You’ve dusted off your sequins, your latex bodysuit has made it out of storage, and your liver is bracing itself on the dashboard for the biggest night of the year. You guessed it, New Year is on the horizon.
Now whilst you remain naively in denial that your plans for this New Year’s Eve involve a couple of glasses of champers and an early night to avoid the ridiculous taxi fares, you’re subconsciously aware of how it’s actually going to go down: you’ll wake up a little worse for wear, a half-eaten kebab stuffed unceremoniously in your clutch and a severe case of hangxiety.
If you feel like being extra fancy and the bright lights of a Douggie night out doesn’t tickle your fancy, then there are some wicked options available off-island that don’t have to break the bank. Gef has rounded up some of the bestest New Year’s parties that the adjacent Isle has to offer.
What with airline prices rocketing around the festive period, all these suggestions assume you’ll be getting there with the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company and are within driving distance when you alight the ferry. So throw your hotpants in your holdall, chuck it all in the boot and ride the waves of the Irish Sea to the bright party lights of the UK.
24 Kitchen Street’s New Year’s Disco – Liverpool
15 minutes’ drive time from Birkenhead Sea Terminal
1 hour 30 drive time from Heysham Sea Terminal
24 Kitchen Street has fast become one of my favourite Liverpool venues after being pointed in the direction of a mate who runs a night there. It’s a multi-purpose space dedicated to independent music and art. Devoid of delinquents, the venue is cosier than your usual warehouse space and is popular with local electronic music promoters.
The New Year line-up includes DJ sets from James Morgan, No’Fakin and Giovanna, bringing their best selection of disco, afro, funk, house and soul. It’s billed as an idiosyncratic venue, which features a large garden area with stripped-back, uncomplicated décor, and if you’re looking for a banging party without the New Year’s inflated price tag then 24 Kitchen Street is the place for you. With tickets starting at £3.50 to a maximum of £11.20, you’ll be hard pushed to find a cheaper and more exciting place to party.
24 Kitchen Street, Liverpool, L1 0AN
Hope Works NYE Mega Rave – Sheffield
2 hours 18 minutes’ drive from Heysham Sea Terminal
2 hours 11 minutes’ drive from Birkenhead Sea Terminal
Hope Works is a reasonably new addition to Sheffield’s nightlife, having opened its doors around 2012. Again, this is another warehouse space, tarted up a bit by some pseudo-spiritual, graffiti-style artwork.
Their nights generally wander down the techno/drum and bass garden path, and their NYE party is no different. Expect the kind of beats that make your heart thud triple time from Lo Shea and Chris Duckenfield amongst a line-up of four to the floor DJ sets, most likely played to a room of techno junkies who’ve adopted one particular dance move that’s sustainable for eight hours on the dancefloor.
Lo Shea is no stranger to the Hope Works, having brought his brand of dark, bass-heavy techno to their stage countless times before. You’re in the hands of the professionals.
Hope Works, 1a Sussex Road, Sheffield S4 7YQ
HomoElectric – Manchester
1 hour 10 minutes’ drive from Birkenhead Sea Terminal
1 hour 16 minutes’ drive from Heysham Sea Terminal
Hailed as Manchester’s bespoke misfit paradise, HomoElectric have been running non-stop exotic discos for the twisted and sleazy, and have always aimed to provide a voice and safe haven for the misfits of the Manchester party scene.
It’s a club that’s praised for the individual mark it’s left on the Manchester clubbing scene, a shining beacon that shuns tradition and the expected.
Taking over The Pink Room and The Basement of Manchester’s newest venue, YES, the line-up features the dirty disco grooves of Will Tramp! and Jamie Bull, with support provided by Blasha & Allatt and Gina Breeze. Expect the usual disco and house classics in a sea of Manchester’s miscreant party elite. Join them in kicking 2018 in the teeth and embracing the uncertainty of 2019.
Manchester, M1 3QW
Coyote Ugly Saloon – Manchester
1 hour 6 minutes’ drive from Birkenhead Sea Terminal
1 hour 17 minutes’ drive from Heysham Sea Terminal
I mean, does this really require any hype from me? If it does, then jog on, I don’t have time for you.
Name me one person who hasn’t watched Coyote Ugly and didn’t want to dance on the bar? Well, all your dreams are about to come to true, Piper Perabo not included. The place is always packed and emulates the atmosphere of the 2000s film completely (the other recommendations are quite dance heavy, so I thought I’d include a mainstream wildcard).
Scantily clad girls dancing on the bar, a mechanical bull and more pop music than should legally be allowed. I’m in two minds as to whether this is 100% me or 100% everything I’d want to avoid; there’s a very fine line, and it depends what mood I wake up in.
Either way, I doubt Adam Garcia is going to be knocking around to try and seduce me whilst I timidly sing Can’t Fight The Moonlight with the lights off. Maybe I’ll give it a shot.
After three… “Hell no, H2O!”
Arch 2 Deansgate Locks, Whitworth Street West, Manchester M1 5LH
Mint Warehouse – Leeds
1 hour 53 minutes’ drive from Birkenhead Sea Terminal
1 hour 49 minutes’ drive from Heysham Sea Terminal
With the last few remaining tickets going fast, you’ll need to act now to secure your spot at Mint Warehouse’s infamous Subdub Meets Jungle Jam. This all-night banger lasts from 10pm until 6am and features three full rooms of dub, jungle and drum ‘n’ bass. Their line-up includes some big names, including Iration Steppas Sound System, and revellers need no coercion to get down at this heavyweight player.
Expect horns and whistles galore, with fried chicken and Caribbean BBQ vibes abound. It’s a night that guarantees to leave your eardrums in tatters well past the midnight gong.
Mint Warehouse, Water Lane, Leeds, LS11 9UD
Once you’ve slept off the inevitable hangover it’ll be time to head back to Heysham or Birkenhead with the Steam Packet Company awaiting – a gleaming, ivory beacon nestling in the azure sea, waiting to take you home to our glorious rock.
Don’t forget to pack a blanket and pillow in the car and stop off en route to collect your favourite UK Foods (FIVE GUYS!).
There’s something special about sitting together on the way home and reminiscing about a top night while scoffing chips and a peanut butter milkshake. Enough to make any hangover a happy one!
If you’re travelling as a foot passenger to Birkenhead, Isle of Man Steam Packet Company offer a free transfer to Liverpool which stops at Pier Head and Liverpool Lime Street (perfect for connecting trains).