Tune into the beachside fireworks in Brazil, a concert in Austria, or the Times Square ball drop.

By Brigitt Earley
December 04, 2020
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NYC firework show in Sydney, Australia
Credit: Scott Barbour / City of Sydney / Getty Images

If there's anything just about everyone can agree on, it's that 2020 must go. For so many, this year has been an exceedingly difficult one, and the prospect of a fresh start provides enough motivation to keep on keeping on through what's sure to be an unprecedented holiday season.

But will New Year's Eve celebrations around the world be cancelled due to restrictions and social distancing measures? Here's the good news we all need: Not exactly. Though many in-person events have been cancelled, there are a select few celebrations taking place around the world. Due to the pandemic, most of these events have been significantly modified and are, largely, going digital. The goal? To keep crowds at bay, but still give revelers the chance to count down to what may just be the most anticipated New Year's Day of all time. Here's where and how to tune in.

New York, New York

Rather than the shoulder-to-shoulder bash that typically takes place in Manhattan's Times Square, this year's New Year's Eve celebration will take place without spectators. Instead, organizers say the event, which will feature a small group of in-person honorees, will be held virtually. "This year, there will be significantly new and enhanced virtual, visual, and digital offerings to complement whatever limited live entertainment or experiences—still in development—will take place in Times Square," Tim Tompkins, president of the Times Square Alliance, said in a statement. You'll be able to watch it live here.

Auckland, New Zealand

Because New Zealand has fared relatively well through the pandemic, Auckland's Sky Tower display, which features fireworks alongside a laser display, is still set to take place in some capacity. Though the full plans are still being set, according to ATEED (Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development), there will be something similar to look forward to. One thing's for sure, though: As in years prior, this highly anticipated and popular event can be streamed on the SkyCity Facebook page. You'll be able to watch it live here.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Though Copacabana beach is normally host to plenty of partying and a massive fireworks display on New Year's Eve, the in-person event has been cancelled this year. Instead, a small-scale light show and intimate performances will take place in areas inaccessible to large crowds. The mayor also plans to have a moment of silence to honor victims of the coronavirus across the world. All events will be live streamed for people around the world to watch, though the further information, including a link to watch, is still forthcoming. 

Sydney, Australia

Due to concerns about the community spread of COVID-19, there will be no family fireworks at the Sydney Harbour this year. (They usually take place at 9 p.m.) Instead, there will be a short televised firework display from the Sydney Harbour Bridge at midnight. The show will be just 12 minutes long, and the area will be closed to spectators to prevent crowding. This is a stark change compared to the million-plus locals and tourists who typically come to see the spectacle. Livestream details are still to come, but it's bound to be something to look forward to watching with loved ones at home.

Seoul, South Korea

Typically, there are plenty of fireworks and festivities in Korea's major cities on New Year's Eve. This year, though, the main event will be a big concert: 2021 New Year's Eve Live, presented by Weverse. Special musical guests include the smash hit band BTS, as well as other K-pop favorites like TXT and GFRIEND. Although in-person guests will be limited and available on a raffle basis, organizers plan to stream the concert to viewers around the world. 

Vienna, Switzerland

Each year, Vienna hosts a big New Year's Eve party called Silvesterpfad, which translates to "New Year's Eve Trail." Unfortunately, this major party, which typically features activities that last all day on December 31 and continue until 2 a.m. on New Year's Day, has been cancelled. "Normally, the entire city center transforms into a giant party site on December 31 for the New Year's Eve Trail. Because of Corona, this Viennese institution must take a break this year," notes the city's board of tourism. All is not lost though—instead, revelers can instead tune into a live broadcast of the Vienna Philharmonic's New Year's Concert on January 1. You'll be able to watch it live here.

Comments (1)

Anonymous
January 1, 2021
Really, Vienna, SWITZERLAND??? Whoever wrote this should be ashamed. Get a map. Ask Google. Take a basic European history class. Vienna, AUSTRIA!! As in, the capital city of Austria. Never part of Switzerland.