Last year, an estimated one million people gathered in Times Square to watch the ball drop, which is approximately one million more people than will attend the 2021 New Years Eve celebration. As numbers continue to rise amid the COVID-19 pandemic, it's still unsafe for people to congregate. But not to worry, live Times Square celebrations will still be happening—just without the crowds.
"One thing that will never change is the ticking of time and the arrival of a New Year at midnight on December 31st," Tim Tompkins, President of the Times Square Alliance, said in a press release. "But this year there will be significantly new and enhanced virtual, visual and digital offerings to complement whatever limited live entertainment or experiences—still in development—will take place in Times Square."
How to watch the events for free
You'll have several options to watch the live broadcast. If you have cable, you can watch one of the major networks.
Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2021 will be hosted by Lucy Hale, Billy Porter, and Ciara, with musical performances by Jennifer Lopez, Billy Porter, Cyndi Lauper, Nelly, Miley Cyrus, Megan Thee Stallion, Doja Cat, Machine Gun Kelly, and more. The broadcast airs at 8 p.m. ET and can also be watched at ABC Live.
New Year's Eve Live with Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen will feature musical performances and appearances by Christina Aguilera, 50 Cent, Shania Twain, and Keith Urban. The event will air at 8 p.m. ET and can also be streamed on CNNgo.
How to watch using a streaming platform
Happy New Year!