Break free from the shackles of genre this New Year’s Eve with Naked Giants, Pickwick, Prom Queen, Smokey Brights, and other local bands at Artist Home‘s end-of-the-year bash at Tractor Tavern.
Rich Zollinger Photography
2019 has (almost) dissolved into history! No matter what kind of year you’ve had, December 31 is the perfect opportunity to treat yourself to a night out before the new decade rolls around and you start eating more vegetables and drinking more water. So, in case watching the ball drop on TV with a bottle of Cook’s won’t cut it, we’ve rounded up of all the major, extravagant events you should get tickets for ahead of time to avoid the risk of them selling out, all of which are over $20, ranging from decadent dinners at L’Oursin and the Walrus and the Carpenter to major music shows like Thunderpussy and Resolution to blowout parties like the Pacific Science Center’s Spectra and Kremwerk’s SHINE to performances with Valtesse and Jet City Improv. See them all below, and find even more options on our complete New Year’s Eve calendar. More of a last-minute planner? Stay tuned for our list of cheap & easy New Year’s Eve events closer to the holiday, including plenty of places to watch the Fireworks at the Space Needle.
Black & White Ball: The Party of the Century (A New Year’s Eve Bash)
Truman Capote’s infamous Grand Masked Ball of 1966, which he hosted in honor of Kay Graham, who then owned the Washington Post, welcomed everyone from Mia Farrow and Frank Sinatra to Andy Warhol. None of them will be present at this New Year’s Eve party, but it does serve as its inspiration, so don the air of your favorite New York celebrity for a night of dancing, gambling with fake money, and savoring black and white sweets in your black and white outfit.
Women’s University Club of Seattle, $100-$260
Bollywood NYE by Wicked Karma
Wicked Karma will throw its Bollywood vibes across every available reflective surface. Shake it out all night to DJ SZnaina playing Seattle’s best Bollywood and Top 40 tracks, with a midnight champagne toast, a Desi food feast, party favors, and even more seasonally appropriate treats.
Seattle Design Center, $40-$50
Century Ballroom’s New Year’s Eve 2019 Party
Choose between two rooms of dancing at Century Ballroom New Year’s Eve Party: A live salsa room with Tumbao (featuring lead singer Carlos Cascante of Spanish Harlem Orchestra), or an LGBTQ+ “OutDancing” room with a live DJ. There’s also an optional five-course dinner with meat, seafood, and vegetarian menus.
Century Ballroom, $90-$120
Dance of the Decade: NYE 2019
Go-go dancers, drag queens, and DJs will help you “celebrate who you were and look forward to who you will become” at this night of partying, drinking champagne and vodka specials, and roaming through immersive performance areas.
Queer Bar, $20-$400
Glitz, Glam & Get Down
DJ Christyle will provide high-energy beats to dance to at this bedazzled NYE party with drink specials, champagne, and sparkles galore.
W Bellevue, $75-$2,500
Indulgence New Year’s Eve Bash
The 19th annual Indulgence New Year’s Eve Bash will provide plenty of entertainment before the clock strikes midnight, including comedy performances, live bands and DJs, and after-hours access to MoPOP’s exhibits. Plus, the party takes place right under the Space Needle, so you’ll have primo views of the fireworks show.
The Last Dance of the Decade
Seattle fine-dining destination Canlis makes it a point to host the most lavish New Year’s Eve bashes in town each year, and this year is no exception. Conceptual artist and “legendary party animal” GERONIMO, known for her colorful balloon installations, will create a gigantic immersive art installation for guests to groove around to the tunes of Chris Norton Band (flown in from New York City just for the occasion), and chef Brady Williams will provide a suitably decadent feast. The dress code: white from “wig to toe.”
New Year’s Eve Fireworks Cruise 2020
Watch fireworks from a fancy boat and experience their reverberations on the open water. Music from Seattle DJs will accompany you on the dance floor and to the full bar.
The Islander Cruise Ship, $100-$650
New Year’s Eve pARTy
Choose this New Year’s Eve party if you want to watch fireworks through the glass ceiling, tour the glass museum, hear live music by the Michael Benson Band, and drink a champagne toast at midnight (and if you’ve got 250 clams to throw around). Dale Chihuly’s wriggly, organic-looking glass sculptures will surely be dazzling by firework-light. JOULE ZELMAN
Chihuly Garden and Glass, $250
New Year’s Eve Party Cruise
Spend the final hours of 2019 on a festively decorated Waterways yacht to revel in champagne toasts, fireworks, and live DJs.
