Virtual New Year’s Eve: how to party like it’s 2021 from the comfort of your front room | New year

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For many, New Year’s Eve 2020 will be spent doing little more than watching yet more television. But beatboxer SK Shlomo has made plans so big he got Nasa involved: what he is calling the “world’s first charity rave-a-thon”, Rave to the Moon, will be launched by retired astronaut Nicole Stott, the 10th woman to perform a spacewalk.

Revellers, dancing in front rooms and kitchens around the world to virtual sets by the likes of Basement Jaxx and Rob da Bank, will have their steps counted in real time in the hope that collectively they will dance the hundreds of thousands of miles it would take to get to the moon. Shlomo, who has set world records with his mass-participation events, stresses you can also join in just by sitting on your sofa.

From online erotic cinema to at-home feasts and high-concept raves, there are plenty of ways to stay at home on Thursday evening and mark a very different year along with the end of the Brexit transition period – while supporting decimated creative and hospitality industries.

Shlomo says of his rave: “It’s one of those projects that starts off as a small idea and then the more people you mention it to, the madder it gets. I wanted to create something accessible. There are so many people who can’t go out on New Year’s Eve, can’t afford to or their life means they don’t do it any more – this is a way to reconnect.”

As is traditional, NYE 2020 will offer up ample opportunities to dance. The famed Haçienda club in Manchester will be throwing a 24-hour, stay-at-home rave and YouTube will host a big night in, Hello 2021: UK, with a line-up that includes singer Dua Lipa.

New Year’s Eve celebrations in London last year.
New Year’s Eve celebrations in London last year. Photograph: Andy Rain/EPA

Many of the traditional New Year’s Eve events are also being streamed – Edinburgh’s Hogmanay will, for the first time, be an entirely online event, as will the Times Square ball drop.

Celebrating at home also provides new opportunities. Immersive cinematic performance La Petite Mort is, says creative director Sophie Cohen, going to be “very fun and very sexy … it’s women owning their sexuality”. While she thinks “sometimes people feel a bit nervous about coming to our shows … this is a way for you to explore it in the comfort of your own home, and you don’t have to feel too afraid because you can just turn the TV off”.

A cast of professional artists and dancers, “some who have worked in the sex industry and some who still do”, will perform a series of vignettes: “A thought piece on the fact that this has been a really weird year, we would all like to throw a funeral for it.”

But the more traditional New Year’s Eve pursuits of eating, drinking and being merry are also available in Covid-friendly packages. Restaurant meal-kits, which have been big business this year, range from the eye-wateringly high-end – British chef Adam Handling is offering nationwide delivery of a New Year’s Eve menu that includes wagyu and caviar tartare (£350 for two) – to the height of comfort eating: La Tua, which makes pasta that is served in Claridge’s, is serving a menu that includes crab-and-lobster tortelloni and chocolate panettone (£66.50 for two to four people). Pasta is, says La Tua’s Giuseppe Palumbo, “comforting and celebratory … it’s the perfect way to say ciao to this year, and hopefully bring in a better year for all”.

For those happy to be outside, watching fireworks or meeting a friend for a bench-sit might be on the agenda. While some are raving to the moon, Dr Robert Massey of the Royal Astronomical Society suggests looking at it. It will be a day after the highest full moon of the year, and “after midnight [actually around 1.45am], it will be 61 degrees high in the sky, so will really light up the landscape”.

Of course, the biggest challenge of a new year spent at home will be atmosphere. Cohen suggests: “Dress up, feel sexy, eat something gorgeous.” Shlomo advises would-be ravers: “People might have tinny speakers on your laptop – no, no, no, you need to dig out your hi-fi and get some bass. Turn off those main lights. Get your glowsticks.”

For pasta-aficionado Palumbo: “If you want to be really Italian about it? Don your best red undies – it’s considered good luck for the year ahead. And we could all do with a bit of that!”

Hafta Ichi
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: Virtual New Year’s Eve: how to party like it’s 2021 from the comfort of your front room | New year

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