No crowds this New Year's Eve, no packed concert halls, no champagne, hugging and no — or few — fireworks. But there is plenty going on in cyberspace. Here are our tips, in roughly chronological order:
Beginning 09:00 CET on December 31, just hours before we say goodbye to 2020, DW is broadcasting 24 hours of music, including performances by Avicii, Apocalyptica and many others. Watch here!
The Hamburg Symphony Orchestra, which has its residence in the Laeiszhalle, the Hamburg Music Hall, will continue its tradition of performing Beethoven's Ninth Symphony on New Year's Eve — this time under the musical direction of French maestro Sylvain Cambreling. Viewers can follow the event live on the Hamburg Symphony Orchestra's homepage for free at 4:00 p.m. CET on December 31.
From touches of Spain to KISS
Then, in the early evening, the Berlin Philharmonic will celebrate a tradition. Performing at an empty home base, the Berlin Philharmonie, the musicians have a program led by their principal conductor Kirill Petrenko with touches of Spain and Brazil — including music by Joaquin Rodrigo and Heitor Villa-Lobos — but one that also unsurprisingly gives a nod to Ludwig van Beethoven during the composer's ongoing anniversary year celebrations, with a rendition of the Beethoven's Third Leonore Overture.
The performance will be transmitted live at 6:00 p.m. CET on New Year's Eve on German public radio and television, and on the internet at the Berlin Philharmonic's Digital Concert Hall.
Fans of rock looking for a spectacular bang will have to pay a fee for the 2020 Goodbye concert by the iconic 1970s rock band KISS, held at the Atlantis luxury resort in Dubai. Billed as the "biggest and baddest" concert, it's accessible at the event homepage at 6:00 p.m. CET.YouTube promises pop and dance lovers an enthusiastic sendoff for 2020 with its Hello 2021 livestream featuring singers Demi Lovato, Dua Lipa and others. There are separate editions for the Americas, the UK, India, Korea and Japan. The access is free on YouTube.
From pop to electronica
Justin Bieber will be entertaining millions of his fans on New Year's Eve via a live concert to be streamed on a special website. T-Mobile subscribers can stream the concert free through their app. For others, the cost for viewing is $25.
For those who prefer to party on into the New Year, DJ David Guetta is hosting an expectedly phenomenal dance party on January 1, 2021 on Songkick.
Avant-garde French electronic and new-age music composer Jean-Michel Jarre will host a virtual concert at Notre Dame Cathedral. Supported by UNESCO and called Welcome to the Other Side, the event aims to "send a message of hope for 2021 and for the end of all dark times" the world is going through. The performance can be seen and heard free on Jarre's homepage at 11:25 p.m. CET.
The most traditional tradition of all
Then, on New Year's Day, "message of hope" is what conductor Riccardo Muti hopes to send to the world in the traditional New Year's Concert of the Vienna Philharmonic. Normally, the demand for tickets to the world's best-known classical music event is so great that they have to be drawn in a lottery. This time, though, the seats will be occupied by – no one, owing to COVID lockdowns. The media audience, however, can be expected to be as large as ever – 50 million people in 90 countries. Beginning at 11:15 a.m. CET on the first day of the New Year, the New Year's Concert will be broadcast from Vienna online bytelevision stations around the world.
With this concert, heavily spiced with the music of the Strauss dynasty of composers, conductor Riccardo Muti hopes to send a "message of hope" to the world. The Vienna Philharmonic ushers the New Year in with a different conductor every year; this the 79-year-old maestro's sixth time doing the honors. An innovation: This time, an internet channel will be opened for viewers and listeners worldwide to record and relay their applause back to the Vienna Musikverein, where it will be looped into the live event.