Waterways Cruises, $190
Nordic New Year’s Fest
Feast on a Scandinavian smörgåsbord prepared by two visiting Swedish chefs and dance to Scandinavian music by Skandia Kapell and the tunes of Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass performed by Rat City Brass, then grab a glass of champagne and watch the Space Needle’s fireworks show.
Swedish Cultural Center, $45-$75
NYE at The Backdoor
The Fremont bar’s unassuming parking lot entrance will lend itself to this speakeasy-themed party, which promises live music from Johnny and the Moles, aerial performers, and enough cocktails and bubbly to glide you painlessly into the new year.
The Backdoor at Roxy’s, $40-$1,000
Odyssey 2020 NYE Celebration
Blast off and away from 2019 at this interstellar New Year’s Eve bash with live music and drinks on two floors.
W Seattle, $75/$4,000
Pop, Clink, Frolik – Kings + Kweens New Year’s Eve
Whether you opt for the five-course pre-fixe menu included in this party’s VIP package or you just stick to the rooftop party, you’ll have a blast dancing the decade away with DJ Wes Wunder and local drag queens. Both types of admission promise party favors, a glass of champagne to clink at midnight, an oyster bar, and a photo booth.
Frolik Kitchen + Cocktails, $55-$85
Roaring ’20s 2.0
Hark back to the decade of bootlegged booze and glamorous parties in one of the classiest spots in the city—the 35th floor of a building that was once the tallest structure west of the Mississippi River. Tickets include a buffet dinner, a midnight champagne toast (Dom Pérignon 2006), a themed photo booth, and live entertainment from DJ Vodka Twist.
Smith Tower, $20
Seattle Bollywood 2020 New Year’s Eve Party Mega Celebration
DJ Yousef will head up this Bollywood dance party on the last night of the year. Expect nonstop jams, a balloon drop at midnight, and “live performances by professional models.”
Eden Seattle, $30-$100
Spectra: NYE 2020
Wrap up this decade with a swanky, speakeasy-style night out—very appropriate given the centennial of the roaring ’20s—under the Space Needle. Tickets include virtual and augmented reality experiences, live DJs, laser karaoke with Baby Ketten, craft booze, and after-hours access to exhibits. For a dash of scientific geekdom, you can check out a diamond-making demonstration, build glammed-up robots, marvel at a Van de Graaff Generator, and get up close with “exotic animals.”
Pacific Science Center, $125/$225
T-Mobile New Year’s at the Needle
You can’t get a better view of the Space Needle’s annual fireworks show than inside the Space Needle itself, on its rotating glass floor. Before the spectacle, T-Mobile’s New Year’s Eve party at Seattle’s flying saucer-shaped structure will also bring a “musically choreographed light show,” lots of drinks and bites, live music from the Dusty 45s and DJ Orion, and champagne toasting.
Space Needle, $275
Totally Radical New Year’s Eve
Instead of donning a flapper dress or seersucker suit on New Year’s Eve like the rest of Seattle, tease your hair into an Aqua Net masterpiece for a 1980s bash commemorating the 1985 completion of Columbia City Tower. Party band Free Rain will play classic rock, R&B, and “anything you can dance to,” and you’re promised unobstructed views of the Space Needle fireworks.
Sky View Observatory, $150-$1,250
20/20 Vision: A Galactic NYE
Set your sights for space with this galactic party with “atmospheric hors d’oeuvres,” cocktails and bottles of Perrier-Jouët, and DJ “space jams.” The dress code is “future formal attire” (think Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century chic).
Mountaineering Club, $75
CONCERTS & MUSIC SHOWS
Artist Home 8th Annual NYE Celebration
For the eighth year running, Artist Home, the Seattle-based talent-buying, event-promoting, and artist-consulting collective, will host a New Year’s Eve bash featuring artists with whom they’ve worked. Dance your way into 2020 with live sets from members of Seattle bands across the rock, soul, folk, and pop genre spectrums, including Naked Giants, Pickwick, Prom Queen, Smokey Brights, Hobosexual, Eva Walker, Fly Moon Royalty, Gypsy Temple, NightraiN, Gibraltar, Warren Dunes, Local Liars, Tekla Waterfield, Sarah Gerritsen, Hotels, Tea Cozies, Witch Trip, Invisible Shivers, the Environment, Helen Chance, King Youngblood, Glass Elevator, and Leah T. KIM SELLING
Tractor Tavern, $40
New Year 2020
The sound system and LED light display at this end-of-the-year club night will not disappoint. Get sweaty as the clock strikes 12 by dancing between multiple rooms blasting hip-hop, Afrobeat, and Top 40 from local DJs.
