The yearly excuse to fill yourself up with fine foods and tasty drinks is approaching. In anticipation of this great feast, we have poked some Belgian artists, DJs and promoters, and asked them to answer two things: tell us a great NYE story, and tell us your plans for the big evening. Continue for tales about epic club crawls, surprisingly sober stay-inns or sneak peeks for the upcoming NYE events.
PS: at the bottom you’ll find a selection of groovy parties happening during NYE - somewhere in your neighborhood. Better start planning!
"The craziest NYE memory had to be from 2 years ago, when we spent the night at our friend’s place. It was supposed to be a relaxed evening with some friends, some raclette and a few glasses of wine, but it escalated quickly. One of us had cut his hand and he was bleeding hard, a huge lampshade hanging on the ceiling got completely smashed and the host woke up with the surprise that his Macbook had died completely. All in all, that night ended with a big party. I remember we were doing karaoke on “Adele – Someone Like You” at 9AM in the morning… For this year I’d like to keep it simple. Just friends and drinks, but no gigs, no clubs!"
"I’ve got to say my best NYE experiences have mostly been taking place in Hamburg, where I played Edelfettwerk – an old, abandoned factory – in front of 2000 people, for 3 consecutive years! As a raver, the HYTE party in Berlin last year – with a hefty after party in Berghain – was hard to top. This year I’m playing Stack in Antwerp, a new kind of Boiler Room, right across Club Vaag. The guys from Radio FG, Radio UNDR and Tibbaa will throw a proper NYE event here. I mean, how could you not be impressed with a such a panoramic view over the Schelde in the early morning of January 1?"
"I know it’s cool to say NYE is overrated, but I think it actually really is. Expectations are always too high, so it never really satisfies. Ever since I realized this, I don’t look forward to it that much anymore. Nevertheless, I did kind of link up with my boyfriend on a NYE party a couple of years ago, so I have to be grateful for that! As for this year, I decided I prefer to do gigs instead of partying myself. I’ll have dinner with my close family at home first, before hitting the road after midnight. The first stop is Stekene, followed by De Casino in my hometown Sint-Niklaas, alongside my DJ-fam Soulshakers, before closing down a small but lovely party at ‘In de Ruimte’ in Ghent. I’m booked until 8AM but we’ll see what happens…"
"Usually, I don’t really do anything special for NYE, but there’s one occasion that does stand out above the rest. A good friend of mine used to live in Den Haag, so me and a couple of mates went over there 4 years ago to celebrate. It turned out to be a lot more fun than I had anticipated: the next afternoon me and my good friend Lamine jumped on a train to Amsterdam and went straight to TROUW (RIP, ed.), where we queued for over 3 hours to get in. That was the best decision I’ve ever made, it was the best night out of my life! I don’t even remember who was playing, but I returned to this club a few times afterwards to relive that moment. As for this year’s NYE: I have a couple of gigs. First, I will provide the opening music at ‘A 16 Hour Rave Odyssey’ in Bar Venetië – and after that I’ll play an afro-disco set at Kavka. I was thinking of heading over to Kompass afterwards to dance to Tyree Cooper’s set at the Vice City stage, but I just found out I have to be present at work the next day at 4PM…. What a dilemma!"
"Surely it’s not the craziest story, but I remember back when I was a kid, there was one NYE where I tried just a tiny bit of champagne. I really liked it and so spent the whole night trying to steal a whole glass from my parents or their friends. At one point, I succeeded and I felt like an invincible spy for a minute – until my parents put me to bed. Now you know the story of how I first got drunk. For this year, I suspect it’s going to be a bit wilder. I’ll perform on FCKNYE at 5 AM, probably playing a lot of hip hop flips and remixes for the occasion. There’s a whole load of other artists I like, so I’m really excited!"
Dorian Meeus (Under My Garage)
"Two years ago, after a proper private party, me and a friend decided to go to Club La Villaine (RIP, ed.) for the after party. We both passed out for a couple of hours in the smoking area. My friend even felt so comfortable, he must have thought he was sleeping in his bed; he even took of his shoes and threw them away. When we woke up, all of our personal belongings were gone, so we left the club in misery – and my friend had to do so on only one shoe, as he couldn’t find the second one anymore. Later I found out my girlfriend had been cheating on me that night too. What a night... If I’m honest, I’m quite disappointed with the lack of quality line-ups I’ve seen in Brussels this year. There aren’t many top DJs in town on NYE this year, except for all our local heroes and the Deep In House celebration maybe. But I might have to learn from previous mistakes and just go to bed after a good get together with some friends!"
"I haven’t got many crazy NYE stories to be honest! Usually, me and some friends just get together for dinner and then we’ll go to someone’s place and just throw ourselves a party there. Last year, I really wanted to go to Amp Fiddler and Moodymann in Ampere, but I missed out on the last moment. For this year I’m still not sure about the what and the where – but I’m guessing I’ll spend the night amongst good friends with some proper cooking and good music, which is the most important thing after all!"
