Marni Nemeny, who is staying in on New Year’s Eve to save energy for New Year’s Day partying this year. Photo: James BrickwoodBest places to watch fireworksFirst in, best dressed for fireworksSydney’s glitziest parties
New Year’s Eve parties are so 2013. The way to celebrate the Sydney New Year in style is officially the laid-back, sun-soaked New Year’s Day party.
January 1 parties are more popular than ever this year, organisers say, and leading the way are a pack of exclusive events that have thousands eschewing a traditional year-end knees-up and its taxi queues, crowd chaos and alcohol restrictions.
With prices for some of the most popular parties giving little change from a $500 note, staying in the night before makes sense in many ways, partygoer Marni Nemeny says.
The 28-year-old from Double Bay is heading to Catalina’s sought-after, invitation-only, $450-a-head Arrival party, where the high-end venue overlooking Rose Bay will host 450 people, international DJs and food and drink from the celebrated kitchen from lunchtime until nightfall.
“New Year’s Eve used to be this night you’d wait for and you’d be planning for ages in advance,” Ms Nemeny said. “For the last few years we’ve been waiting and waiting for something special to come up but it ends up being a regular night but with fireworks.”
Not wanting to head to the packed city, her solution is to stay in on New Year’s Eve and ring in 2015 overlooking the harbour by day.
“New Year’s Day has a fresh vibe. New Year’s Eve just feels a bit done,” she said.
She and her fiance have justified the price by factoring in food, drinks, taxis and venue entry of a night out on December 31 and calculated they come out roughly even, she said.
Sydney-based DJ Reelax, who played Stereosonic and clubs from Miami to Dubai, said Sydney nightclubs had been affected by lockout laws, which had put a new emphasis on day clubbing and private warehouse parties. Field Day Festival, Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel and The Island all had New Year’s Day line-ups that were more exciting and on-trend than the average fireworks and harbour event, he said.
“I’d be hard-pressed to even think of any New Year’s Eve parties that really impress,” he said.
Maurice Terzini, who started a New Year’s Day party at Icebergs in 2003, said he unintentionally hit on a formula that “just worked”.
For one day a year, the two-hat restaurant overlooking Bondi Beach is transformed into what the restaurateur says is one of the best daytime clubs in the world. This year it is headlined by Los Angeles DJ duo Poolside. General manager Rachel Duffy said the event had had its best response in a decade, with more than 2000 ticket requests – more than four times the capacity of the venue.
Terzini said a daytime party just made sense. “It’s when Bondi is at its best.” His $400-a-ticket Everybody Together party, co-hosted by Sneaky Soundsystem, was partly inspired by the daytime club culture of Ibiza.
“I like the fact people are a little bit more tame and more elegant in the daytime. New Year’s Eve parties tend to get a little bit messy,” he said.
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