Published on December 3rd, 2013 | by Josh Hafner

Des Moines Social Club releases plans for New Year’s Eve bash

If watching Ryan Seacrest count down as a ball drops on TV isn’t your idea of an ideal New Year’s Eve, consider ringing in 2014 with live art and a human ball drop at the Des Moines Social Club.

The nonprofit’s annual bash will see it opening some of the doors at its new downtown home, a former fire station at Ninth and Mulberry streets. It will host its aerialist-assisted countdown plus a slate of bands headlined by Minneapolis indie hip-hop collective Doomtree.

The seven-member group includes artists P.O.S., Dessa (who will not be performing), Sims, Cecil Otter and Mike Mictlan, along with producers Paper Tiger and Lazerbeak.

Additional entertainment slated for the Dec. 31 event, themed as “Illumination,” includes live sets from local bands Canby, Annalibera and Max Jury as well as a DJ, break dancing and opera performances.

Events Manager Mickey Davis said he hopes the club’s first event in its new home can be a showcase for what’s cool about the Des Moines cultural scene.

“I hope it sets a nice standard for what next year at the Social Club is going to be about,” he said. “Certainly, there will be more bells and whistles than an average night at the club, but that’s what you do on New Year’s Eve.”

The event is set to kick off at 8 p.m. and wrap up by 1 a.m. Tickets will be $20 in advance and $25 (if available) at the door. VIP tickets at $100 include drink tickets, food, special coat check and bar access. Watch the website for details.

The festivities will take place in the firehouse’s former garage behind the main building, a space the Social Club plans to establish as a bar and black box theater in the future.

On New Years Eve, Davis said the building will host two alternating stages for bands as well as live sculpting, an interactive art installation and screenings from area filmmakers.

The night’s operatic performance will come courtesy of Des Moines’ Opera Eight and DMI Breakaz will perform street dancing.

Davis also said there are plans for a 3-D photo booth that utilizes wiggle stereoscopy, a method using multiple photos and flipbook-like animation to achieve a multidimensional effect.

The fire station’s main building — the bulk of the Social Club’s new space — won’t be ready for the public to view by New Year’s Eve, Davis said. That means neither will Malo, a Latin-themed restaurant and bar that will be operated by Orchestrate Hospitality. A temporary bar and food trucks will be on-site New Year’s Eve to offer libations and eats instead, he said.

“It’s a work in progress,” Davis said. “We’re going to get in there, see what happens and throw a good event.

“I think it will be, certainly, a party.”


About the Author

covers young professionals for The Des Moines Register. Josh can be reached at or on Twitter via @joshhafner.

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