San Francisco on New Year’s Eve 2016 has entertainment to satisfy celebrants of all types and moods, such as DJ and dance extravaganzas, live music, comedy and of course the city's free midnight fireworks show along the Embarcadero. Here are some of the highlights. Keep in mind that major hotels like the W San Francisco, Westin St. Francis and Hyatt Regency are hosting parties, too.
To start off the new year right, get some luck and soul-cleansing at the annual New Year bell ringing ceremony at the Asian Art Museum, mid-day on December 31 (free with museum admission).
Visitors take turns striking the museum’s 16th-century Japanese bronze temple bell with a log, 108 times in all, which is meant to erase the wrongs and ills of the past year and greet 2017.
Then it's on to the December 31 evening events, which are categorized below to help you beeline for the kind of party you're looking for.
Note: If you'll be drinking, don't drive. See our article on how to get around on New Year's Eve safely and for free.
The Big One
Neighborhood: Civic Center
Bill Graham Civic Auditorium
99 Grove St.
In lieu of the Sea of Dreams celebration, which moved from Concourse to Bill Graham last year, the festival's organizers have partnered with Another Planet Entertainment (the bigwigs behind Outside Lands Music Festival) to bring the Flaming Lips, Geographer and Tycho to the stage. And if you're worried that the rave vibe might be lost, don't worry they still allow hula hoops and totems inside.
Titus Burgess and Jane Krakowski with the SF Symphony
Neighborhood: Civic Center
Daives Symphony Hall
201 Van Ness Ave.
Telephone: (415) 864-600
Everyone's favorite theatrical hams and the stars of Netflix's The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt take to the stage for a fun-filled holiday Broadway extravaganza with the San Francisco symphony playing backup.
It will be glorious.
Sleater-Kinney at the Masonic
Neighborhood: Nob Hill
1111 California St.
Telephone: (415) 776-7457
The riot grrrl rockers from Washington will ring in the new year with an extra kick of punk. Check out the band that Stereogum called one of the most important rock bands of the past two decades.
Claptone & Wolf and Lamb at SF Public Works
161 Erie St.
Telephone: (415) 496-6738
German House DJ Claptone blends catchy melodies with fluid dance breaks to keep you grooving through midnight. But Brooklyn electronic duo Wolf + Lamb will get the party started.
Streets of San Francisco NYE
Fort Mason Center
DJs Klingade, Kill Fenzy, and DirtyBird, bay views and hosted bar with dozens of bartenders. Take a ride on the giant ferris wheel to take it all in from above.
New Bohemia NYE
1800 Mission St.
Three floors of the historic San Francisco Armory,home of Kink.com’s production studios, are turned over to an “eccentric, subculture mega-party” of acrobats and circus performers, painters, burlesque and pole dancers, marching bands, art cars, absinthe and DJs.
“Burning Man playa meets Moulin Rouge,” as producers Vau de Vire Society, Opel and Kink.com put it.
New Year's Eve Fireworks
Neighborhood: Marina & Fisherman's Wharf
Fireworks are set off from barges off of Pier 14. The best viewing is along the Embarcadero between Mission and Howard streets. At midnight.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show
Neighborhood: Pacific Heights
2261 Fillmore St.
Telephone: (415) 561-9921
Bawdy Caste actors playing Brad, Janet, Frank 'n Furter and other characters in the classic cult movie shadow the action on the big screen.
Comedy Countdown 2014
Neighborhood: North Beach
Cobb's Comedy Club
915 Columbus Ave.
Telephone: (415) 928-4320
Greg Fitzsimmons, Beth Stelling, Phil Hanley and Nick Youssef, along with host Gary Cannon, keep you laughing on the last day of the year.
Heads up: there are two seperate shows that evening, one at 7pm and another at 10pm so if laughing at midnight is a priority book tickets now.
Greg Proops at Punch Line
Neighborhood: Financial District
444 Battery St.
Telephone: (415) 397-7573
Proops, the creator of "The Smartest Man in the World" podcast, pulls off his stand up New Year's Eve show for yet another year. Again, be aware that there is a 7:30pm show and a 10pm show so plan accordingly!
New Year's Eve Comedy Fiesta
Neighborhood: Portrero Hill
2781 24 St.
Telephone: (415) 641-7657
For “comedy lovers, dancing fools, feministas and progressive party animals,” with comedy by Marga Gomez, Tom Ammiano and Carla Clayy. Proceeds benefit Brava Theater Center.