New Year’s Eve celebrations are fascinating because New Years is a conceptual holiday. The first night is a holiday about time, arbitrarily determined, which sets it apart from other holidays with more concrete symbols and traditions. This puts the date at a disadvantage, which is perhaps one factor why those with less imagination sometimes call it “amateur night.”
When you think of Halloween you immediately picture a jack o’ lantern. Think of Thanksgiving and you call to mind a plate heaped with warm brown carbs. The images our culture has for New Year’s Eve are a ball falling in Times Square (when else do you tell time like this?) and editorial cartoons of a baby wearing a sash with the new date written on it.
Meow Wolfer’s Caity Kennedy (left) and Golda Blaise (right) celebrate at Galactic Jungle last year. Galactic Jungle photographs by Lindsey Kennedy. Click here for tickets to the Sublunar New Year’s Eve celebration!
There’s room to evolve.
Few parties are more important than New Year’s Eve, the bridge from one year to the next. If all goes well, you’re rewarded with the feeling that tomorrow is another big chance to change, to step up and decide who you are and what you want to be. There’s a sense of possibility and that’s the thing you should celebrate.
A New Year’s Eve celebration is neither in the old year, nor the new. NYE is an island where you can watch time stream around you, an objective place to consider this phenomena of reality, and as a bonus an occasion where you get to dress all fancy-schmancy with your friends.
Meow Wolf plays with this idea of a space removed from time by setting our parties in fantastic environments. They are small other-worlds that exist for the space of the evening and then disappear forever a few hours after the clock rolls over.
When we rang in 2017 at Galactic Jungle, confetti fell from the ceiling around a silver obelisk in the center of the dance floor. Brightly colored and playfully mobbing trickster characters appeared out of thin and and rushed the stage. At Robocalypse in 2012 the mild-mannered robots lingering throughout the party seized control at midnight in a Skynet-esque takeover. The final DJs of the evening performed for their machine overlords while wearing neon chains. No harm was done and the scenarios evaporated in a few hours.
Our arts and events teams are currently realizing Sublunar, this year’s New Year’s Eve celebration at the Shellaberger Tennis Center in Santa Fe. Wylla Skye, an art team member, said the dance floor is a lunar world that uses environmental clues to create a sense of history.
“The Shellaberger Tennis center will be transformed into an abstracted lunar landscape, with evidence of colorful settlements left by galactic civilizations. Iridescent moon-water icicles hanging from a canopy of lunar debris will shield guests from the impact of one more year around the sun, while hidden prisms turn sun rays into a ceiling of colorful laser light. When not dancing on the multi-leveled terrain, there is plenty of space to let gravity sink in on the soft-side of the moon chill zone.”
We wouldn’t be sci-fi without some seriously future soundscapes. A host of dancefloor selectors will perform on one of KV2’s weapons-grade soundsystems.
This year we’re pulling out none other than Worthy from San Francisco’s legendary Dirtybird crew. This genre bending dance producer plays house with hints of slinky, funky bass.
Our favorite local and regional spinners are taking the stage, too. Babyfaced tech duo Spoolius will be returning to the stage for some blissed-out four-on-the-floor. Paul Fleetwood, a Denverite whose austere techno recalls his rust belt roots of Pittsburgh, is playing as well. DJ Eldon of Albuquerque will hang with us for the night and Steven Dermody of Denver will grace us with music that’s set the stage for the likes of Derek Plaslaiko and Richie Hawtin.
The idea of change powers every New Year’s Eve celebration. Anything goes. Maybe you’ll be who you’ve been for the last full year and then tomorrow you’ll be someone new: someone who is liberated from the previous year’s pitfalls, aspirations and disappointments. You can make a choice to return from this island in time as a new person. Then while our temporary world disappears, we can return to an old world that seems fresh and new. Let’s go exploring!
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(Additional writing by Christopher J)