Listen up. The party of the year is fast approaching. New Year's Eve will always be the ultimate party night. The celebration is ceremonial: waving goodbye to one year and ringing in a brand new one. Absolutely everyone honours it in some way – be it climbing a mountain, lighting a candle or hitting a dancefloor.
That communal party spirit makes for a super-exciting build up and an effervescent crescendo to the apex of midnight. The magic of all your friends in one room counting down, champagne fizzing in glasses, dancing and hugging each other as the clock strikes twelve is difficult to beat. New Year’s Eve is also one of the only events where you can rely on people going ALL OUT with their costumes – and a party is so much more fun when your guests make an effort. So capitalise on this moment and give your New Year’s Eve Party the theme of your dreams. You will not regret it.
1. The Year/Month of Your Birth
This theme is inventive, challenging and demands a bit of prep from your attendees. The idea is to dress as the song or the artist that was top of the charts the month and year you were born. People can choose from the Billboard Top 100 or UK Number One – whichever they fancy. You can allow a bit of leniency on the month too so that your guests get to don something they will enjoy wearing.
Top Tip: Create a playlist of the songs for a pre-midnight dance-off
2. The Time Traveller’s Ball
This theme is the ultimate fancy dress party. Your time travelling guests can choose a person, style or creature from any epoch, past, present or future. You will be welcoming dinosaurs, ancient Egyptians, famous historical figures, pop icons and space men to the dancefloor.
Top Tip: Award the best costume a bottle of bubbly and insist on a solo dance from the winner.
The night that everyone feels like a superhero – what better way to celebrate than dashing about in lycra doing ‘superhero landings’ off the sofa? Better still – you can add an option to invent your own superhero with special invented superpowers. Dancing among the Superwomen and Spidermen will be some truly weird and innovative heroes.
Top Tip: Get a demo of your heroes’ superpowers after midnight.
4. Club Tropicana
Grass skirts, Hawaiian shirts and garlands. Drinks in pineapples, a steamy venue to mimic the humid climate and a motherload of palm trees. A tropical party is a fun theme. And the playlist is even better.
Top Tip: Play Club Tropicana every hour until it becomes surreal.
5. Twin Peaks
Fans of David Lynch unite. There are really only a few recognisable characters but that is not important. What is key is your venue. Recreate The Red Room. Red velvet curtains. Black and white chevron rug. Seedy music and a freaky performer. Your guests will love it.
Top Tip: Learn to say one phrase backwards, preferably ‘Happy New Year’.
6. The Great Gatsby
A failsafe theme to encourage glamour and debauchery in equal measure. The costumes are gorgeous and easy to come by, the evening will be suave and sophisticated - but be sure to get the music right – it will set your Gatsby scene. It’s roaring twenties people.
Top Tip: Invent your own cocktail and serve it in proper martini glasses.
7. The X-Files
Mulder or Scully? Or that alien they were visited by in series two? This theme gives your guests licence to go all out in a sci-fi way. Expect a dancefloor of weirdos, stretchy creatures, aliens and suited and booted FBI Agents calling themselves Fox.
Top Tip: Download the theme music for your guest’s big arrival.
8. Nautical Nonsense
Set sail on New Year’s Eve with a theme which encompasses any folk who dwell on – or under - the high seas or indeed the French riviera, Venice or the Henley Regatta. Sailors, pirates, parrots, gondolas, mermaids, sharks, divers, lifeguards… the possibilities are endless.
Top Tip: Do try and install a plank somewhere for people to walk. And the odd Baywatch moment wouldn’t go amiss.
9. The Best Of The Year
Come as your favourite icon or most memorable moment of the year. Expect a few Trumps, too many Boris’s - and some Beyoncés of course.
Top Tip: A decent soundtrack and awareness of current affairs is crucial for this party.
10. Welcome To The Jungle
A cracker of a theme, the jungle is filled with all manner of exciting creatures and plants. You can deck your venue out with vines and foliage, apply a monkey or two and get busy, because, you know, the jungle IS massive.
Top Tip: A jungle (and jungle-themed) soundtrack will make it go with an Amen-break-shaped bang.
11. Heroes and Villans
This theme invites your guests to take a dive into their knowledge of historical rivals and to pick a side. Cowboys and Indians, Cops and Robbers, Cats and Dogs, Popeye and Bluto…
Top Tip: A goodie V baddie dance-off is just begging to happen.
12. All That Glitters
An oldie but a goodie. An easy win: invite your guests to sparkle the night away. Shine on in your home-made disco. Sequins, glitter, shimmer disc, lasers and a smoke machine will make your guests lose themselves on the dancefloor.
Top Tip: Disco Ball – essential.
13. Soul Train
he American programme reached cult status for its amazing musical performances in funk, soul, R&B, jazz and disco. The 70s disco vibe is a perfect theme. Think Boogie Nights, Saturday Night Fever, Car Wash…
Top Tip: This party relies on the best soundtrack in town and you MUST dance the Soul Train Line.
14. Around The World
Honour global New Year's traditions from other cultures. In Spain, they eat 12 grapes in the last 12 seconds of the old year - one grape in time with each chime of the clock. In Denmark they smash plates. In Scotland you make sure the first person in your home after midnight is tall dark and handsome. Ecuadorians burn an effigy. Italians toss furniture out of their windows. In the Philippines they wear polka-dots.
Top Tip: Pick the fun, achievable traditions. Chileans celebrate at a cemetery which may not be the best place to take your party.
15. Old Skool Rave
Some will get down with this theme more than others. Your Aunty Joyce may have sidestepped the 90s rave era and will probably prefer to celebrate at a Gatsby era bash. But if you remember the golden days of rave with misty eyed euphoria, then this party is for you. Install a UV and a strobe. Buy a load of glow sticks and some white gloves. Hire a decent sound system and prepare your DJs.
Top Tip: Don’t leave the dancefloor.