Torn between watching the fireworks and seeing some music? There’s a way to get the best of both worlds

With just 12 days left until New Years Eve, you’re either in a mad scramble to pack the bags for your choice of festival, or trying to line up some last-minute plans for a midnight countdown in the city.

If you’re like most music fans, one of these ideas is infinitely more attractive. What better way to bring in 2017 than with a band you love? It’s tough to argue against, but with the majority of NYE festivals now sold out, it’s a biting reality.

It’s seemingly becoming more and more popular to bash the turn of the year in your hometown. The complaints override the positivity, and a downwards spiral of pessimism takes the wheel. The thing is, you’ve probably just forgotten how good a New Years’ Eve in the city can be.

new years eve

All your friends heading to a festival this New Years Eve? Avoid any feelings of FOMO with one trick: have a better time than them.

A strange duality within Sydney’s NYE celebrations has always been around – we have some of the greatest organised events and most spectacular fireworks of any city in the world, but unless you’re in a set of 10 to 20 key locations in and around the harbour you’ll miss out.

In the past our public transport system hasn’t been able to handle the stress of the night either, causing one of the most widespread feelings of “what the fuck do I do now?” you’ll ever experience.

If there’s a single complaint the NSW government has taken heed of in the last decade, it’s regarding what used to be an embarrassing public transport grid. The days where every train was late are gone, and there’s a shit ton of extra services planned on New Years Eve/Day to get your staggering, slobbery self home.

But search through your most treasured memories of New Years, and see what you find. Which was better, throwing up into the harbour over the railing at Blues Point or embarking on the mammoth two hour walk back to the suburbs with a beer in your hand, a friend by your side and the sun rising in the sky?

The charm of the eve is in the special ways the city comes together. Sure, there will be a couple of thousand people at Beyond the Valley this year but will there be four million? If you’re one of the warriors fighting for Sydney’s nighttime economy and livelihood, there’s only one place you should be come December 31st.

While the usual predictable festivities will be going ahead, there’s a select few who are bringing their own jam to the evening, giving Sydney more of the ‘world city’ vibe it deserves.

Right on Circular Quay in the fully-fledged hustle bustle of New Years revelry will be the Paragon Hotel’s event, a New York styled block party that’s got all the ingredients a day long, year ending bender should have.

With BBQs, DJs, pop up food stalls and, of course, bars a-plenty, there will be enough vibe to set off the fire alarms. Basically, don’t be down in the dumps if your mate who lives in Potts Point isn’t having a house party – there are other options and you should be embracing them to the fullest.

If you find yourself close to home on New Years Eve, don’t lament it. Don’t feed the greedy anti-Sydney dialogues that are becoming increasingly more common.

Double park yourself with a frothie and a chicken drumstick at the Paragon, or surprise your mates’ house party with an extra silo of punch. Grab yourself a ticket to a gig and have the time of your life with a couple of mates.

If I wake up on New Years Day and wander the streets of Sydney, I want to see a city recovering from the biggest night of it’s year, not the malnourished streets the media wants us to believe in.

Jump on our Gig Guide to check out all the New Years Eve options Sydney and the rest of Australia has on offer.