December 30th and 31st, 2014 marks the biggest New Year’s Eve party in all of North America, right in the heart of Downtown Denver, Colorado. Hosted by dance music giants Triad Dragons, AEG Live, and Live Nation, Decadence is two nights full of indulgence and lavish fun. From my personal experience of the event last year, I compiled a list of helpful hints to navigate NYE successfully.

1.      Don’t stay thirsty.

With tens of thousands of people indoors, temperatures get high on the dance floor. For those not acclimated to the altitude (5280 feet above sea level to be precise), dehydration can result in an unfortunate trip to the hospital. In a crowd of so many people, water runs are risky business when it comes to finding your crew again. Bring a large water bottle or CamelBak backpack to combat dehydration without losing your spot.

2.      Plan it out.

With 30,000 people all in one building, it is really difficult to find your friends if phones die or get lost. Just like any festival, things go smoother if you have a plan for these types of occurrences. A meeting spot is crucial. There are people out there who choose to just wing it when it comes to shows. However, New Year’s Eve is one of the busiest, craziest nights of the year and it is important to know your options before hitting the town for the night. Denver has a multitude of public transportation options, including the FREE light-rail (only for New Year’s Eve) which picks up and drops off literally outside the doors to the venue. Also available as safe modes of transportation are cabs, limos, party buses, the public bus, or order the ever-popular Uber driver. Please be responsible with your transportation.

3.      Dress to impress (and to brave the brisk Colorado air)

It’s New Year’s Eve, of course you’re dressed to impress, but remember to dress for comfort too. The night is longer than you think – 6:30 pm to 2:00 am to be exact. So ladies, I’m looking at you. The adorable pair of black stilettos from H&M you just bought might come in second behind your trusty, comfy Converse. And this one goes for everyone: Remember to bring a jacket. There is a secure coat check for less than $5. Colorado nighttime temperatures drop below freezing most nights and the journey back to your safe house or hotel room will be a frosty one.

4.      Explore the area beforehand

The Colorado Convention Center houses over 30,000 people on New Year’s Eve for Decadence. The building is massive and it’s very easy to get turned around. It’s worth it to explore the layout so for the two nights of music, you’ve already done your research on the least crowded bathroom and the shortest route to your favorite artist’s sets.

5.      Double, triple check – ID, cash, ticket

It’s a pretty standard tip, but I witnessed plenty a music-lover calling anyone they knew that could confirm their name and age – only a physical, government issued ID will suffice, Triad Dragons is very strict about this event being 18+. Don’t be left out in the cold.

6.      Make a friend, be a friend

Because why not? Strangers having each other’s back in times of need can turn out to be really inspiring moments. My opinion is this: you love music, they love music, and even better, they love the same music as you do. Music can bring people together in a way that not much else can. It bridges gaps between all differences.  Some of the greatest friendships come out of one night of connection, so why not start off 2015 with a couple new friends in your festival circle?

7.   Let go of 2014, make way for a decadent 2015!

A solid New Year’s Resolution made with full intention holds so many new possibilities in the year to come. 2015 is called the Year of the Wood Goat, indicating that problems faced in recent years will be coming to an end and life will stabilize. The coming year is gearing up to be the time where humanity has an achievable chance at making change in the world. Let 2014 wash away, give appreciation for the lessons learned and adventures had then open yourself up to a year full of many more blessings. Decadence is the perfect catalyst for ringing in the New Year with a bang – and some booms, whomps, untzes, claps, and especially that New Year’s Kiss.  

Written By: Jaelyn Kohl

Photos by: Madison Lawton