There seems to be a general cultural consensus (we don’t want to use the word zeitgeist) — and perhaps particularly in the USA — that 2016 has been the worst year in recent memory.
Well, shit — we feel that. And that’s all the more reason to party hard this New Year’s Eve, forget the darkness of the past 365, hope for the best for the next and give your people a little extra attention while you’re doing it.
Cheers to Cult MTL readers, Montrealers of all stripes and — not least — all of the artists and promoters putting together great events on the last night of this godforsaken year.
Note that all the following parties are happening on Dec. 31, are 18+ and end at 3 a.m. (unless otherwise noted).
(Also, the metro is open ALL NIGHT this year, so leave the car at home and don’t depend on cabs or surge-priced Uber at 3 a.m. If you’re not near a metro and you’re out drunk with a car, don’t do it! Either grab a night bus or call Operation Nez Rouge.)
The Speakeasy Electro Swing crew gets even more festive than usual at Cabaret Lion d’Or with live band the Royal Pickles, performance by resident players Don Mescal and Khalil as well as Jean-Sébastien Leblanc, burlesque and circus feats by Circantique, Coeur de Lyon and Krin Haglund and dance lessons by Studio 88. Suggested attire includes 1920s party clothes and creative retro futurist hybrids.
1676 Ontario E.
Crew up with the Artgang crew on the makeshift dancefloor at their Plaza St-Hubert space, with music by DJs Shash’U, Planet Giza, Da-P, High Klassified and more special guests.
$25 (first 200 tickets)
Plateau pinball/cocktail bar North Star marks its first anniversary with a New Year’s get-down, with music by their house DJ and special guests, a photobooth art installation by artist Meags Fitzgerald, a handcrafted piñata by Weird Piñata and plenty of birthday surprises.
Stereo resident and renowned local house DJ Paolo Rocco plays the cozy, stylish Mile End nightclub Datcha for the first time, along with Pieces of Me b2b Di Stefano. In lieu of a cover charge, organizers are encouraging donations to a worthy cause: Doctors Without Borders.
98 Laurier W.
Blackout Soundsystem rings in 2017 “inna dub style” at Marché à côté, cranking all styles of dub, roots, old-school dancehall, mash-ups, jungle and more, with an open mic for toasters.
A long list of local underground promoters (among them Big Tooth, Beat2Def, Mess With the Best and Dirty Crooks) present a NYE blowout featuring Trollphace (aka Damon Orienti), an L.A.-based, Odd Future-affiliated producer/DJ known for an aggro mix of hip hop, bass music and dubstep, as well as Dubloadz (New Jersey), BadKlaat (Gloucestser, U.K.), Jvst Say Yes (L.A.), Mark Instinct (Calgary), JuJu (L.A.) and Michael Sparks (Montreal), with more artists to be.
The funk DJs who lead le Bleury’s two funk weeklies — Walla P (Voyage Funktastique) and Dr. MaD (Fly Ladies) will do battle for deck supremacy at the intimate downtown vinyl lounge, spinning modern funk, boogie, ’90s R&B and soul.
$15 early bird
The Societé des Arts Technologiques art and party space is mounting a two-room NYE bash with techno/house DJs Vosper, Ledisko, Ponsolo, Melesul3 and Sean Caruso in the dome, and hip hop/house DJs Monsieurlouis, Noyl and Famelik on the ground floor.
Varning Productions and Youth of Nausea present a punk/post-punk/coldwave NYE party at Katacombes with Who Killed Spikey Jacket?, Durs Coeurs and Lysergic, with an aftershow set by Besatzung, a dance party with DJ TabarNaki and draws for prizes from Vans.
At Analogue Addiction’s NYE party, Montreal synth-punk band We Are Wolves plays l’Escogriffe along with Paul Jacobs and DJ Maxime la Mitraille. Theme: disco vampire.
This Heineken-sponsored party boasts some of “Montreal’s finest young talent,” namely producers Dojo, Mobile Pro, Jei Bandit, Gxlden Child, War Mendel, Four Lore, Cabi O’vein and KTNG.
$5/more at the door
Intimate Mile End venue Mademoiselle hosts a night of live music for NYE, featuring the Feedbackers and People and Space, followed by an open jam around 1 a.m.
Doors 8 p.m., show 10 p.m.
Cozy Mile Ex bar/venue gets festive with an open mic for karaoke vets and newbs. Bonus: shrimp rings a-plenty.
179 Jean-Talon W.
9 p.m.-3 a.m.
$5 before midnight/$10 after
Blowout-party/kink specialists Cirque de Boudoir hosts its annual Carnavalesque extravaganza, with an electronic soundtrack by DJs Plastik Patrik, Diskommander and Davidé, circus, burlesque, fetish and other types of live performances by Cirquantique, Lady Josephine, Squid Lid and others, and a 1920s aquatic theme.
2915 Ontario E.
$55/$60, $110/$120 VIP
Hit Barfly to see this local band launch their new EP, a retro-groove soundtrack for award-winning short film The Chaperone, which depicts the true story of a school teacher and a motorcycle gang in 1973 Montreal. Bonus: door prizes.
The Montreal punk vets take their annual New Year’s Eve show to the Fatal (Fattal Lofts) in deepest St-Henri, accompanied by Riot Porn, Idiocrates, Rat Patrol and Shit Tax.
Doors 9 p.m., show 10 p.m.
Divan Orange houses the New Year’s Eve edition of this vintage R&B and soul night, with DJs Nick Osicka and Ben Shulman, spinning 1960s sounds on 45s.
