New Year’s Eve 2020 was the weirdest Las Vegas has ever known. Whatever. That was last year, and while we’re clearly not done with this pandemic, the megastar concerts, headlining club DJs and all-out parties are back in force this year. We’ve long been ready to put 2021 to bed and push onward and upward, and it feels good to see our city return to its status as the best place in the world to ring in the new year. If you haven’t made New Years’ plans yet, mask up, get boosted and read on about out some of your options.
Fireworks on the Strip After taking last year off, Fireworks by Grucci will once again design and choreograph an eight-minute display of pyrotechnic wizardry at midnight on December 31, launching from atop several resorts, including Resorts World, MGM Grand, Planet Hollywood, Treasure Island, Venetian and the Strat.
Fremont Street Experience The Downtown drag will host the official New Year’s Eve party for the City of Las Vegas, an ’80s- and ’90s-themed dance party featuring live performances from Bobby Brown, Vanilla Ice, Village People, Tone Loc and A Flock of Seagulls. Early bird tickets cost $35 through December 23 before a Christmas Eve increase, and of course the Viva Vision light show will display custom graphics all night long. December 31, 6 p.m., vegasexperience.com.
Area15 The year-old, much buzzed-about art and entertainment experience destination just off the Strip will host Playa Playground for its first official New Year’s party, spanning across three venues with different “sound camps,” art car stages, interactive installations, food trucks, games, carnival rides and more. Tickets started at $235 at press time. December 31, 8 p.m., area15.com.
Brooklyn Bowl The Bowl will host a Y2K-themed New Year’s bash with all the hits from the aughts spun by DJ CO1. Tickets range from $20-$30. December 31, 9:30 p.m., brooklynbowl.com.
Glittering Lights The holiday spectacular at Las Vegas Motor Speedway will host an East Coast New Year’s fireworks celebration at 9 p.m., adding even more sparkle to 600-plus animated and illuminated displays along its 2.5-mile drivable course. Attendees can also enjoy music, hot chocolate, kettle corn and more. December 31, 4:30 p.m., glitteringlightslasvegas.com.
FlyOver Las Vegas The new multisensory flight ride experience on the Strip will stage a New Year’s Eve Glamping Soirée that includes unlimited rides, easy access to the Strip, specialty drinks at the Lost Cactus lobby bar and more. Tickets start at $250. December 31, 6 p.m., flyoverlasvegas.com.
Katy Perry If there’s ever been a pop artist you just know will build a spectacular Las Vegas Strip residency production show, it’s Perry, who takes the baton from Resorts World’s opening act, Carrie Underwood, just in time for New Year’s Eve. Perry will also debut her new collaboration with Alesso, “When I’m Gone,” on opening night. December 29 & 31, January 1, Resorts World Theatre, axs.com.
Lizzo If you haven’t been following Lizzo on TikTok, you missed one of the best things in this not-always-so-great year. The singer, rapper and budding fashion icon helps Virgin Hotels Las Vegas wrap up its rookie season with smash summer single “Rumors” and plenty more tricks in her arsenal. December 31, Theater at Virgin, axs.com.
The Go-Go’s Vegas’ most unlikely NYE headlining act is also one of its most exciting. The ground-breaking ’80s rockers come to Vegas fresh from being inducted to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Now the Strip gets to ring in 2022 with “We Got the Beat,” “Our Lips Our Sealed,” “Vacation” and many more hits live at the Venetian. December 31-January 1, Venetian Theatre, ticketmaster.com.
Maroon 5 Is it really New Year’s Eve in Las Vegas if Maroon 5 doesn’t perform a couple of concerts? The pop band’s annual visit is an institution at this point, and it moves to the Cosmopolitan this year. Seems like Adam Levine and company should just go all in on a residency, doesn’t it? December 30-31, the Chelsea, ticketmaster.com.
Usher The multitalented R&B megastar brought the Strip one of its biggest parties in years with his raucous residency show at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace. It’s only fitting that he’s back in Vegas for a bash to end 2021. December 28-29 & 31 & January 1, the Colosseum, ticketmaster.com.
• Bruno Mars December 30-31, Dolby Live, ticketmaster.com.
• Brian Newman After Dark December 30 & January 1, NoMad Library, ticketmaster.com.
• Pauly Shore & The Crustys December 30, Plaza, plazahotelcasino.com.
• The 442s December 31, the Barbershop, thebarbershoplv.com.
• Blue Öyster Cult December 31, Golden Nugget, ticketmaster.com.
• Kristin Chenoweth December 31, Reynolds Hall, thesmithcenter.com.
• Kelly Clinton December 31, Nevada Room, vegasnevadarooms.com.
• The Como La Flor Band December 31, the Railhead, stationcasinoslive.com.
• Amanda King December 31, the Underground at Mob Museum, themobmuseum.org.
• Skye Dee Miles, Mikalah Gordon, DJ Lisa Pittman December 31, the Shag Room, virginhotelslv.com.
• Frankie Moreno December 31, South Point, southpointcasino.com.
• Franky Perez December 31, Rocks Lounge, stationcasinoslive.com.
• David Lee Roth December 31 & January 1, House of Blues, ticketmaster.com.
