Part 3: How to have a connected New Year's Eve
Updated: Dec 31, 2020
Here we go again! Round 3. Ding!
As promised, here is a list of activities you can take part in on New Year’s Eve with your family and friends. It includes games you can play with more than 8 people, living room raves, concerts and cabarets.
I've tried to keep this list as broad as possible so that there's something for everyone.However, I am definitely missing family activities, so if you have any suggestions, please let me know and I'll keep updating this post.
Games for groups of over 8 people
A patient has come down with a variety of mysterious ailments, and your team has been called to investigate. Will you be able to diagnose the patient in time?
DASH (Different Area, Same Hunt) are fun, interactive events where teams of players race to find and solve creative puzzles hidden in different locations in cities all over the world. Each game is played live and simultaneously. After each live play, the games are made available for download at home. And they are brilliant fun. They can sometimes require a bit of preparation; you’ll need to source some physical items and download the app Cluekeeper, but it's worth it and they have quite a following.
The latest game is DASH 11. Set up a Zoom/Google Hangout between all the players, and then use screen-sharing for collaborative working. You can play with up to 15 people working in teams.
(Suggested by Alistair Aitchison, moderator of Escape Room Enthusiasts Facebook page)
Puzzled Pint has been providing high-quality, free, social puzzling experiences for over 10 years. A new game is published on the second Tuesday of every month having been tested by a group of gamers and volunteers. Each game is themed around a film, book, or some aspect of pop culture, but no previous knowledge is ever needed.
You can play live on the release date and join thousands of puzzle solvers across the world or, you can access the entire archive of previous, family-friendly, puzzle sets at www.puzzledpint.com/puzzles and play at your own leisure.
They are very playable on zoom and work for up to 10 people at a time.
(Suggested by Alistair Aitchison, moderator, Escape Room Enthusiasts)
This interactive bookable escape room style game is generally played by up to 8 people individually but also works for teams, meaning that many more can actually play - the creators have run it for over 200 people before. The game has been played in over 28 countries and has been a part of events for many organizations, including Google, Intel and many more.
The game is all about collaboration. In it, in each puzzle, each player sees only one-third of the information. Only by communicating between them, can the players assemble the parts of the puzzle, solve it, and advances the next stage of the pyramid.
It can be played at any time without a host, and at almost any time if you'd prefer a host (someone who can help guide you through the puzzles)
It costs around £110 for 12 players.
Host your own game of Mafia/Werewolf
Mafia (also known as Werewolf) is one of my most favourite games ever. It’s been around for years and one of the best social deduction games there is.
There are two groups, the mafia and the townspeople. The mafia is trying to kill off the townspeople without revealing their identity; the townspeople are trying to work out who the Mafia are. It’s a kind of souped-up version of wink murder, which has people accusing each other and trying to find out who the imposters are. If all this sounds familiar, it might be because the game was the inspiration for Among Us, the multiplayer online game and one of the most downloaded apps of the year.
If you haven’t played before, you probably need to play one practise round, as there’s quite a steep learning curve at first. But once you’ve played it, it becomes very, very addictive and there are online communities of thousands dedicated to discussing tactics and strategies.
I'd suggest playing with no more than 20 people. It'll get too hard to manage the accusations otherwise.
One thing to note: When the game is played face to face, there is a free flow of conversation whilst people are accusing others (this is in the section called The Day). Free flow conversation with lots of people is very hard to manage on Zoom, so I would recommend that the Narrator (the only non-playing character) runs a structured conversation similar to this: Each person speaks for up to 20 seconds uninterrupted, followed by a short freeflow discussion using the raised hand emojis, followed by each person speaking for 20 seconds again explaining their conclusion.
(This section was added in at 6pm on 30th December)
Highlight House Party
This is an online festival of music, spoken word, cooking lessons, comedy and more from Vermont's best artists. It looks amazing and I wish there were more online events like this, not just for NYE. It has so much choice and includes interactive experiences including cooking tutorials and a roundtable chats. You can choose to watch circus, poetry, music, theatre, spoken word and cabaret. You can even book tea with an artist. It includes The Bengsons, who are wonderful, and had a viral hit a couple of months ago with The Keep Going on Song
It runs from 6pm to 6pm GMT
Kitchen Discos and Living Room Raves
There are quite a few opportunities to dance in your sitting room this NYE. GET OUT YOUR GLOW STICKS!
