Clubbers are avoiding NYE chaos by delaying their celebrations for a day
New Year’s Eve? Forget about it. For tens of thousands of clubbers up and down the country, the party will only truly start on New Year’s Day. From London and Bristol to Manchester and Glasgow, the traditional end-of-year night out is being ditched in favour of a more exclusive and laid-back alternative.
What was once just a day for recovering from the night before is fast becoming big business for party organisers, as many people look to avoid the travel chaos and strict ticketing policies of New Year’s Eve.
Among the pioneers of daytime revelry are DJs James Priestley and Giles Smith, who founded Secretsundaze as a daytime party brand in the early 2000s, bringing Balearic terrace culture to rooftop parties in Peckham, south-east London. This year, after more than a decade of throwing New Year’s Eve parties, the pair are ditching this format in favour of a New Year’s Day shindig.
“It’s something we have considered doing for the last six years or so but we’ve only just gone for it,” said Priestley. “We fancied a change, and we think the crowd you get on New Year’s Day is better – it’s a bit more alternative.”
Despite not being the last night of the year, Smith says there’s just as much reason to celebrate. “It’s still the beginning of a new year so it’s definitely a time to party. Plus, we’ve got Berghain [a Berlin club] resident Efdemin and Detroit’s Patrice Scott, so it’s going to be extra special.”
Sam Kandel is co-founder and programmer of Manchester’s biggest nightclub, the Warehouse Project. He says that since the first New Year’s Day party in 2006 the event has become bigger and better. “It wasn’t quite such a big thing when it started out but now it’s one of the main events of the year. There is something exciting about the first: it feels like you’re celebrating the year you are about to have, rather than the year that’s just been.”
At Motion in Bristol, where the New Year’s Day party kicks off at 6pm, the line-up includes Dixon, a leading European DJ, and the Detroit-raised DJ Magda. Organisers say their New Year’s Day alternative is growing in popularity. “This is the fourth year we’ve held one and, from our experience, more people than ever are opting to party the following day,” said promoter Zeina Raad.
“Many clubbers feel New Year’s Eve has been an anticlimax for a while now, and this year, the way the dates have fallen means you get a good few days off to recover, which is a double bonus,” said Raad.
Kandel agreed, adding: “New Year’s Eve is historically the biggest night out of the year and so it attracts an audience who don’t go out that often. By contrast, New Year’s Day is the time when all the people who were working the night before can really let their hair down. It’s a different crowd.”
For partygoers like Jessica Taylor, 29, from London, staying in on New Year’s Eve is a no-brainer. “Taxis are twice the price, the tubes are packed and there is too much pressure to have a great night,” she said. “I’m going to two parties on New Year’s Day instead, that’s the plan anyway. It’s more relaxed, it’s easier to get tickets last minute, and I think it’s more positive – you’re starting the new year off sober rather than feeling hungover.”
Although the tickets may be slightly cheaper, organisers say it can be just as expensive to throw a party on New Year’s Day. “The DJs are just as in demand as they are the night before – some have numerous offers from all over the world, and many play for the highest bidder so promoters still have to pay high fees,” said Smith.
“Most staff are still getting paid a higher rate on New Year’s Day, too, and securing the venue is no less hard – just check the listings in Time Out or Resident Advisor to see that there are probably more house and techno parties this New Year’s Day than there are on New Year’s Eve.”
So, if the party people aren’t “out” this New Year’s Eve, what will they be doing on the night? “We have been in clubs playing every New Year’s Eve since 2002 so we’re going to swerve them this year in favour of a dinner at home with friends,” said Priestley.
“We certainly won’t be in the queue for the cloakroom somewhere. That’s one thing we’re sure of.”
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