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How to watch the New Year’s Eve 2021 ball drop and every other weird special

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Rockin’ Eve, free streams, and both Insane Clown Posse and Phish concerts mean you have options

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2021 Times Square New Year’s Eve Celebration Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images

The Gregorian calendar, commissioned by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582, has become more or less an international standard since its first adoption. Since Pope Gregory’s day, the passing of one year to another has become many things for many people: ragers, Auld Lange’s Syne, and gathering in icy cold midtown Manhattan in New York to watch a ball drop.

Watching the ball drop has become a cornerstone of just about every New Year’s celebration — and New York has its own app so you can watch it for free without cable. But depending on the quality of the soiree, the cut-and-dry ball drop experience of may not be what you’re looking for. Thankfully, streaming has taken over every other part of our lives, and New Year’s Eve is no exception. Here’s a mix of some traditional, and much less traditional, ways to ring in 2022.

Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest

Where to watch: ABC or Hulu

When: Starting at 8 p.m. ET

What it is: The traditional celebration on top of the Times Square celebration is celebrating its own 50th anniversary, with more celebrities than you can shake a stick at. Based in New York with outposts in New Orleans and Puerto Rico, there’s going to be a lot of remembering.

Remember DJ D-Nice from his pandemic parties? He’ll be there. Remember Avril Lavinge? She’ll be there doing “Sk8er Boi” with another person you might remember, Travis Barker. Remember Big Boi? He’ll be doing “The Way You Move.” Remember Macklemore with Ryan Lewis? They’ll be doing “Can’t Hold Us.” Remember Journey? They’ll be there. And so on.

Miley’s New Year’s Eve Party

Where to watch: Peacock or NBC

When: Starting at 10:30 p.m. ET

What it is: An alternative to Secrest, Miley Cyrus and Saturday Night Live’s Pete Davidson have taken Carson Daly’s mantle and are going all-out on viral celebrity in Miami. Jack Harlow, Saweetie, 24kGoldn and Kitty Ca$h are all performing, so there’s a chance this one could actually be sexy.

Nashville’s Big Bash

Where to watch: CBS or Paramount Plus

When: Starting at 8 p.m. ET

What it is: Another alternative to Ryan Secrest, but this one wears boots and spurs. CBS is all-in on a country lineup, with Jason Aldean, Lady A, Blake Shelton, Darius Rucker, Brooks & Dunn, King Calaway, and more.

New Year’s Eve Live with Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen

Where to watch: CNN

When: Starting at 8 p.m. ET

What it is: Anderson and Andy will likely continue the tradition of CNN reporters getting wasted on live TV. And this time, they’ll be joined by Duran Duran, Earth, Wind and Fire, he poet Amanda Gorman, the pandemic-lebrity Leslie Jordan, and cutting away to Katy Perry in Las Vegas, as well as reports from celebrations around the country.

Dr. Dog’s Last Tour Ever

Where to watch: Nugs

When: Starting at 10:30 p.m. ET

What it is: If you like bouncy indie-folk, this Philadelphia-based show is probably the concert for you tonight. By coincidence, it’s also Dr. Dog’s last concert ever. Catchy pop hooks, a little psychedelia, it’s fun stuff. And if you’ve never heard of the band, there’s no better place to start than the end. And there are lots of concerts tonight on Nugs, including Galactic and The String Cheese Incident.

Insane Clown Posse’s Greatest New Year’s Eve Show on Earth

Where to watch: Twitch

When: Starting at 8 p.m. ET

What it is: ICP had to reschedule their Christmas show, so they’re going all-out for the Juggalos. “Without question this show’s gonna be an experience unlike any ICP show before it,” they say on their website, where you can also buy tickets to see the show in-person if you’re in Detroit and have $125. But that’s a promise you can except ICP to keep. Maybe they’ll finally reveal how magnets work.

Phish’s Dinner and a Movie

Where to watch: LivePhish or YouTube

When: Starting at 8:30 p.m. EST

What it is: While Phish isn’t doing its traditional in-person concert for New Year’s this year, the band will be streaming three sets for free. The dinner part of the show, will feature recipes “chosen by the band and feature Trey’s own recipe for Lemonade, a Whole Roasted Chicken with Lemon, a Lemon Pasta vegetarian entrée, and for dessert: Lemon Bars,” according to the band’s Instagram. They’ll be raising money for the band’s WaterWheel Foundation.

TikTok New Year’s Eve

Where to watch: TikTok

When: Starting at 10:15 p.m. ET

What it is: The app of the year will be livestreaming their own celebrities tonight, with Charlie Puth, Kali Uchs, and Rico Nasty performing. They’ll be joined by some TikToklebrities, like averagefashionblogger, scarlet_may.1, tracy.oj, cristiandennis, tyshonlawrence, and 8illy.

Paris Hilton’s Paris World (in Roblox)

Where to watch: Paris.mv

When: Starting at 11 p.m. ET

What it is: Paris Hilton is in the metaverse. That’s what everyone wants these days, right? Paris Hilton in the metaverse? Well, this is Paris Hilton is in the metaverse. If you ever wanted to explore digital replicas of her Beverly Hills estate and its $325,000 dog mansion, this is the New Year’s party for you. Hilton is also DJing for free, taking a break from her exorbitant fees for in-person tunes. We repeat: Paris Hilton is in the metaverse.