New Year's welcome almost absent at Absinthe - Disorganised early entry, crowd builds after 1 a.m.
Every year, the purpose of the party favour is restored anew. Sequins, confetti, noisemakers and cardboard accessories have become celebratory signifiers, a necessary feature of fanfare.
On Saturday, Syndicate Events hosted their annual New Year's Eve party, Absinthe: The New Evolution. Although the team appeared to have gathered all the necessaries to ring in the new calendar year, the tokenism of the party favours, lights and baubles was dull.
The excited tension usually associated with the New Year's countdown was non-existent.
Held this year at Sabina Park, the promoters moved to expand and elevate the event and may have bitten off more than they could chew. Absinthe began with a stutter and continued to falter, even after the clock struck 12.
The gates opened at about 10:15 p.m. and patrons were made to wait for entry as armbands were not immediately available. Similarly, it was reported that there were not enough VIP armbands. This caused some patrons to be issued with staff armbands, creating confusion at one of the entrances to the VIP area.
Other patrons had to go on the hunt for their party favours, doubling back to the entrance for their red hats, cardboard tiaras and noisemakers.
Food stations were fired up just an hour before midnight and there was no confetti.
Midnight would have been indiscernible, if not for the DJ's surprise reminder. Photographers scurried their way to the DJ booth as the selector began his 2017 countdown yelling with "Ten!" He continued the descending count, with lenses focused on the confetti canon that never went off.
After the countdown got to "One!" and the customary spinning of Auld Lang Syne began, the crowd appeared unmoved, and mostly preoccupied with the buffet line.
Still, partygoers came out in their numbers, with the majority arriving after 1 a.m.