Fremont Street Experience in downtown Las Vegas will hold its annual New Year’s Eve party, albeit without live entertainment.
The cost of entry to the event, $25, is being referred to as a “security fee.”
It was widely reported Fremont Street Experience wouldn’t have its New Year’s Eve event, but that was related to the denial of a specific permit request.
Apparently, a new permit was requested and granted.
It’s unclear what, if any, conditions were attached to the permit approval, but it seems Fremont Street Experience is keeping promotion of the event to a bare minimum to avoid potential blowback related to public safety concerns.
Typically, one of the biggest draws of New Year’s Eve at Fremont Street Experience is live entertainment, but the venue’s FAQ states, “Due to COVID restrictions mandated by the state, there will not be live entertainment or bands on Fremont Street Experience this year.”
No live entertainment includes no DJs.
That means the evening’s festivities will feature ambient music, and the only entertainment, aside from people-watching, will be on the venue’s Viva Vision video screen.
Last year, the screen got a $32 million renovation. It was unveiled a year ago on New Year’s Eve 2020.
Presumably, the term “security fee” makes reference to the fact there will be controlled access to Fremont Street on New Year’s Eve, and as always, a heightened level of security will be provided to party-goers.
It’s unclear if the event will be subject to any capacity limits, but NYE typically draws tens of thousands of guests to Fremont Street Experience, a five block entertainment district in downtown Las Vegas.
The “Safety and Security Restrictions” section of the venue’s FAQ states, “Fremont Street Experience’s security measures will include bag checks, I.D. scans and screening through metal detectors and COVID assessment.”
The Fremont Street Experience Web site continues, “Yes, everyone will need to wear a mask at all times and practice six feet of social distancing. If you are not feeling well or have any symptoms of COVID, please stay home. Upon entrance you will be required to answer a few COVID screening questions.”
Thank goodness nobody drinks excessively on Fremont Street or that “six feet of social distancing” thing would come across as a tad whimsical.
A number of other health and safety precautions are listed on the Web site as well. Take a look.
The NYE event at Fremont Street Experience will be limited to those 21 and older.
While the Las Vegas Strip canceled its fireworks, Plaza hotel, adjacent to Fremont Street Experience, still plans to have a fireworks display.
Given how strange 2020 has been, it’s probably no surprise New Year’s Eve 2021 in Las Vegas will be awkward, too.
Venues know people will be up for a party, but they have to balance risk versus reward, as do we all. As we always have.
It’s likely Fremont Street Experience will draw a significant number of revelers, but it’s an outdoor venue and medical officials seem to agree most of the COVID-19 cases being reported are happening in households, with extended interactions, not passing encounters in public venues.
Hosting New Year’s Eve festivities this year is a balancing act. People seem ready to celebrate the passing of 2020, but many remain wary about large gatherings.
We’re curious to see how “Awkward New Year’s Eve 2021” unfolds.