By Ricky Richardson, Contributing Writer
Los Angeles- If you are thinking out loud like most people, 2020 cannot end soon enough. I am sure that the thought “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve” is running through your mind this time of the year. This is perhaps due to the song of the same name is playing in constant rotation on your local radio station.
The phrase “all dressed up with no place to go” is taking on a whole new meaning this year. You can make a fashion statement on New Year’s Eve, albeit, in your pajamas, to celebrate the end of 2020 like no other. The arrival and distribution of vaccines allows the world to see the light at the end of the tunnel. The vaccines offer the global community a glimmer of hope going forward.
Given COVID-19 restrictions and Grand Park’s commitment to keeping artists and the public safe from community transmissions, Grand Park’s New Year’s Eve Countdown to 2021 is intended to help ensure the public’s safety and wellbeing while preserving the parks widely embraced New Year’s Eve celebration from the comfort of their home.
Now that I have your attention! You are consciously aware that we cannot party hearty, as usual as teenagers or party hearty like it is 1999. Fret not, Grand Park got you covered.
Grand Park’s NYELA will ring in 2021 with a new format as a special national broadcast and streaming event for the first time. The annual flagship West Coast countdown celebration has partnered with Fuse and New Latin Music Label Dim Mak En Fuego from two-time Grammy nominated DJ/Producer Steve Aoki. Grand Park’s NYELA, powered by The Music Center, will provide the first ever opportunity for people around the country and around the globe to enjoy the park’s grand-scale New Year’s Eve experience-L.A. style.
Viewers can tune in or log on starting, Thursday, December 31, 2020, from 11:00pm-12:30am, PST/2:00am-3:00am EST to January 1, 2021, to watch Fuse, or stream on the Fuse YouTube Channel, Grand Park’s digital channel on The Music Center Offstage.
In line with Grand Park’s mission to honor L.A. County’s cultural diversity through programming reflective of the “park for everyone,” Grand Park’s NYELA has formed a new artistic partnership with Aoki, who will curate both a local and global talent for the 90-minute music and dance party that he feels connects L.A.’s heart and soul.
Showcasing Latin underground artist from Aoki’s L.A. based Dim Mak En Fuego Label, the “Countdown to 2021” program will introduce audiences to the Mexican quintet AQUIHAYAQUIHAY. The group consists of five childhood friends Jay Lee, Neqer, Phynx, Ziggy and Nehly. The members came together to make music that resonates with people of all backgrounds. With main influences deriving from Pop & R&B, (Pharrell, Kanye West, Missy Elliott, Travis Scott, SZA, Yung Beef and Pxxr Gvng, to name a few. The group has pioneered the M pop genre. Check out their debut EP Dropout.
The lineup will also feature Venezuelan artist, songwriter, creative director, and photographer, Andrekza. Her musical influences are Julieta Venegas, Natalia Lafourcade, Michael Jackson and The Chairman of the Board, Frank Sinatra. Check out her debut single, the captivating and soothing “TÉ” followed by the uplifting “Ya Fue” on YouTube and all digital media platforms.
Fans will be treated to a quest performance by Platinum-recording artists and fashion icon BIA. Bianca Landrau, known professionally as BIA, or Perico Princess, is an American rappers, singer, songwriter, and model who debuted on the Oxygen reality television show Sisterhood of Hip Hop. She is assigned to Pharrell’s I Am Other record label in partnership with RCA Records. Early this year, 2020, BIA signed with Epic Record Label and dropped her latest digital EP For Certain on December 11, 2020.
DJ 2DEEP from L. A.’s Gasolina Party will mix the beats to move your feet’s, between sets and bring L.A.’s Nightlife scene home with the contagious, pulsating sounds of Reggaeton.
Steve Aoki will close the show following the 3D digital countdown with some of his top-charting Latin collaborations and remixes. The hosts for Grand Park’s NYELA are DJ Eddie One, the popular afternoon drive personality from L. A.’s Cali 93.9FM, along with the multimedia powerhouse Jessica Flores.
In addition to the music line-up, Grand Park’s NYELA will feature a few video segments interspersed throughout the program that spotlight the many communities of Los Angeles:
1) “Rewind 2020” takes viewers on a journey throughout the top moments of the year, that not only acknowledge the challenges of 2020, but also serves as a catalyst of positive change and a hopeful future.
2) “Ground our Present, Dot our Future” features interviews with L.A.-based community organizations that are Grand Park partners, who discuss the viewpoints of Angelenos living across Los Angeles county’s five Supervisorial districts; the project will begin as a public art installation in the park featuring creatively designed social distancing floor markers filled with quotes from everyday people ages 8-88 years old about their hopes for 2021.
3) “Team LA” highlights the voices from popular sports franchises who are an indelible part of Los Angeles identity as it celebrates Los Angeles as the “County of Champions” and the community spirit of all who call L.A. home.
4) “What’s Next” focuses on community as Angelenos share their wish list for L.A. in 2021 from iconic spaces throughout the county with visual postcards from the Korean Bell of Friendship in San Pedro to the Clown Circus Neon Sign in North Hollywood.
For more information about Grand Park’s NYELA, visit grandparkla.org and musiccenter.org. Follow Grand Park on Facebook (GrandParkLosAngeles), as well as Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat (@GrandPark_LA). *Artists and performances are subject to change.
When: Thursday, December 31, 2020, 11:00 p.m.-12:30 a.m. on January 1, 2021
Where: Broadcast: Fuse TV (Check local listing for channel guides)
Live Streaming: Fuse YouTube Channel (@Fuse)
Facebook Live (@GrandParkLosAngeles)