STAGE Seattle, $35-$950
New Year’s Eve 2020 in Seattle with Graham Funke
Party guests will be treated to a full bar, hors d’oeuvres, a midnight champagne toast, and music from DJs Swervewon and Graham Funke.
Block 41, $99-$119
New Year’s Eve Gala: Charpentier
If you don’t want to spend New Year’s Day puking into your own hands, consider spending the evening listening to the St. James Cathedral Cantorei and Chamber Orchestra bust out some heart-cracking Marc-Antoine Charpentier, including Te Deum and Messe de Minuit pour Noël. Dr. Paul Thornock will conduct the choir and Joseph Adam is on the pipes. RICH SMITH
St. James Cathedral, $30
New Year’s Eve with Curtis Salgado
Original Blues Brother Curtis Salgado will break out a solo performance of his lifetime of blues curation in honor of New Year’s Eve.
Triple Door, $90-$125
New Year’s Eve with the Motet
Colorado-based progressive funk group the Motet will be joined in their Afrobeat ecstasy by special guests at this bombastic New Year’s Eve celebration.
Neptune Theatre, $30/$34
New Year’s Eve: Pandemonium
Melissa Madden Gray is the NYC-by-way-of-Australia actress, singer, and kamikaze/alt cabaret artist otherwise known as Meow Meow. She’s gained a bit of acclaim in the U.S. via her collabs with Thomas M Lauderdale (of Portland’s little big band orchestra, Pink Martini), and is worthy of your NYE attention; she has a deep, rich, slightly husky vocal quality and an elegant vibrato that soars or slinks over lush cabaret numbers. The subversive diva joins Seattle Symphony for this very special, not at all traditional but entirely cheerful program of “perfectly constructed mayhem and madness.” The post-concert party includes a glass of champagne, another live performance, and dancing to the midnight countdown and beyond. LEILANI POLK
Benaroya Hall, $58-$156
Noise Complaint – 2020: A New Year’s Space Odyssey
Party crew Noise Complaint will take a whole club of people on an intergalactic and interactive journey through space and time this New Year’s Eve, with 10 DJs—including Walker & Royce, Gold Chisme, HHerb, and Jaderade—spread across multiple stages keeping you in step and gliding along to the appropriately corresponding solar system visuals.
Monkey Loft, $40-$60
The Pharcyde, Grayskul, All Star Opera, DJ Indica Jones
I can’t think of a much better way to ring in the New Year, and then celebrate the first day of its existence, than with venerable 1990s-era-spawned alt hip-hop group the Pharcyde. While gangsta rap was taking off, the South Central Los Angeles group was fusing jazz into their productions and releasing a debut LP that went gold on the strength of its second single (and the song by them you know), “Passin’ Me By,” which so famously copped the instrumental organ-driven groove of “Summer in the City” by Quincy Jones along with several other tracks, including Jimi Hendrix Experience’s “Are You Experienced?” and “125th Street Congress” by Weather Report. Nowadays, only two of the original four members are touring under the Pharcyde moniker, rappers Imani and Bootie Brown (both have vaguely nasally vocal qualities), and on NYE, they’ll be joined by Seattle hip-hop duo Grayskul, DJ Indica Jones, and soulful hip-hop live band All Star Opera. Everyone except for All Star Opera will be on hand for the New Year’s Day bill. LEILANI POLK
Poncho Sanchez Latin Jazz Band
Playing two nights at Jazz Alley, the Poncho Sanchez Latin Jazz Band offer plenty of chances for you to shimmy and shake to their warm, slinky, percussive-fueled rhythms. Mexican American namesake Sanchez has been rapping, tapping, and slapping congas for crowds since he played his first ever set in the mid-1970s with renowned vibraphonist Cal Tjader, with whom he played until Tjader’s death in 1982. Sanchez went on to release more than 30 albums as a solo conguero (backed by a full band that currently includes players on timbales, bass, trumpet, sax, trombone, bongos, and piano), and has built on his Latin-jazzy sound with elements of R&B, soul, cha-cha, and salsa music. LEILANI POLK
