December 28, 2018 (Columbia, S.C.) — Organizers in downtown Columbia, S.C. are gearing up for Famously Hot New Year, South Carolina’s free party of the year, on Dec. 31. Join revelers from across the Midlands, the nation and even the world to take in a full-length concert from En Vogue — one of the top 5 highest-selling female American music groups in history. The concert will be followed by a midnight countdown and the biggest New Year’s Eve fireworks display in the state. Make plans for #FHNY at http://www.famouslyhotnewyear.com.
The evening will include a mix of ideal sounds for all types of music-loving event-goers.
New Orleans-inspired jazz and brass group Soda City Brass Band will support En Vogue, and Charleston, S.C.’s indie hip-hop group Little Stranger will open the show.
Set next to the historic S.C. State House on Main Street in Columbia, S.C., the celebration features food from local vendors; beer, wine and bubbly; street merchants and more in a fun, friendly festival environment amid downtown Columbia, S.C.’s vibrant, walkable lifestyle districts. The event is in the midst of plentiful parking, hotels, restaurants and shops for those planning a visit to celebrate New Year’s Eve in South Carolina’s capital city.
En Vogue — iconic ‘90s vocal group and one of the top 5 highest selling female American music groups in history — will headline Famously Hot New Year with a free, full-length concert. With hit singles including “Hold On,” “Free Your Mind,” “Never Gonna Get It,” “Giving Him Something He Can Feel,” “Don’t Let Go,” and “Whatta Man,” the show-stopping performers have sold over 20 million albums to date. Learn more about En Vogue at http://www.famouslyhotnewyear.com/live-concert.
Columbia’s own Soda City Brass Band will support. The musical love child of drummer Chris Church and trumpeter Mark Rapp, the band brings a blend of modern and traditional sounds stemming from the streets of New Orleans to the Carolinas.
Charleston, S.C.’s indie hip-hop group Little Stranger will open the show. Named “Hip-Hop Act of the Year” in the 2016 & 2017 Charleston City Paper Music Awards, the group is stylistically reminiscent of Gorillaz and Twenty One Pilots and all about originality.
Once again, the stage will be situated at Gervais and Sumter Streets in downtown Columbia, S.C., one short block from the iconic S.C. State House dome, where fireworks will sparkle after a midnight countdown.
Live Broadcast, Celebrity Emcees
Famously Hot New Year will be broadcast live on TV by WLTX News 19 and via radio with a live countdown to midnight on 101.3/The Big DM! Co-anchor of WLTX's "News19 This Morning," Brandon Taylor, Q 93.5/WARQ’s DJ Croghan and 101.3/The Big DM’s Shamara will act as emcees, with special appearances by DJ Prince Ice throughout the evening.
Famously Hot New Year Celebration Schedule
6:30 p.m. | Concert gates open
7:50 – 8:30 p.m. | Little Stranger
9:00 – 10:00 p.m. |Soda City Brass Band
10:30 – 11:55 p.m. | En Vogue (Full set)
11:55 p.m. – 12:10 a.m. | Mayor Benjamin on stage & fireworks
12:30 a.m. | Beer, wine and bubbly sales end
1:00 a.m. | Gates close
How to Get There & Back Safely
Organizers urge locals to use the affordable, clean and safe transportation system of The COMET for just $3 flat, with unlimited rides to and from Famously Hot New Year.
Individuals planning to ride The COMET to the event can do so by hopping on at a stop along one of many routes across the Midlands or by driving to one of four easy park-and-ride locations.
Buses will run across the Midlands beginning at 6 p.m. Dec. 31, with the last pickup from the event at Sumter and Lady Streets at 1:30 a.m. the night of the event.
With either option, riders can pay in cash on The COMET at the beginning of their first ride, or on their mobile phones using the handy Catch the COMET app, on which riders can monitor bus routes in real time: http://catchthecomet.org/app/.
View a full list of bus stops, routes and park-and-ride locations online: http://www.famouslyhotnewyear.com/getting-to-FHNY-transportation-options.
This year's park-and-ride locations include the following:
Harbison Area: Near the Harbison Walmart parking lot near Sam’s Club gas station
Northeast Columbia: Village at Sandhill near Fashion Drive
Two Notch Road: Columbia Place Road near Faust Avenue
Forest Drive: Park at Trenholm Plaza, board across the street near the Forest Acres clock
Alert Cab Discounts
Those who need a safe ride home can take an Alert Cab, for which the first $10 of each taxi cab fare is complimentary, thanks to sponsors KW Beverage and Budweiser. Guests can catch an Alert Cab on Lady Street, between Main and Sumter Streets.
Public parking is complimentary at all City of Columbia downtown parking deck facilities from Monday, Dec. 31, 2018 at 5 p.m. until Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2019 at 3:00 a.m. (late Tuesday night.) See a full list of parking garages online: http://www.famouslyhotnewyear.com/getting-to-FHNY-transportation-options.
Citywide on-street meter operations will also be complimentary on Monday, Dec. 31, 2018 and Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019.
Guests who drive to Famously Hot New Year are encouraged to note the following street closures and openings in downtown Columbia, S.C.
Sunday, Dec. 30 Closures
8:00 a.m.: 1200 block of Gervais St., between Main St. and Sumter St., closes
Monday, Dec. 31 Closures
7:00 a.m.: 1100 and 1200 blocks of Gervais St., between Assembly St. and Sumter St., close.
Half block area of 1200 block of Main St., south of the entrance to the NBSC parking garage, closes
9:00 a.m.: 900 block of South Main St., from Pendleton St. to College St., closes
4:00 p.m.: Remainder of 1200 block of Main St., between Lady St. and Gervais St., closes
11:30 p.m.: 1100 and 1200 blocks of Pendleton St. close
Tuesday, Jan. 1 Reopenings
12:30 a.m.: 1100 and 1200 blocks of Pendleton St. reopen
2:00 a.m.: 900 block of South Main St., from Pendleton St. to College St., reopens
8:00 a.m.: 1200 block of Main St., between Lady St. and Gervais St., reopens
9:00 a.m.: 1200 block of Gervais St., between Main St. and Sumter St., reopens. 1100 and 1200 blocks of Gervais St., between Assembly St. and Sumter St., reopen. Half block area of 1200 block of Main St., south of the entrance to the NBSC parking garage, reopens
Security and Gate Screenings
Public safety officers will be on duty throughout the event, with patrol cars at entrance points. While admission is free for all ages, all bags will be subject to security screening. Guests are encouraged to leave bags at home or use clear, see-through bags to expedite entry at the gates. For more information on what not to bring, view FAQs here: www.famouslyhotnewyear.com/faqs
About Famously Hot New Year
Famously Hot New Year is South Carolina’s largest free New Year’s Eve celebration, with a free, evening-length concert by a national headliner and the biggest NYE fireworks display in South Carolina, adjacent to the historic S.C. State House in downtown Columbia, S.C. Since 2011, Famously Hot New Year has gathered diverse communities to enjoy the free concert and fireworks; regional food vendors; plentiful cash bars with beer, wine and bubbly; a festival atmosphere and more in the “Real Southern Hot Spot.” Follow @FamouslyHotNYE and #FHNY on social media, and plan your #FHNY weekend at http://www.famouslyhotnewyear.com.
Headliner: En Vogue (R&B, pop) @envoguemusic
Support: Soda City Brass Band (jazz, brass)
Opener: Little Stranger (indie, hip-hop)