Billed as the world’s biggest, totally free, interactive online NYE party, it’s hosted by beatbox maestro, SK Shlomo (if you haven’t seen what he does, watch this www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCfSumlWXpc) #RaveToTheMoon is a charity rave-a-thon aiming to stomp the distance to the moon with the collective steps of home-ravers across the world. More details here:
The massive electronic festival, Tomorrowland, promises one of the largest online raves this year. Featuring David Guetta, Major Lazer and Martin Garrix
Morninggloryville: The Age of Aquarius
Morninggloryville are the original morning ravers. Their raves are immense; they are high octane, energising and life-affirming - and not a drop of alcohol in sight. They are holding a New Year’s Day rave The Age of Aquarius from 10.30-1.30. Join in for a bit of wellness and conscious raving.
Star Shaped Club: Online Britpop Disco!
If you fancy partying like it's 1995, then this disco from London’s best indie club Star Shaped should be right up your street. Expect tracks from Shed Seven, Suede and Sleeper (and some bands that don't start with 'S')
Performance, theatre and cabaret
Lost New Year’s Eve
Lost New Year’s Eve is 24 hours of mind-bending, reality-altering music and revelry from cabaret artists, drag performers and theatre-makers. The team behind it put on the widely popular and award-winning Lost Halloween which raised money for immersive theatre artists affected by the pandemic. This should be good.
Meow Wolf: Virtual Carousel
Meow Wolf are an arts collective based in Santa Fe, New Mexico. They normally create immersive and interactive experiences for audiences of all ages which delve into fantastical neon realms using visual art, video, music and extended reality content. They have exploded over the last couple of years (having been supported by George R. R. Martin) and last year were named one of the top ten attractions in Las Vegas. For New Years Eve, they are hosting an evening of special performances at one of their installations, The House of Eternal Return
Eschaton NYE: The Dissolution
Eschaton is a hedonistic virtual nightclub which launched this year. Their NYE experience will be part club night, part theatre performance. It’s only an hour-long, but it’s a maze of different experiences and strange delights in different Zoom rooms. There’s also an after-party. Festive New Year's Eve attire is encouraged
Dirty Martini’s Musical Bingo and Cocktail Masterclass.
OK, this isn’t technically a performance, but what could be more cabaret than a bit of Bingo? Hosted by Dirty Martini, you even get to make your own cocktails.
Gigs and concerts
Many, many thanks to Lizzie Westcott, Bristol-based composer and musician, who has curated the music content for this blog.
If you missed the live streams I mentioned in my last blog and are still hankering after some Christmassy vibes, Christmas Carols from St George’s in Bristol with the Exultate singers is available until Jan 2nd
Vienna Philharmonic New Year’s Day concert is an absolute sit-in-bed-with-a-hangover-and-listen-to-the-radio (providing the kids don’t interrupt you)
Shetlander comedian and improviser, Marjolein Robertson, is hosting a live stream Hogmanay which features Shetland bands and singer-songwriters and a performance by fiddlers Hjaltibonhoga. Gloriously folky stuff.
Awake Arise – A Christmas Show For Our Times
In an unmissable collaboration, five of the English folk scene’s most inventive artists bring you a performance celebrating the riches of our varied winter traditions and reflecting upon the hope and resilience in music and song that can bring joy to us all in the darkest season.
Available till 11.59 pm on NYE
Jackie Oates has a Christmas concert online until mid-Jan. This would be a lovely gentle one to listen to with small kids. She was involved with the music for Nick Cope’s Popcast on CBeebies.
New Year’s Eve traditions
Jools Holland is hosting the usual New Year’s Eve show. It’s not live, which somehow doesn’t feel right, but it’ll be a good trip down memory lane.
Edinburgh’s Hogmanay is going online this year with a line up of talent including David Tennant, Jackie Kay and Siobhan Redmond. There’s even going to be a massive drone display.
I'd welcome any suggestions here. There were a lot of family games included in both previous blogs, so any other ideas would be very welcome!