-Funk. The 2020 Vision party also promises sets by beat producer and Low End Theory regular Nosaj Thing, drum and bass aficionado Machinedrum, and eclectic dance floor DJ duo Sisters of Sound.
For something a little more whimsical, spend an evening at this intimate theater which boasts a multi-room experience combining DJs, pizza, bingo, spontaneous conga lines, magicians in the backstage green room, a midnight séance paired with champagne and absinthe — and competitive karaoke in the wee hours of the morning where participants can even employ the venue’s fog machine for maximum stardom.
Quite a lot of events this year have a 1920s theme, so it’s tough to choose. But if you’re gonna go flapper and get dolled up but want the music to be today’s, the party at Union Station seems great. Experience theatrical burlesque, live jazz by Lyndsay & the All Nighters, a headlining DJ set by RAC, a premium open bar serving champagne and cocktails, and burlesque performances from Concrete Entertainment. The party caps off with a 60-foot midnight ball-drop celebration.