As a general rule, I hate New Years Eve. I hate the forced merriment, the groups of strangers who inevitably surround you, the fact that it all goes downhill after midnight, the disorganisation and the fact that most people in Durban plan something for outdoors when it always rains. Yes, always.

This year, however, I am quite looking forward to it. I have arranged to go to Hemingways in Davenport Road with a group of about 10 friends. There will be a three-course sit down meal, a fifties theme, a dance floor and a DJ to keep the party going into the wee hours. This sounds like my kind of New Years: friends, fancy dress and fabulous food. And, it’s indoors! Davenport Road is also going to be closed to traffic and turned into a street party with a Cafe vibe so if we feel like doing the traditional New Years Eve fight through crowds in the rain, we can and then we have the option of retreating back into Hemingways when it gets too much. Organised by Darryl Hoffman of Yossi’s and the Durban Fresh Produce Market fame, I think that this will be a well-organised and pleasant event rather than the usual New Years chaos of a street party. There will be live bands early in the evening and then DJs for when the party really gets going. If you don’t book at a restaurant, you can join in at one of the tables in the street for a cover charge of R50 if you buy from Yossis before the 31st or R70 at the door.

Durban does have a few other options as parties on the 31st go, though. I am sure this list is not exhaustive but hopefully it will give you some idea if you’re still undecided.

5fm’s Black Tie and Barefoot promises to be a huge party as 5fm gigs always are. The party was originally going to be held on the beach near Vetchie’s Pier, but the municipality have changed their minds about allowing the partygoers onto the sand and so the venue has been changed to the Wavehouse at Gateway. The first 3000 guests through the door will receive a limited edition black tie. There is the option of being a VIP, which will cost you R400 instead of the R200 (presale) or R250 (at the door) for an ordinary ticket. VIP tickets are only available before and you won’t be able to buy at the door.  The VIP’s will have their own dance floor, lounge, canapes, DJ line up and welcome drinks. At last look, the VIP tickets were almost sold out so get to Computicket or for more information see

Sasha, one of Durban’s hippest hang-outs, is holding a New Year’s party and you can be sure that many of Durban’s coolest will be strutting their stuff there on the 31st. Eighties revival band, Hairlip, will be playing as well as a line-up of DJs to ensure that the party goes on til sun-up (which in Durban is at about 4am so it will probably go on until the sun is high in the sky!) There will be free bubbly for all at midnight, too. Tickets are R100 presale and R150 at the door.

Another Durban club ringing in 2011 is Origin. Run by the same people as 330, this club is about being different and edgy. Hosts of the popular i heart parties (absolutely nothing to do with the market) Origin is sure to make your NYE memorable.

They promise: “Lower your sun visor for a high orbit experience at Origin’s out of world NYE extravaganza – as Durban’s two most notorious nightclub legends meet in high orbit for a seminal night of outer-world debauchery. Colliding together the very best of two worlds into one, 3-30 Timeless brings its infamous sing along club classics from the legendary “Rewind” parties, and lays them side by side with ORIGIN’s cutting edge hands in the air…… house & electro, for a musical orgy to shiver and wobble every inch of passing by aliens.
Let Earth be heard! Experience the true origin of 2011 at the stroke of midnight from the highest vantage point available” … I think that speaks for itself!! Tickets are R120.

Bellagio, the new kid on the block, is hosting a party produced by Mr White productions which is sure to be a goodie. Tickets are available from Idols and Vida e Cafe outlets for R150 or R250 VIP. It is the old Panama Room and has a similar vibe, I’m told. DJ Coco Loco is headlining and there will be several others playing, too.

So that’s my round-up of what’s happening on the party scene for New Years Eve 2010. Please realise that this is based on chatting to a few people and on some research – I have no idea at all whether any of these parties will prove to be fabulous or  flop! I think enjoying your NYE is as much about your attitude as the party around you and yes, this is probably why I generally don’t have a good time. This year, however, I am determined to enter 2011 having a great time with my friends on the last night of what has been a memorable year. Hope you will be doing the same!