The Chainsmokers XS has served as home base for this Grammy Award-winning duo since 2017, and the hype has yet to fade. Experience it for yourself when Alex Pall and Andrew Taggart ring in the New Year like the genre-bending EDM veterans they are. December 31, XS Nightclub, wynnsocial.com.
Black Coffee South Africa’s top DJ hit the ground running with 2021’s Subconsciously, an impressive dance record featuring collaborations with Pharrell, Diplo and Usher. Fresh off his Hï Ibiza residency—and a monumental performance on NPR’s Tiny Desk earlier this year—Black Coffee returns to Vegas with music as classic as his name suggests. December 31, Hakkasan Nightclub, hakkasannightclub.com.
Zedd At this point, Zedd’s one of ours. The iconic Russian-born DJ has played nearly every major club in Las Vegas, and this summer, he locked in a multiyear residency at Zouk Group’s premier dayclub and nightclub. Catch the “Clarity” star in his natural element before the year’s up—and then do it all over again when he returns for his regularly scheduled performances in 2022. December 31, Zouk Nightclub, zoukgrouplv.com.
Steve Aoki The DJ Mag Top 100 mainstay has worked with nearly every artist across the board—from Zooey Deschanel to the Backstreet Boys to Kid Cudi. Rest assured, there’s an Aoki remix for everyone, and you can dance your way into 2022 with it. December 31, Omnia Nightclub, hakkasangroup.com.
Rick Ross Miami’s hip-hop heavyweight will likely bring hits like “Aston Martin Music” and “Money in the Grave” to Drai’s for NYE, but don’t be surprised if you also hear picks from his December LP Richer Than I’ve Ever Been. Drai’s rooftop is the perfect place to catch a “yacht rap” vibe—and a view of the spectacular fireworks. December 31, Drai’s Nightclub, draisgroup.com.
• Darude December 30, Commonwealth, elationlv.com.
• Diplo December 30, XS, wynnsocial.com.
• Flo Rida December 30, Jewel, jewelnightclub.com.
• Jeezy December 30, Drai’s, draisgroup.com.
• Loud Luxury December 30, Hakkasan, hakkasannightclub.com.
• Tiësto December 30, Zouk, zoukgrouplv.com.
• Fisher December 31, Marquee, taogroup.com.
• Gettoblaster, Codes, Franklyn Watts December 31, Discopussy, discopussydtlv.com.
• Kehlani December 31, Money Baby, moneybabylv.com
• Lil Jon December 31, Jewel, jewelnightclub.com.
• Mark Mac & Sam I Am December 31, Foundation Room, houseofblues.com/lasvegas.
• O.T. Genasis December 31, Tao, taogroup.com.
• 2 Chainz January 1, Drai’s, draisgroup.com.
• DJ Pauly D January 1, Marquee, taogroup.com.
• DJ Snake January 1, Zouk, zoukgrouplv.com.
• Mustard January 1, Hakkasan, hakkasannightclub.com.
• Afrojack January 2, Omnia, hakkasangroup.com.
• Tory Lanez January 2, Drai’s, draisgroup.com.
So many restaurants are doing special menus for New Year’s Eve, it would be impossible to cover all the fantastic flavors. But here are five baller experiences to consider. Wherever you want to go, make your reservation ASAP.
One Steakhouse The Morton family stronghold at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas is focusing on surf and turf pairings from chef Patrick Munster to ring in the new year, such as Snake River Farms’ Wagyu strip loin with Alaskan king crab legs or filet mignon with a massive Maine lobster tail. The full menu will also be available, and the swanky new restaurant opens at 5 p.m. Onesteakhouselv.com.
Tao Asian Bistro Even if you’re not heading to the club after dinner, you need to keep Tao on your radar. With three seatings and two different price packages, this institution is rolling out all the classic dishes (Peking duck spring rolls, chicken satay with peanut sauce, five spice short ribs and more) and bringing the DJs and dancers into the restaurant culminating in a midnight countdown and Champagne toast. Taolasvegas.com.
Lakeside Celebrate the new year with views of the Lake of Dreams at Wynn, enjoying DJs, dancing and party favors, and above all else, a six-course prix fixe menu from chef David Middleton. You’ll be spoiled for 2022 after feasting on bigeye tuna tartare, king crab salad with Asian pear and avocado, white truffle risotto and Wagyu short rib with goat cheese polenta. Wynnlasvegas.com.
Eiffel Tower Restaurant The legendary Paris Las Vegas destination will start early at 4 p.m. so the first guests can catch the sun setting across the Strip skyline. There are three more seatings for two-hour experiences throughout the night, with each preset menu starring elegant French cuisine such as foie gras with persimmons compote, loup de mer and vegetarian wellington. Twenty bucks says someone gets engaged while you dine. Eiffeltowerrestaurant.com.
STK The Cosmopolitan’s energetic steakhouse is going extra big for NYE. The restaurant features a three-course dinner of greatest hits and lots of choices along the way, and STK will also take over the former Estiatorio Milos space next door to create a pop-up dining experience with a different, slightly more casual prix fixe. Stksteakhouse.com.
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