This awful year is finally coming to a close, and though no one really believes 2018 will be any better, New York is going to party anyway. New Year’s Eve has both its proponents and its detractors — if you count yourself among the latter category, check out the shows on the Friday before the holiday, or Unter’s New Year’s Day extravaganza. For those willing to brave the drunken crowds, there are more incredible techno parties on the 31st than we know what to do with. And if you’re an acoustic soul, don’t despair — Real Estate are headlining a show at Brooklyn Steel that will soothe your low-BPM nerves.
Container, Eartheater, Ciarra Black, MV Carbon, Diamond Terrifier, Julia Santoli, Cipher, Xiorro, Maria Chavez, KJ
8 p.m., $15
Let’s be honest: Going out on New Year’s can be awful. If your prerogative is to avoid that night entirely, this dark electronic party could be your weekend outing. The lineup is stacked with Brooklyn’s most promising experimental electronic acts, from abstract turntablist Maria Chavez to industrial techno producer Container to avant-folk singer Eartheater. Industrial coldwave DJ Ciarra Black will perform one of her last shows before leaving the city for good — this party is worth attending for that reason alone.
Helena Hauff, Danny Daze, Fatherhood, Bearcat
10 p.m., $30
German techno wunderkind Helena Hauff will play New York for the second time ever this Friday, heading up a rock-solid lineup at the glitzy new Avant Gardener space. Hauff made a name for herself with a party hosted in a small Hamburg club where she spun new wave, EBM, and other diverse dance music. Now, she’s one of Europe’s buzziest DJ-producers, making acid- and industrial-inspired techno tracks and playing festivals like Dekmantel. Versus is hosted by the legendary New York club queen Ladyfag, whose name is as good an indication of quality as any five-star Resident Advisor review.
NYE at the Dreamhouse
Le1f (DJ), Amber Valentine, LSDXOXO, JT Almon, Quest?onmarc, K RIZZ (live), more
10 p.m., $10–$25
If you’re looking for a truly underground New Year’s Eve experience, this party at Ridgewood’s Dreamhouse is the way to go. The LGBT arts collective known as the Spectrum took over the space last year, turning its gaudy decorations and labyrinthine layout into a club worthy of its name. DJs include the rapper Le1f, house DJ Amber Valentine, and producer LSDXOXO, who releases spacey, distorted hip-hop breakbeats on the GHE20G0TH1K label. The party goes until 6 a.m. or later, so you can’t show up too late. This community is known for its fantastic and outlandish fashion sense; don’t underdress.
Get Wrecked & Carry NYE
Will Automagic B2B Nita Aviance (the Carry Nation), Ron Like Hell B2B Ryan Smith (WRECKEDnyc)
Two of New York’s best queer party crews come together for a ten-hour rager that’s sure to be the spot to start your New Year’s for some revelers. Both the Carry Nation and Get Wrecked are parties known for their debaucherous atmosphere, excellent dance-music DJs, and gorgeous crowds. Pre-sale tickets are sold out, so be sure to get there early to snag a door ticket. And don’t worry — a 24-hour liquor license means the party really will keep going until 10 a.m.
The Bunker LTD NYE
Patrick Russell B2B Nihal Ramchandani, Antenes, Justin Cudmore, Unjust
Brooklyn Venue TBA
10 p.m., $40
Serious technoheads have already purchased their tickets for the return of this New York institution, which will be the Bunker’s first New Year’s Eve party in two years. Bunker OG Patrick Russell will close out the night with a B2B techno set, but earlier on you can expect the industrial, ominous sounds of DJ Antenes, balanced out by a warmer set from local house DJ Justin Cudmore. Pre-sale tickets are also sold out for this one, and the address won’t be released publicly, making this perhaps one of the year’s most exclusive NYE events. Interested? Ask a raver.
NYE: KUNQ X ALKHEMY X STUDIO FLUORA
Kilbourne, Xiorro, NK Badtz Maru, FXWRK, False Witness
Baby’s All Right
New York dance-music collective KUNQ, who feature queer artists of color stretching the boundaries of their genres, threw one of 2016’s best New Year’s parties, and there’s no reason to expect it won’t do the same this year. On the lineup is KUNQ DJ False Witness, who blends genres like dancehall and vogue with industrial noise, and FXWRK, a young artist who makes emotional dance productions with names like “Trapsody in Blue.” Baby’s is a fairly intimate spot for a New Year’s party, so if you’re looking to avoid the crowds, this is the event for you.
Real Estate, Whitney, Woods
9 p.m., $20–$25
Do you hate electronic music and hip-hop? Do you want a chilled-out New Year’s surrounded by beards and the dulcet tones of guitar pop? You’re in luck — some of the best indie pop bands in the game will play Brooklyn Steel early on New Year’s Eve. The whole lineup is solid, from the tranquil surfpop of Real Estate to the scuzzy guitar pop of Chicago youngsters Whitney to Woods’ earthy folk. The show will probably get out before midnight, so you can enjoy this performance and still catch a champagne toast somewhere else.
Cardi B, Venus X, DJ BEBE, Shelby Sells, DJ Prostyle
9 p.m., $60+
Whether you think Cardi B’s hit single “Bodak Yellow” was the best song of the year or merely omnipresent, it’s undeniable that this is the year the rapper became a star. Now she’s playing Knockdown Center, a gorgeous, sprawling former factory that’s known more for its experimental art than for raging hip-hop parties. It will be fascinating to see how the space fares when transformed into a club for an event like this. In addition to the woman of honor, the rest of the bill hits hard as well, with the influential DJ Venus X and others to keep people dancing. Whether you buy a general-admission ticket or bottle service, it’s sure to be a memorable night.
Eartheater, Just Dosha, Julianna Huxtable, UNiiQU3, Hexapoda, Abby, De Se
9:30 p.m., $30–$40
Club Glow is yet another queer dance-music party that is throwing a New Year’s edition. As with the KUNQ party at Baby’s All Right, the relatively small size of Williamsburg’s Villain should keep out some of the bridge-and-tunnel crowd who are sure to be crawling around the borough. A serious lineup of women and nonbinary performers will play, including multimedia artist Julianna Huxtable and Detroit techno DJ Abby.
Jacob Meehan, Jason Kendig, DJ Scallywag B2B R Gamble, Olga, Juana, Mary Yuzovskaya, Pure Immanence, Ambivalent, Young Male
8 a.m., $25–$30
The true party professionals skip New Year’s altogether. For that refined crowd, the ultra-underground techno party Unter will open its doors at 8 a.m. the morning of New Year’s Day. With a typically stellar lineup including Unter alums Mary Yuzovskaya and Pure Immanence as well as travelers like Jason Kendig (of San Francisco’s queer collective Honey Soundsystem), the early morning has never been this lit. The daylong event should attract a mix of the super-hardcore who have been up for 24-plus hours, pro-ravers who went to sleep before midnight and are up bright and early to party, and curious midday guests. Be advised that to keep the party a friendly and diverse queer space, Unter reserves the right to refuse anyone at the door. If you do get in, there’s no better place to start the year.