The New Year is right around the corner, and with the COVID-19 pandemic largely in the rearview mirror, it seems Denver is brimming with parties to kick off 2023 in style.
Live music is back in a big way with several bands scheduling multi-night runs in the Mile High City. Options for a glitzy and glamorous, all-you-can-drink soiree also abound. If you end up anywhere near the 16th Street Mall on New Year’s Eve, pop outside at 9 p.m. and midnight when fireworks shows will illuminate the skyline. You can even take a stroll through the promenade, which will host DJs playing music that syncs up with the display.
And, perhaps most important, plan to get a safe and sober ride home. For the 14th year, RTD and Molson Coors have partnered to ensure all trains, buses and other modes of RTD transportation are free from 7 p.m. on Dec. 31 to 7 a.m. on Jan. 1.
Now let’s countdown the 10 biggest NYE celebrations happening in Denver.
Decadence music festival
Looking for some EDM to celebrate NYE? Look no further than Decadence, a two-night rager celebrating its ninth year at the Colorado Convention Center. Artists providing the end-of-year soundtrack include Big Wild, Chris Lake, CloZee, Dillon Francis, Flume, GRiZ, Tiësto and Zeds Dead, among others. Additional DJs perform at a silent disco onsite. The ball only drops once, but at Decadence, the beat drops nonstop.
Dec. 30-31 from 6:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. each night at the Colorado Convention Center (700 14th St., Denver). Tickets are $169-$349 at axs.com.
Resolution at The Brighton
Those looking for a raucous New Year’s Eve extravaganza can head to Resolution at The Brighton in RiNo, where DJs will be playing live music and open bars will be serving drinks until the early hours of 2023. Enjoy Instagrammable backdrops, roving entertainers and all the revelry you can handle for an all-inclusive price. Tables with bottle service are also available to reserve.
Dec. 31 from 7:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. at The Brighton (3403 Brighton Blvd., Denver). Tickets are $109-$1,800 at eventbrite.com and denvernewyearsparty.ticketsauce.com.
Pandora’s Box at Tracks
Slay your way into the New Year with a four-day extravaganza at Tracks, one of Denver’s longest running LGBTQ+ bars. The celebration, deemed Pandora’s Box, kicks off Dec. 28 with an open mic night and continues through Dec. 31 with live music, drag performances and special guests like local “Ru Paul’s Drag Race” winner Willow Pill, among others. The countdown on NYE comes complete with a cash drop and DJs to help you dance the year away.
Dec. 28-31 from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. each night at Tracks (3500 Walnut St., Denver). Tickets are $5-$55 at reelworks.ticketsauce.com/e/tracks-nye-2022.
Seth McConnell, The Denver Post
The String Cheese Incident triple-header
One of Colorado’s original jam bands noodles its way to the Mile High City for a three-night stint that’s sure to close out the year on a high note. The String Cheese incident takes over Mission Ballroom from Dec. 29 to 31 with special guests Kanika Moore and Antwaun Stanley on night one, and Judith Hill on night two. While you’re there, consider grabbing a bite and a beer at Left Hand Brewing Co.’s new location next door.
Dec. 29-31 at 7:30 p.m. each night at Mission Ballroom (4242 Wynkoop St., Denver). Tickets are $50-$135 at axs.com.
The Drop at McGregor Square
Open bars, nonstop music and midnight fireworks — The Drop at McGregor Square has all that and more. Join the party at Milepost Zero, which will be serving bottomless bites throughout the event, plus a complimentary champagne toast as guests watch the countdown on the 66-foot outdoor screen in the plaza.
Dec. 31 from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. at Milepost Zero (1901 Wazee St., Denver). Tickets are $150 at eventbrite.com.
Three nights of STS9 at The Fillmore
Livetronica outfit Sound Tribe Sector 9 is bringing what it calls “The Human Dream” experience to the Fillmore Auditorium for three nights leading up to the New Year. The band promised to “dig deep and explore our musical past, present, and future.” STS9, which dabbles in sounds from across musical genres, is selling three-day passes, which suggests the set list will be different each night. Openers include Michal Menert (Dec. 29), Jason Leech (Dec. 30), and Vincent Antone (Dec. 31).
Dec. 29-30 at 7 p.m. and Dec. 31 at 8 p.m. at Fillmore Auditorium (1510 N. Clarkson St., Denver). Tickets are $39.50-$169 at livenation.com.
Orient Express to 2023
Climb aboard the Orient Express and take a luxury train ride from Vienna to Prague without ever leaving downtown Denver. Guests at Union Station’s NYE soiree buy tickets for a figurative train car, each with increasingly plush perks. A “main cabin” ticket, i.e., general admission, includes bottomless drinks and live music from DJ Bella Scratch. A “bar car” ticket includes passed appetizers, while a “dining car” ticket includes a sit-down dinner at The Cooper Lounge ahead of the party. Additional options include overnight hotel stays. No matter which car you’re in, you’re guaranteed a champagne toast at midnight and a good time.
Dec. 31 from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. at Denver Union Station (1701 Wynkoop St., Denver). Dinner starts at 7 p.m. for “dining car” ticket holders. Tickets are $155-$920 at denverunionstation.com/events.
Flight 2023 to New Year’s Eve
If you have yet to visit the new FlyteCo Tower, don your best 1960s-era pilot or stewardess garb and take a trip to the brewery, located in the former Stapleton International Airport control tower, for a “Catch Me if You Can”-themed bash. The venue features bowling lanes, arcade games, billiards and more, and because this event is limited to adults 21 and up, guests don’t have to share the entertainment with kids. Tickets for the party include bites (while they last) and three beverage tickets.
Dec. 31 from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. at FlyteCo Tower (3120 Uinta St., Denver). Tickets are $89-$1,080 at eventbrite.com.
Pop Punk Nite: New Year’s Eve Party
You heard it here last winter: Pop-punk and emo music are experiencing a resurgence. And even if your favorite group isn’t playing in Denver this NYE, you can still sing along with a live band playing the best crowd-surfing hits at South Broadway venue HQ during the Pop Punk Nite: New Year’s Eve Party. Dallas-based Van Full of Nuns promises to keep the vibe rocking with songs from Blink-182, My Chemical Romance, Sum 41 and others.
Dec. 31 from 8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. at HQ (60 South Broadway, Denver). Tickets are $18-$175 at hqdenver.com and tickets.holdmyticket.com/tickets/402560.
New Years Comedy Showcase
It’s been a tough couple of years, to say the least. You deserve a good laugh. Head to Denver Comedy Lounge, located at Colorado Sake Company, where comedians Ben Kronberg (headliner), Eeland Stribling, Kate McLachlan and Alec Flynn will help turn your frown upside down. Don’t forget to grab a cocktail made with sake or shōchū, a distilled Japanese beverage, in the taproom before you take your seat.
Dec. 31 at 6 p.m. at Denver Comedy Lounge (3559 Larimer St., Denver). Tickets are $20 at devercomedylounge.com/shows.
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