FAQs

Q. How much does it cost?

A. Admission is free for all ages for the Famously Hot New Year celebration, which features a full-length concert by a national headliner with opening acts, a festival atmosphere with local food, drink and bubbly, vendors, a midnight countdown and the biggest NYE fireworks in South Carolina.

Q. When does the event start? 

A. Gates open at 6:30 p.m., and musical entertainment starts between 7 and 8 p.m., with performances all evening until our big headliner takes the stage and plays until midnight! Festivities wrap up at 12:30 a.m., and all guests have typically departed by 1 a.m. to continue celebrating in Columbia's restaurants, hotels, bars and cafes. 

Q. What about parking?

A.  Plan to bring cash for special event parking rates at City of Columbia garages and other garages. Details about parking can be found on our transportation page. Please consider carpooling or taking the COMET bus, which offers special late-night service just for FHNY!

Q. Will there be security?

A. Security on site the night of the event will include the Columbia Police Department (CPD), the Columbia Fire Department (CFD), emergency medical services (EMS), and private security. 

Q. Can I bring a bag?

A. Leave bags at home to get through entry gates more quickly! All bags will be checked by hand. Clear bags are encouraged (but not required) for those who must bring bags.

Q. Is there anything that I CANNOT bring into the event area?

A. We like to party, and we like to keep the party fun for everyone. While you are allowed to bring a bag, please note that there will be a thorough security check point at each of the community gates. If you can fit everything in your pockets - do it! It will help streamline the entry process.

Here’s a list of what is NOT ALLOWED inside of the event area:

  • Weapons of any kind
  • Illegal substances
  • Umbrellas
  • Backpacks
  • Food or beverage of any kind
  • Alcohol (beer, wine and champagne will be sold at the event)
  • Containers or coolers of any kind
  • Skateboards, scooters or personal motorized vehicles (exceptions for people with mobility limitations)
  • Bicycles
  • Fireworks and explosives
  • Instruments and laser pointers
  • Picnic baskets
  • Chairs, tables, lawn or other furniture
  • Pets (except service dogs)
  • No illegal vending is permitted—no unauthorized/unlicensed vendors allowed

Q. What if it rains or snows?

A. This is a rain or snow celebration. Make plans to have a terrific evening, no matter the weather. If it does rain, bring a poncho and your dancing shoes! [Please note: umbrellas will not be allowed inside the FHNY gates.]

Q. How do I get to FHNY?

A. There are several transportation options that make getting to FHNY safe and easy - including $3 all-night bus rides across the Midlands via The COMET, $10 off Alert Cab fare thanks to KW Beverage/Budweiser and special event rates in City of Columbia garages. Check them out on our transportation page.

Q. Is this an event for all ages?

A.  Yes! Everyone is welcome, regardless of age. You must be 21 or over to purchase or consume alcohol at FHNY.

Q. What accommodations are made for people with disabilities?

A. There is accessible parking on the streets surrounding the festival and throughout the City of Columbia parking garages nearby. Famously Hot New Year takes place in one of the major downtown Columbia, SC thorough fares, which is closed to traffic during the event. The entire area is paved and all sidewalks are ADA compliant, per the City of Columbia. Trained service dogs will be allowed into the event for assistance. We continue to look for ways to make the festival more accessible every year!

Q. Ok, so I'm here, what about bathrooms?

A. If you're ringing in the New Year in the streets, there will be porta-potties available. Check the map for locations. Restrooms and porta-potties for disabled individuals will also be available. Locations are noted on the map.

Q. Will businesses in the area be open?

A. Yes! Some local businesses will remain open while others will be ringing in the New Year alongside you. Each individual business owner will make final determination about operating hours during the event. Many local restaurants and bars will be hosting fun, festive NYE parties where you can pre-game before the concert and midnight fireworks!

Q. Is this party safe?

A. Our primary goal is to create a safe and secure environment for all event attendees. To ensure this, there will be on-site security provided by local police and private security companies. If you’re experiencing any problems whatsoever, locate an event staff member, security guard or police officer.

WE HAVE A ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY TOWARD VIOLENCE OF ANY TYPE. ANY INCIDENTS WILL BE ADDRESSED BY THE CITY OF COLUMBIA POLICE DEPARTMENT AND EVENT SECURITY. ANY PERSONS INVOLVED IN FIGHTING OR VIOLENT ACTS WILL BE REMOVED FROM SITE AND/OR ARRESTED, NO EXCEPTIONS!

Q. Can I get a backstage pass?

A. Nope! There are no backstage passes available for the celebration. The street is where it's at!

Q. How can I get my band on stage?

A. The entertainment lineup for Famously Hot New Year is set months in advance; our booking committee works with professional talent agents to determine band bookings for the event. 

Q. How can I get an all-access pass?

A. Famously Hot New Year is not offering backstage or all-access passes. However, local restaurants and bars will offer VIP experiences and pre-parties to kick off FHNY!

Q. Can I bring my pet?

A. No. For the safety of everyone attending, pets must remain at home. Service animals trained to assist disabled persons will be allowed into the event.

Q. Are cameras allowed at the event?

A. Absolutely! Take lots of pictures… and please share them with us. You can tag us, tweet us, and give us a shout out on Instagram. Our handle is @FamouslyHotNYE, and we use the hashtag #FHNY!

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Q. Can I leave the event and return later?

A. Of course! If you leave and return, you will have to go through the security gates.

Q. Who do I contact if I have an issue or problem not listed above?

A. For technical problems or general information about the event, please contact info@famouslyhotnewyear.com or call 803.212.7118.