Gogol Bordello play NYE 2015/16 at NYC’s Terminal 5
The Tekno Agricole crew serves up a feast of beats in two rooms with over a dozen DJs spinning the spectrum of techno and bass sounds.
DJ Awful hosts this year’s party at Notre Dame des Quilles, mixing fresh pop, R&B, teen pop, new wave, synthpop, glam, Eurodance and “gay stuff” to say “Bye 2016…Forever.” Bonus: A round of champagne at midnight.
32 Beaubien E.
Four Montreal bands on the post-punk/synth wave axis — Pelada, Xarah Dion, Sunstroke Militia and Butcher Baby — play la Vitrola, where the soundtrack to NYE 2016/17 will be filled out by Post-Punk Night at Casa DJs Tyg and Ciemnosc.
Party promoters Bacchanale bring an all-night NYE dance party to the Darling Foundry, with 00:AM DJs Kane O, Motions and Jamal, Bambounou, Or Room and Mike Larry b2b Atroxx.
10 p.m.-7 a.m.
$35/$40 regular, VIP $65/$500 for 5/$1,000 for 10
For queers and their allies, a two-room party at Casa del Popolo with Bearcat and Odile Myrtil in the showroom and Yung Bambii, Carmen, Deadlift and DJ/party promoter Frankie Teardrop in the bar room.
$10-$20 sliding scale
Kruger originals presents the New Year’s Eve SAÏ edition of the monthly Moonshine parties in deepest Mile End, with African house and deep house with funk and percussion care of DJs Tygapaw, Uproot Andy, Pierre Kwenders, Odile Myrtil and Bonbon Kojay. Promoters promise “a proper glow-up under high frequencies.”
10 p.m. till very late
$15 online/$20 before 3 a.m./$25
Scott C and Andy Williams’ take their monthly Sala Rossa get-down (and staple CKUT radio show) into New Year’s mode, spinning old and new permutations of funk, soul, jazz, hip hop, Afro, Latin and boogie alongside special guest DJs Static and Professor Groove. This year’s party will be bittersweet as it’s the “final chapter” for the Goods, which is coming to an end after almost 15 years.
(FYI there’s a separate party happening downstairs at the Sala Rosa restaurant.)
Doc’trin, Lord Plankton and MC Huilly Huile deliver a night of “insanely bumpin” party music (R&B, hip hop, funk, disco and more) spiced with classic tunes by artists that the music world has lost this year. Click the link for clues to who some of them are, and related details about a contest attendees can win — the prize is a $50 gift certificate for the record store of your choice.
Newspeak and I Love Neon are importing French producer Cherokee to ring in NYE, backed by primo local talent Robert Robert, Matheus b2b the Holy and Hools.
$10 (in advance)
The Osheaga festival fetes NYE at Olympia with the spectacular sonic mayhem of gypsy punk band Gogol Bordello (and their “Da Da Western” show), plus openers Low Cut Connie.
1004 Ste-Catherine E.
Doors 9 p.m., show 10 p.m.
The Ile Soniq EDM festival mounts a banger at Théatre Berri, with music by Dirty Audio, Jason Ross, Kayliox, Sheridan Grout, Tibe, Eagle I Stallian and CYMN.
Plateau/McGill Ghetto nightclub Ecole Privée gets busy (and covered in gold balloons) with Folio Modelling Agency and Armand de Brignac’s party NYE Twenty Seventeen, promising dancefloor soundz by Cabana & Senudiz, complimentary catering by SUWU (grilled cheese and more dainty finger foods) and good times for singles and groups alike — click the link to see the range of package deals for bottles and tickets.
$25 at the door
Le Lab throws down a 1980s-style, Back to the Future-themed Prom & Tux party. The ticket price includes three of the Plateau cocktail bar’s signature drinks, champagne at midnight and a few other alcoholic treats throughout the night.
1351 Rachel E.
Party old-school at Montreal’s premier burlesque nightclub and cocktail bar, promising a rockin’ and rollin’ soirée with house band the Wigglers, pop-up burlesque performances by the likes of Ruby Rhapsody and Honey Dynamite and a round of bubbly at midnight.
Doors 7:30 p.m., show 9 p.m.
Mile End’s upscale diner celebrates the end of 2016 with a dinner party (and cocktail party after 10:30 p.m.), offering both a special prix fixe menu and regular menu. Reservations are a must.
5 p.m.-1:30 a.m.
Safe in Sound, Cibai and Young Ez play Crobar, and their NYE festivities include food, drink specials, beer pong, pool, free champagne at midnight and “swaggerific,” “jamtastic” entertainment.
Feast on the raw bar, surf & turf dishes and sweet table (and wash it down with Veuve Cliquot and Elixir shots) at downtown resto-bar Sousbois, where the ambiance is subterranean forest. Food will be served till 11 p.m., and DJ Thomas H serves up the music alongside a special guest.
1106 de Maisonneuve W.
Meal and drinks 8-11 p.m., $125
After 11 p.m. $40
The Coca-Cola-sponsored Montreal en Fetes/Merry Montreal party in the Old Port promises a grand old countdown, spectacular fireworks and entertainment by local francophone pop, rock and hip hop acts including Alex Nevsky, Louis-Jean Cormier, Bernard Adamus, KLô Pelgag and SonReal.
De la Commune/Place Jacques Cartier
7 p.m.-2 a.m.
Free/$80 for VIP seating, 3 free drinks, hors d’oeuvres, private bar/$300 for groups of 4