"Last year was a pretty dope NYE. I went out to party with some of my best friends at ‘Enter The Future’ in Ghent, where I had a 4 AM slot on the Star Warz stage. We had been drinking some truly awful drink combinations (think: vodka-cider), so I barely remember anything of my set. I saw some videos and pictures, but the ravers seemed to like it a lot. Luckily, I’m better with DJ-ing than with walking while being shitfaced! As for this year: same time, same place. I'll be going B2B with my homie Corrupted this year. It will be a messy one for sure! The lineup is definitely something you don't want to miss if you're fond of drum and bass."
"I’ve spent countless countdowns just sitting in the DJ-booth, waiting to play – or in the car on my way to a gig. That exact moment doesn’t really matter much to me. One NYE that stands out was when we had Daniel Wang over for a Holger session; he’s just the most fun guy to have around. This year, I’ll be in Brussels with loads of friends. After dessert we’ll head to Catclub, where I’ll play alongside my personal Detroit heroes FIT and DJ Athome. The festivities continue in my hometown of Borgerhout: my best bud, Bert Vanlommel, is throwing a 16 hour NOORD rave at Bar Venetië, together with the guys of Primitive Moves. I believe that will be the fourth year in a row I’m playing there – but it will be the first time I can just walk to my bed afterwards!"
Christian ‘Fly’ Pieters (Bonzai Records)
"The craziest NYE had to be the ‘Extreme’ party in Affligem, which had to be around ’94 or ’95. We played from 10 PM on Friday until 4 PM on Sunday afternoon: that’s what I call a proper long DJ-set (laughs). For this year we celebrate like we do each year: the first of our group that can’t take it anymore will be used as the launching platform for our fireworks!"
As promised in the intro, here's a selection of what's going on in Belgium on New Year's Eve:
- A 16 Hours Odyssey at Bar Venetie w/ Mati Drome & DTM Funk
- AfroShot at Kavka w/ DTM Funk & DJ Abena
- Cafe Au Lait at Felix Pakhuis w/ Fonkee Monk & Notoir
- Happy End at Plein Publiek w/ Hey Mikey & Miami Nice
- HUSH HUSH at Contrair w/ Vic Crezée & Hush Hefner
- Jamaican New Year’s Eve at Zappa w/ Tommy Milfnikka & Linky
- Metadrome & Kabaal at De Loods w/ Flapjackers & Bollen and Fichtner
- New Year’s Eve at Ampere w/ Nina Kraviz & Nikita Zabelin
- New Year’s Eve at Café d’Anvers w/ Raw District
- New Year’s Eve at Meatpack w/ Faisal & Jonas Lion
- New Year’s Eve at The Red Penguin w/ Groove Merchant
- One More Time at De Serre w/ Jeroen Delodder & DJ Deedz
- Tam Tam at Bar Helder w/ Q.Rios
- Van Helder Naar Vaag at Bar Helder and Club Vaag w/ Nico Morano & Konna
- WOODPOP at Cargo w/ Justin Spears & Ilse Liebens
- Bruges 2018 at Le Brugeoise w/ Soul Shakers
- Invaderz at Het Entrepot w/ DJ Guv & Pleasure
- Weerwerk at Oud Sint Jan w/ Nico Morano & Leesa
- Catclub at Dynastie w/ Fit & DJ Athome
- Deep In House at Horta w/ Heanning Baer & LNS
- DeepHeat at Bazaar w/ A.Brehme
- FCKNYE Festival at Paleis 12 w/ Amelie Lens & Roméo Elvis
- Midnight Magic at Quay 01 w/ Nico Morano & DJ Kwak
- New Year’s Eve at Fuse w/ Kölsch & DkA
- New Year’s Eve at Zodiak w/ Modjoo & Chris Tyler
- Redcup Party at Bloody Louis w/ Mr. Jay & Ritchie Santos
- New Year’s Eve at Criss Cross w/ Kusiner & Gérald
- Curfew at Blaarmeersen w/ Afshin & Eluize
- Enter The Future at ArtCube w/ Total Science & Foreign Concept
- Gandtourage at Oude Vismijn w/ Neon & Wanvel
- Into The Wild at ArtCube w/ Vic Crezée & Eagl
- New Year’s Rave at Kompass w/ Ritchie Hawtin & Kölsch
- New Year’s Eve at LUX w/ Mr. Leenknecht & Smos
- Nova at Eskimo Fabriek w/ Dax J & Rebekah
- Oudejaarsnacht at Bar Wilson w/ Bafana & Just Nathan
- Poplife at Vooruit w/ Davidov & Nathan Fix
- Rave Alert at Chinastraat w/ Umwelt & DJ Hellfish
- NYE Rocks at Muziekodroom w/ Faisal & The Whatevers
- La Techno at Le Cadran w/ Mind Against & Dany Rodriguez
- New Year’s Eve at Lagoa w/ Mathias Tanzmann & Chris Tietjen
- Ceci n’est pas un reveillon at Les Anciens Abattoirs w/ Alex Palmer & Deniz Johnson
- Nouvel An at Caprice d’Ambience w/ Leesa & Chris Hingher
- NYE Deluxe at Kursaal w/ DJ Ghost & Yves Deruyter
- Megamix at Verviers w/ DJ Flash & Dragon Eliott