Raise Your Glass and Welcome the New Year Right

Countless venues, parties and events scheduled for the evening of Dec. 31 will insist that theirs is “the place to be” this New Year’s Eve.

It’s all wishful thinking, no matter how much elaborate planning has gone into them. Way too many variables when humans are involved. Besides, one person’s THE place to be is another person’s existentialist “No Exit” hell. There’s no pleasing everyone.

Having an existential crisis on New Year’s Eve doesn’t sound like a fun time to us, personally.

We here at The Straz have a New Year’s Eve event happening as well: Raise Your Glass, which kicks off on our Riverwalk Stage following the 7 p.m. presentation of Hamilton in Morsani Hall. Sure, we’ll have excellent food, delectable drinks and high-energy entertainment, but far be it from us to be so unoriginal – crass, really – as to claim ours is THE place to be to welcome 2023 and kick 2022 to the curb.

If we WERE going to make that claim, though, we believe we have some solid evidence to back it up. To wit:

DJ Sandman: He’s known as the Godfather of Tampa Hip-Hop but how many godfathers work this hard? Sandman has been a tireless promoter of this area’s scene in addition to his slamming DJ sets both live and on Tampa radio at 95.7 The Beat. In addition to promoting and performing, he’s discovered and nurtured hip-hop talents from our area, from raw potential to worldwide fame. Among those he’s worked with are …

Dynasty: The Los Angeles based rapper made her bones in Tampa, where she worked with hip-hop elites such as DJ Premier (Gang Starr) and Talib Kweli. She’s amassed an international following with several European tours. Dynasty announced her presence to hip-hop in general with her Dreampusher mixtape, a collaboration with Sandman, with whom she continues to work and who continues to champion her music.

“What I love about Dynasty is that her music is so inspiring and uplifting ,and it’s just really, really good,” Sandman said. “She shares her life, both good and bad, in her lyrics and it just really touches people. Plus, she’s amazing on the stage. It’s her passion. She commands the audience.”

Sandman often DJs Dynasty’s sets, but for this evening he’ll be getting the crowd hyped before Dynasty takes the stage with a full band plus a couple of her own favorite performers, J’Nelle and Trumaine Lamar.

Raise Your Glass will also feature a champagne toast, plus VIP packages with drink and food specials. We’re not saying it’s THE place to be this New Year’s Eve, but we suspect it will be THE place you wish you’d been if you weren’t come Jan. 1. For more information, check out our site. And auld lang syne y’all, y’hear? 

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