Jazz Alley, $37-$201
Resolution is an annual end-of-the-year electronic music bash that gathers extremely popular and mainstream EDM and nü-rave artists into an arena-like space and unleashes their energy onto a throng of writhing young adults. This year’s lineup includes massive figures in the scene like Adventure Club, Knife Party, Madeon, Tchami X Malaa, and many more. KIM SELLING
WaMu Theater, $102/$189
I don’t mean to be a fatalist here, but the spots of downtown and SLU-adjacent areas we know and love will not last forever, thanks to hungry ghost developers and rapidly expanding corporate campus tumors. For this reason, among many others, Kremwerk and Timbre Room (and Re-bar around the corner) should be supported at all costs. So even if the complex’s fifth annual NYE throwdown SHINE weren’t one of your best bets for dance music billing on the biggest party night of the year, I’d still tell you to get your ass to Minor Avenue. The venue’s three stages will be stacked with everything from upbeat house to dark techno to unrepentant disco and acid camp club music, with deck pros like Dowsk, Ennelyn, Faraday, Parker Mills, and Neight1000 at the helm till five in the goddamn morning. Make sure to get an early AM slice from Little Maria’s to round out the experience. KIM SELLING
Thunderpussy, Bear Axe, Constant Lovers, Trash Fire
The Showbox is doing it right this year! Not only is this bill a powerhouse of badass shredders, but the range of subgenres performing makes for an eclectic electricity of elation to kick in the jams for 2020. Trash Fire will light the party fuse with their dark-pulsing electro. Constant Lovers will flambé the stage with their angular, art punk as fronted by the animated Joe Cuplin. Bear Axe will absolutely slay harder than a thousand, steel-hoofed reindeer. And there’s no better way to usher in (hopefully) another year closer to shredding the patriarchy than with the mellifluous matriarchs of Thunderpussy. ZACH FRIMMEL
The Showbox, $30/$35
U.S.E., Aqueduct, 52Kings
Ex-Stranger music writer Jennifer Maerz once described U.S.E. as “Seattle’s own less serious, more cheeseball Daft Punk, a seven (I think, or thereabouts) member dance band with songs about Seattle’s various neighborhoods and going to the beach (‘Vamos a la playa’). The best thing about USE, though, is that they actually get people to dance, and they seem to be playing together just for the fun of it.” They’ve returned to the scene for a one-off NYE performance with Aqueduct and 52Kings.
Sunset Tavern, $28
Best of the Best Party at The Nest
Enjoy a curated prix-fixe dinner at the Thompson Seattle’s restaurant Conversation (which, as the name suggests, aims to promote in-person connection and discussion). Afterwards, move to their rooftop bar The Nest for a party with drinks and music.
The Nest, $93/$150
Deep Dive New Year’s Eve
Renee Erickson’s dark, swanky Deep Dive bar inside the Amazon Spheres will serve dishes like oysters Rockefeller, caramelized onion ravioli, and a chocolate cremeux tart. Add on cocktail and wine pairings from bar manager Tommy Stearns.
Deep Dive, $198
Moët & Chandon New Year’s Eve Bash
Gaze out at views of Elliott Bay, savor a five-course meal with dishes like Dungeness crab toast and black truffle risotto, listen to tunes from DJ Nelson Estrada, and clink flutes of Moët & Chandon champagne at midnight.
