Glam Fest, Sydney Opera House, Western Boardwalk
It’s hard to beat a venue at Circular Quay for a prime fireworks viewing position. The theme Glam Fest was a nod to the ’80s, with the event decorated with shots of neon and zebra print in homage to glam rockers. Famous lyrics from anthems of the era adorned the walls and hot-pink skulls were on every table. Guests were also entertained with hula-hoop girls, a fake-tattoo parlour and photo booths.
The cocktails ran out far too quickly. A crowd of 1250 people had paid $500 each for the night so it seems a bit rough to then expect them to pay for drinks on top of that. Some keen guests came dressed in theme as groupies and rockers, while others just stuck to glamorous attire, both of which were better than those who made no effort and turned up in jeans and thongs. SH
Pacha, Ivy, city
You know a party is serious when it kicks off at 4pm. In true Pacha style, guests danced and drank for 10hours straight. All four levels and 10bars were full to the brim. The DJ line-up included AN21, Max Vangeli, Junior Jack and Kid Creme, aswell as Pacha’s spectacular burlesque.
The open-air pool bar was the best place to be for the fireworks display. You had to feel sorry for those on the lower levels. Mind you, the dancing didn’t stop, so maybe they didn’t mind. SH
Lord mayor's New Year's Eve party
Sydney Opera House, Northern Forecourt
Instead of the usual social pages suspects, the lord mayor’s guest list was made of people who make a tangible contribution to Sydney. Everyone from engineers to social workers got to share what is indisputably the best party venue in town.
We waited and waited but there was to be no singing from Kylie Minogue, whose only job appeared to be pushing the giant red button to set off the fireworks at midnight. We love Kylie, but we would have loved her even more if she sang a tune or two.
the Star, Pyrmont
You’d be forgiven for thinking the fireworks were inside the room at Marquee’s huge New Year’s Eve party. Some Hollywood stars, including Gossip Girl’s Chace Crawford, Teen Wolf’s Colton Haynes and Glee’s Matthew Morrison were there. DJs Samantha Ronson and Dirty South had the fun-loving crowd on their feet well into the new year.
If the rumour that major international movie stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Jamie Foxx and Jonah Hill would be there seemed to good to be true, it’s because it was — they were actually on a boat in the harbour, not even in the club. As if that wasn’t disappointing enough, the TV stars chose to stay locked away in a VIP bar so no one could see them. Kristen Amiet and SH
Catalina's New Year's Day
Catalina, Rose Bay
New Year’s Day is the new New Year’s Eve and Catalina the new Icebergs. Tim HolmesaCourt and Daimon Downey threw a pumping party at the fancy dining spot. All the tables were cleared out for maximum dance-floor action.
Big names turned up, such as slim-line media magnate James Packer and gorgeous wife Erica, Model Co’s Shelley Barrett, new musical-theatre star Erika Heynatz, model Laura Csortan with rocker beau Chris Joannou, footballer Anthony Minichiello and wife Terry Biviano, swimmer Ian Thorpe and Mel B’s hubby Stephen Belafonte. And as if there wasn’t enough Pommery champagne flowing, Barrett also made 300 jelly shots for the day called ‘‘Shelley’s Jellies’’.
Bloody hell, it was loud. While the music was great, next time turn it down a tad. My ears ached for hours after leaving the party and my throat was sorefrom trying to yell conversations. SH
NYD A Life Aquatic
Maurice Terzini from Icebergs Dining Room and Bar, and Black Angus from Sneaky Sound System hatched a plan for a New Year’s Day party 10years ago. It’s become an institution, with guests choosing to stay at home for New Year’s Eve so they are fresh for the dance floor. It’s hard to beat that view. It was lighter on for celebs this year but those present included Wayne Carey, TV vet Dr Chris Brown, model Stephanie ‘‘Bambi’’ Northwood-Blythe and boyfriend Dan Single.
Imagine Bondi hipsters to the power of 100. The crowd was so desperately cool it was hard not to get frostbite in the sea of posers. SH