Ring in the new year at these four virtual events Dec. 31

Austin’s New Year will include virtual, prerecorded performances by bands including Swimming With Bears. (Courtesy the city of Austin)
Austin’s New Year will include virtual, prerecorded performances by bands including Swimming With Bears. (Courtesy the city of Austin)

Austin’s New Year will include virtual, prerecorded performances by bands including Swimming With Bears. (Courtesy the city of Austin)

Editor's Note: Some events that initially appeared on this list have been removed after Travis County moved to Stage 5 under its COVID-19 risk protocols and many scheduled events were postponed or rescheduled.

Although the coronavirus pandemic has changed many plans to celebrate New Year's Eve, many Austin-area businesses and institutions are offering virtual and live activities that mark the end of 2020 and welcome 2021, from streamed concerts to virtual cheese tastings. Also, a number of ongoing winter activities such as lights displays across the Austin area can still be attended through the new year. A list of winter activities can be found here. The following list is not comprehensive, and events are subject to change due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Watch Austin’s all-virtual New Year's celebration

Eight local bands will perform a virtual New Year’s Eve concert in a presentation hosted by the city of Austin and the Austin Convention Center. The event can be viewed on the city’s YouTube, Facebook and Instagram accounts, as well as on cable Channel 6 and www.atxn.tv. Viewing times have not yet been posted but will be announced by Dec. 28. www.austintexas.gov/department/austins-new-year

Support ACL Live with a livestreamed concert


Recording artist Lucinda Williams will be performing a livestreamed show playing Rolling Stones tribute covers to raise funds for independent music venues around the country, including ACL Live in Austin. The Dec. 31 show is the final one in a series Williams put on this year. 7 p.m. $25-$40. 877-534-9849. www.acl-live.com

Countdown to the new year with some Antonelli’s Cheese

Antonelli’s Cheese will host a virtual sparkling wine and cheese tasting class on New Year’s Eve. Participants pick up cheese plates, a bottle of sparkling red wine and a bottle of sparkling white wine from the shop prior to the event and join a Zoom class to practice pairing with an Antonelli’s cheesemonger. The tasting is followed by a 15-minute question-and-answer session. 6:30 p.m. $70 (per person), $110 (per couple). Pick up at 500 Park Blvd., Austin. 512-531-9610. www.antonellischeese.com

Rebel Cheese celebrates with vegan cheese tasting

Another Austin cheese shop, Rebel Cheese, offers a preordered vegan cheese board for two and a virtual tasting class from 7-8 p.m. on New Year’s Eve. Boards are $60 and can be picked up from 11 a.m.-6:30 p.m. the day of the event. The event will have a limited number of spots available. Additional event details can be found on Facebook, and tickets can be purchased online here. www.rebelcheese.com