Counting down the final seconds of 2020 will lack the traditional New Year’s Eve revelry. Strict curfews and restrictions on social gatherings will see most South Africans welcoming 2021 from the confines of their own homes, alone.
This somber situation, which serves to typify the year that’s been, can be made less melancholic by going online and partying with people from across the world.
Some of the world’s biggest festivals are hoping to forge a unique online experience to connect global citizens.
Fortunately for South African homebodies, the timing of some of these events align with the local countdown.
One of the world’s largest annual outdoor festivals, Tomorrowland, which was attended by over 400,000 partygoers in Belgium in 2019, has gone digital amid the pandemic with a special New Year’s Eve bash. With 25 artists, including Major Lazer, David Guetta, Diplo and Armin Van Buuren, spread across four digital stages, the online party is set to begin at 20:00 across 27 different time zones, ending at 03:00.
A ticket, which grants access to Tomorrowland’s digital viewing platform for the duration of the show, costs R358 (€20).
South Africans unwilling to spend money on a live-stream performance can tune into another global New Year’s Eve party called Rave to the Moon. The interactive event, which features British talent including DJ Yoda, Mr Scruff, Beardyman, and Felix Buxton of Basement Jaxx, will kick off at 22:00 in South Africa. Although the livestream is free, viewers will need to register and are encouraged to donate to a charity of their choosing.
South Africans looking for a source of local entertainment have limited options, with the SABC’s annual real-time correspondence of international countdowns unlikely to present exciting scenes of the 2020-2021 crossover.
Local music producer, DJ Tira, will be taking the ‘Fact Durban Rocks’ event online, following the ban on all big public events. The party, which is usually attended by thousands of fans at People’s Park near Durban’s Suncoast Casino, will feature Babes Wodumo, Mampintsha, Shimza and DJ Tira amongst others in 2020.