New Year's Eve Guide 2013 | Cover Story | Salt Lake City Weekly

December 19, 2012 News » Cover Story

New Year's Eve Guide 2013 

How to ring in NYE in SLC

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Though the jury remains out at press time, we’re operating under the assumption that we can all get over our Mayan fixation and assume there will be a 2013. So now that we’ve kicked one more apocalypse to the curb, what are you prepared to do to celebrate the bonus time you’ve been granted?

City Weekly once again wants to share our tips and tricks for ringing in the new year in a way that will be memorable, no matter how you prefer to celebrate. Are you one to rock out with a crowd? Here’s the info on EVE SLC, plus several other concert headliners and more than 30 nightclubs, bars and restaurants. Feel like celebrating with friends at home? Explore our guide to the ultimate house party, plus body-and-spirit warming recipes for hot cocktails. Or, if you just want to get fancy with that one special person, get the scoop on eateries worth a holiday splurge.

It’s not enough that you survived 2012. Let us help you kick off 2013 feeling alive.NEW YEAR'S EVE GUIDE

EVE (below)
Nine Ways to Party
Dishes to Bring in 2013
Toasty Cocktails to Toast To
Getting out to the Bars
Live Music of the Evening


For its fourth-annual incarnation, EVE SLC continues to demonstrate that its most consistent quality is a refusal to stick with the previous year’s concept if it feels like a new one makes more sense.

So, it’s another change of venue for the three-day New Year’s Eve festival, away from the Salt Palace and back to its original home at the Gallivan Center for live music performances (see p. 48 for info) and indoor get-out-of-the-chill space for refreshments and art exhibits. The massive Temple of Boom structure from 2011 has been retired. “We put a lot of our budget, and therefore our focus, into live music,” says Nick Como of the Downtown Alliance. “I think we wanted to be a little less Burning Man [this year] and a little more Twilight Concert Series.”

The result is something that feels less designed to be spectacle and more envisioned as an all-encompassing showcase for downtown Salt Lake City’s many arts and delights. The standard EVE SLC pass provides access to not only the live music at the Gallivan but also multiple art venues—including The Leonardo and the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art—live improv-comedy performances by the Laughing Stock troupe at the Off Broadway Theatre and classic silent-movie shorts featuring Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton at the Broadway Centre Cinemas. Como describes it as a way to “focus on what’s already here” in downtown Salt Lake City, where visitors can “try those things out, and maybe come back in the spring, summer and fall.”


One part of attempting to grow the estimated 40,000 EVE SLC visitors over the course of the three days and nights is offering an experience with a broad appeal. In 2011, the Downtown Alliance’s Jason Mathis described an attempt to target specifically 18- to 24-year-old potential attendees. For 2012, Como identified a “conscious decision to go in two separate directions” at the same time. Over the course of the three days, the Family Festival at The Gateway, from 3 to 7 p.m. daily, provides activities like a glow-in-the-dark room, face painting and crafts, in addition to admission to the Clark Planetarium and Discovery Gateway. Other family-friendly highlights include a historical scavenger hunt and sing-along concerts at Temple Square. Then, after 7 p.m., there are the live performances for the young-adult crowd looking for a unique, energetic holiday experience.

“I think we’re in a really good direction being all things to all people but not being spread too thin,” Como says.

The basic $15 EVE SLC wristband (available online or at Harmons grocery stores and The Gateway concierge—or it can be ordered at a discounted rate of $9 from allows admission to all festival venues and activities over the three days, including the concerts, galleries, Laughing Stock comedy and Broadway Centre films; children under 10 are free with a paying adult. The $40 VIP option (available to purchase online) adds access to the Gallivan Center balcony level for priority viewing of the live music and Dec. 31 fireworks show, plus admission to the DaVinci the Genius exhibit at The Leonardo, ice skating at the Gallivan Center and IMAX shows at Clark Planetarium.


Como notes that there’s certainly a trade-off in moving back to Gallivan’s primarily outdoor venue. While the balcony viewing at the Gallivan Center provides a great space for VIP ticket-holders to get better views of the performances and the fireworks, the winter weather is always a wild card in planning an outdoor activity. The focus on national music headliners was part of the strategy for counteracting that issue—“We could have done local bands, but I don’t know that would draw people on three cold nights in December,” Como says—but there was also something of a rebel spirit involved. While the Salt Palace mitigated some of the weather-related concerns, Como noted, the organizers decided, “Screw it, let’s take a risk. We live in an outdoor city. EVE is risky as it is.”

Various downtown venues
Dec. 29-31
$15 for a three-day pass
$40 for a VIP three-day pass
Children under 10 free with paying adult

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