GRAND FINALE!! Countdown to Midnight!

Your New Year Starts Here! This year's finales will be held indoors, so whatever the weather you can see in the New Year in style! The venues open at 11:00 PM and all the festivities at both venues begin at 11:15, culminating with a countdown to midnight. Space is limited, so a Finale ticket (no extra cost to button-holders) is required to get in. PICK UP YOUR FINALE TICKET by showing your FNM button at the Portola Plaza ticket booth (look for the signs!) after 8:00 PM until they're gone.

Special surprise guests may be dropping in to join the bands at either venue - you never know what might happen at a First Night finale! Whether you want to be on your feet dancing or just sitting back and enjoying the tunes, you can guarantee a fun and exciting time into the New Year!Have fun, and have a Happy New Year – First Night style!

Golden State Theater

At the Golden State Theater, it's Jonah and the Whalewatchers, the Monterey Bay's premier reggae and world music group! Formed by soulful Jamaican bassist and singer Alex Shirley, the Whalewatchers have been constantly active on the live music scene since 1990, and are still building on the foundation of a message of peace and love for humanity. It's not surprising to see young and old people alike connecting with this heartbeat music that fuses Caribbean and African beats with American jazz, blues and soul to create a very unique sound that is most often identified as reggae. The band's playlist also includes styles like calypso and soca and more modern dancehall reggae and ska and hip-hop tunes which are guaranteed to get people up and dancing!

Jonah & the Whalewatchers

Serra Ballroom

At the Serra Ballroom in the Monterey Conference Center, The California Cowboys are bringing Country to Montery! R. W. Smith and the California Cowboys deliver a powerful sound, with the clear punch of tight three-part harmonies and rowdy, foot stompin' original songs. Although the Cowboys hybridize traditional country music with pop country, they also manage to maintain a signature style, one that evokes just a hint of rootsy rock & roll. As lead singer and song-writer, R.W. dances and jokes with the audience while delivering top billing entertainment. Together with drummer Hal Atkinson, guitar player Gary Potterton, bass player, Cary Atkinson and legendary Steel Guitarist, Bobby Black; these fine musicians form one of California's most successful country-western bands!

Califonia Cowboys