Farewell, 2020!

City of Austin rings in 2021 with all-star virtual New Year's Eve party

Austin rings in 2021 with all-star virtual New Year's Eve party

Shakey Graves
Shakey Graves tops the bill.  Photo by Ginni Klein

Support the local music scene and bid farewell to 2020 — all safely from the comfort of your couch — via the City of Austin’s official New Year’s Eve celebration.

The special virtual spin of Austin's New Year will stream on December 31, featuring performances filmed in iconic venues, including the Saxon Pub, the Continental Club, Cheer Up Charlies, Antone’s, and the Mohawk.

Eight locals make up the bill for the free-to-view celebration. At the top, there’s Shakey Graves, one of Austin’s best singer/songwriters, along with Parker McCollum and Gina Chavez. The former has a new EP, Hollywood Gold, that’s placed as high as No. 10 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart, and the latter’s latest release, La Que Manda, earned a Best Pop/Rock Album nomination at the 2020 Latin Grammy Awards.

The diverse lineup is rounded out by five up-and-comers: country artist Rob Baird, indie cumbia pop act Como Las Movies, rockers Swimming with Bears, hip hop-leaning Jake Lloyd, and contemporary folk artist BettySoo.

Admittedly, we could all use a night of local music to bid farewell to 2020 and usher in 2021, but entertainment is not the sole focus of this NYE event. The city is also looking to support Austin’s local live music and venue culture following a devastating year due to the pandemic.

“COVID-19 has been devastating to our special events and entertainment industry. In 2020, the virtual Austin’s New Year event is able to benefit some of our local musicians and venues,” said City Manager Spencer Cronk. “We pride ourselves in being The Live Music Capital of the World, and this event will allow us to experience a little piece of Austin while celebrating safely from home.”

Austin's New Year will be available to watch on the City of Austin's Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube pages, as well as Spectrum channel 6, Grande Communications channel 6, and U-Verse channel 99. An exact schedule of performances will be released on December 28.