First Night Tips
Make the most of your First Night by planning in advance.
Allow ample time to get from one location to the next, and arrive at performance venues early. Admission to performances sites is on a first-come, first-serve basis, and programs start at the scheduled times. Programs often draw full houses. Plan backup choices in case a show is filled.
First Night Raleigh is a weatherproof event!
Dress in layers for inside and outside activities. No refunds will be given.
Food & Beverage
Vendors selling a variety of food and beverages are located on Bicentennial Plaza and in several locations along Fayetteville Street. In addition, most downtown restaurants within the festival footprint are open on New Year’s Eve. Please remember, First Night Raleigh is an alcohol-free event. Open containers are not permitted on the streets or in any venues on New Year’s Eve.
The Red Cross First Aid Center at the Children’s Celebration is located inside the North Carolina Museum of History's Cardinal Room in the lower level classroom wing. The First Aid Center moves to the lobby of the Bank of America Building, near the Main Stage, in the evening.
Lost and Found
Lost and Found is located at Volunteer Headquarters, located in the lobby of the NC Museum of History from 1:00-10:30 pm. If you lose an item at First Night, please check at Volunteer Headquarters to see if it's been turned in, or contact the Artsplosure office after the event.
The festival seeks to provide equal opportunity for enjoyment to all audience members. Most performance sites are accessible to people with mobility impairments. If you have specific accessibility concerns, or if you require ASL interpretation or audio description services (available for limited performances), please call 919-832-8699 before 5 PM on December 15, and we will try to accommodate any special needs.
Portable outdoor facilities are located throughout the festival -- on Morgan, Martin & Davie Streets (see map). Restrooms are also available in the state museums. Most venues do not offer restroom facilities to the public.
City of Raleigh Police will be on site throughout the evening to ensure your safety. Lost parents should find the closest law enforcement officer or report to the Raleigh Police Department’s mobile bus, located on Martin Street between Fayetteville and Salisbury Streets. If you need assistance, find the Site Manager at the closest First Night venue; they will be able to contact help for you.
Information and Merchandise
Admission passes are available in advance from December 1. For All Day Passes, official First Night Raleigh T-shirts, and information on site, visit any of the information tents located throughout the festival — on Bicentennial Plaza and in locations along Fayetteville Street and near the Main Stage.