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New York NYE countdown: how to watch live stream of Times Square and Ball Drop

The New Year's Eve celebrations at Times Square can be watched around the world through the six-hour long webcast that will culminate with the famous ball drop.

Barricades are set up on an empty street before the New Year's Eve celebration in Times Square New York on December 31, 2020. (Photo by Kena Betancur / AFP)

While the coronavirus pandemic means that there will be no crowds gathered in Times Square this year to ring in 2021, the traditional ball drop will still go ahead as planned as it has every year since its inception in 1907.

Like many events this year, however, it will be a virtual experience with the event to be streamed around the world. As one of the most recognized New Year’s events internationally, millions are expected to tune in to watch the Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball Drop.

The 2020 ball drop arguably holds more significance this year – a year defined by the coronavirus pandemic that most of the world’s population will be glad to see the back of. And the Times Square New Year’s Event and Ball Drop will no doubt serve for many as a symbolic final farewell to the worst year in living memory; while also serving as a moment of reflection following the trials and tribulations that 2020 has thrown at us all.

As revealed by the organizers, the Times Square New Year’s Event will be “a virtually enhanced celebration that brings Times Square and the Ball to you digitally no matter where you are, scaled-back and socially distanced live elements … and an extremely limited group of in-person honorees, socially distanced, who will reflect the themes, challenges and inspirations of 2020.”

Times Square Alliance and Countdown Entertainment will present a six-hour commercial-free webcast beginning at 6pm EST that will hosted by actor Jonathan Bennett, who hosted the 2019 celebrations in Times Square last year. While Times Square will be closed to the public, there will be many star entertainers in attendance as usual, with performances lined up from the likes of Gloria Gaynor, Jennifer Lopez, Machine Gun Kelly, Billy Porter, Cyndi Lauper and Jimmie Allen, as well as the USO Show Troupe and The Waffle Crew.

Stage performance rehearsal highlights at Times Square New Year's Eve.
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Stage performance rehearsal highlights at Times Square New Year's Eve.Rick Davis / SplashNews.comGTRES

What time does the Times Square New Year’s Eve webcast event begin?

The Official Time Square New Year's Eve 2021 Live Webcast starts at 6pm on Thursday, December 31, 2020 and finishes at 12:15am (EST) on January 1, 2020. The Ball Drop begins at 11.59pm (EST).

You can see here what time the event gets underway wherever you are in the world.

Where can I watch the Times Square New Year’s Eve webcast?

The six-hour commercial-free webcast will be available around the world and can be reached through the following link:

One Times Square VNYE event

Alternatively, you can check out the Virtual New Year’s Eve event being organized by Jamestown, owner of One Times Square (home of the iconic Ball Drop Celebration), which has created a first-of-its-kind virtual New Year’s Eve experience.

Head over to the website to enter a virtual world of Time Square filled with games, music, and art. Viewers can tune in for a live broadcast where they can choose from multiple camera feeds to direct their own New Year’s Eve show. The broadcast gets underway at 6pm EST. One Times Square VNYE will also include virtual music concerts from Chloe Gilligan, Armani White and Alex Boye, and, of course, the iconic Ball Drop at 11.59pm.


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