Goldfinch Tavern, $110
New Years Eve Karaoke & Yakitori Party
What better way to end the year than with food on a stick? This evening with chefs Melissa Martz and Eric Tanaka revolves around two of Japan’s finest exports: karaoke and yakitori (charcoal-grilled, skewered chicken). Come clad in black, white, or gold, then snack on bottomless grilled snacks and drink sake slushies, beer, or wine for liquid courage as you summon the nerve to belt out your favorite ABBA hits in front of a crowd. There’s also a midnight champagne toast, and you’ll be well-situated for a view of the Space Needle from Sixth Avenue. JULIANNE BELL
One Night in Osaka: NYE 2019
Seattle in the 2020s might not be an easy place to live, but at least it will have great Japanese cuisine. Adana chef and owner Shota Nakajima is opening another new bar/restaurant venture, Taku, next year, and he’ll be previewing what’s to come at this One Night in Osaka New Year’s Eve party. Nakajima’s culinary talents and Osaka street food offerings (the theme is “Alleyways of Osaka” and it’s also the style of food he’ll serve at Taku) will be bolstered by another Japanese cuisine biggie, Kamonegi’s Mutsuko Soma, one of Food & Wine magazine’s best new chefs of 2019, plus Umami Kushi, and chefs Jose Garzon (Latinx Street Food pop-up) and Justin Khanna (The Emulsion Podcast, Voyager’s Table). With Seattle’s top Japanese chefs already confirmed to be in attendance, and a selection of Japanese libations (Haku vodka, Roku gin, Toki whiskey, Kirin beer), dancing, and “surprise guests” delivering the entertainment, it’s sure to be a deliciously fun way to end 2019. DAVID LEWIS
415 Westlake, $167
Réveillon 2020: Tour de France
Take a tour through France with the cheekily romantic, sparkling bistro L’Oursin’s five-course menu. First, you’ll begin in Normandy, with Virginica oysters with refreshing apple and cidre mignonette for a taste of the region’s famously delicious cider. Next, make your way to Brittany for scallops with beurre demi-sel and clam vinaigrette, then proceed to the Loire Valley, Basque country, and the Côte d’Azur for some crab consommé, octopus basquaise, and black cod. Finally, finish the evening with crème brûlêe in Jura. You can also avail yourself of optional natural wine and cider pairings from each region. JULIANNE BELL
The Walrus & The Carpenter New Year’s Eve
Renee Erickson’s glamorous Ballard oyster house the Walrus & the Carpenter will host a seated four-course dinner. Wine pairings, a special cocktail list, caviar, champagne, and house-made shrubs will also be available to add some sparkle to your evening.
The Walrus and the Carpenter, $125
THEATER & COMEDY PERFORMANCES
BeautyBoiz Wear Masks
After the year we’ve had, a queer circus extravaganza sounds like the perfect way to set the tone for a triumphant new year. This masquerade dance party will come complete with live performances by the talented BeautyBoiz collective and music by DJs Essex and LA Kendall, plus sexy go-go dancers Orion and Cesar and additional performances by LüChi, Angel Baby Kill Kill Kill, and Michete. You’re encouraged to wear your skimpiest gown.
Fred Wildlife Refuge, $25-$100
Jet City Improv’s New Year’s Eve Extravaganza
Party with one of Seattle’s excellent improv companies at this shindig offering two hours of comedy, dessert, favors, prizes, a countdown to the fireworks at the Space Needle on the screen, and dancing after midnight. Sadly, this will probably be Jet City’s last celebration in their beloved yellow theater, which will soon be torn down to make way for apartment buildings, so the party will double as a farewell to an icon of theatrical Seattle. JOULE ZELMAN
Jet City Improv, $59
New Year’s Eve Comedy Countdown with Guy Branum
Writer/actor Guy Branum boasts of having served as “Staff Homosexual” on Chelsea Lately. He’s also appeared on E!, on MTV (for whom he also worked on Punk’d), and in the film No Strings Attached, and his book My Life as a Goddess was included on NPR’s 2018 Good Reads List.
Meydenbauer Center, $25-$50
New Year’s Eve Comedy with Andrew Rivers
Andrew Rivers frequently opens for Christopher Titus and has toured with Steve Hofstetter. You may have heard him on the Seattle morning show BJ & MIGS or on the Cut’s Truth or Drink. Spend the last night of 2019 with him.
Laughs Comedy Club, $25/$50
Summer: The Donna Summer Musical
The great disco diva Donna Summer gets the musical biography treatment, complete with a score full of her biggest hits—”Hot Stuff,” “Love to Love You Baby,” and more. The New Year’s Eve show will still leave plenty of time for you to make it to your party by midnight.
Paramount Theatre, $30-$100
Valtesse New Year’s Eve Party!
Be led into the new year by the kinky, alluring weirdos of Valtesse as they prowl through this lavish venue in fancy fetish gear and jewel-studded garments. Bring the person (or people) whom you most want to impress, and toast 2020 in “immersive rooms” with some of the hottest burlesque performers in town.
The Ruins, $100
Xtreme Theatresports New Year’s Eve Party! 2019
Score four improv teams from zero to five and choose the winners at this comedy