So you’ve donned your gay apparel, you’ve filled up on pumpkin pie, and that WRETCHED elf (shudder) on the shelf is back in his box. The holidays are wrapping up, but that’s no reason you can’t get a couple more festive flings out of the last month of 2023. We’ve scoured the region for the best New Year’s Eve parties, and in true Lawrence fashion, there’s a party for every type of reveler (yes, even the ones that don’t want to stay up until the stroke of midnight!). Here’s a list of ways you can ring in 2024 with a bang.
The Bottleneck | 8:00 PM
$10 advance, $15 day of show
The Bottleneck has always been the hottest ticket in town for New Year’s Eve parties. They put together a strictly bluegrass/folk/roots lineup every year, and it can get pretty rowdy. Think about it, these are people who camp out in the mud at Winfield for fun. Of course it’s going to be a hoot and a holler.
This year’s event promises to be no different, with Deadman Flats calling upon their friends in Tonganoxie Split and Cat Rodeo (oh boy, Honky-tonk!) for the evening’s festivities.
RIYL: The Sunday Round-up at Lucia, Fidpick, partying hard
The Replay | 6:00 PM
Here’s a new one we haven’t seen before. The Replay is holding an NYE matinee with a specific focus on playing for an all-ages crowd. The goal is to do an early New Year’s countdown for the kids (probably at about 8:00 p.m. or so), which gives you enough time to get them home, dump them with the sitter (sorry, Grandma), and head back to the night party.
They’ll be joined by Kirsten Paluden and Benjamin Cartel.
RILY: Going to bed at a reasonable hour, family-friendly events
The Replay | 10:00 PM
The Replay has always been an astounding and shiny place to get absolutely bonked out of your mind for New Year’s Eve. Inside, there’s always a rowdy rock show. Outside, the DJ keeps the dance floor on fire all night long.
This year’s party brings one of our favorite local acts to the stage, Sweeping Promises. This is one of those local bands that gained national attention, so they’re constantly on tour and rarely make a local appearance. Don’t sleep on this one.
They’ll be joined by naughty mods, The Whifs, Daysleeper, and Virga. DJ Chance Romance is in charge of the dance party on the heated patio, so expect very gay and very fun vibes.
RIYL: Not remembering a single thing you did the night before.
The Jazzhaus (early show) | 7:00 PM
Expert musicians and lovable goofballs The Crumpletons are also indulging those who prefer to skip the countdown with an early show at the Jazzhaus. The running joke is that they’ll celebrate NYE at 9:00 PM because it’s midnight somewhere in Greenland (probably) at the same time. If you’re looking for something a little more friendly and low-key, this is the band for you.
RIYL: Locals who know what they’re doing.
The Jazzhaus (late show) | 10:00 PM
Now as soon as The Crumpletons crowd packs up and heads out, Coversmith moves in. The Jazzhaus has long been home to cover bands who seem to thrive in that environment, and Coversmith is one of the best ones out there. This show promises “live band karaoke,” which could mean they’re taking requests and rolling with it. But honestly, what NYE party doesn’t have an entire audience shouting the lyrics back at you?
RIYL: Cover bands, Karaoke