Music festivals have been a core component of celebration, expression, and social interaction throughout human history. One of the earliest known festivals trails back to the sixth century B.C. in Ancient Greece (the Pythian Games). The significance of these treasured events have grown dramatically since the 20th century; the 1960’s serving as a poignant turning point for revolution and freedom.
In current times, music festivals have become an epidemic, transcending all prior records and notions completely. Some exist as massive platforms for budding artists, while others merely tip off the hat to commercialization. Subsequently, there are those that represent stances for change or martyrs for spiritual awakenings in the global initiative to bring people together.
Electric Zoo is a fascinating evolution of these ideals. To truly understand the greatness of EZoo, you must first break down each element to its fundamental groundwork.
Electric Zoo is New York City’s premiere electronic music festival of massive proportions. Every detail is intricately thought out, from the impressive catalog of top tier artists to the extraordinary stage productions (copious amounts of perfectly timed lighting, hypnotizing projections, pyrotechnics, and superlative sound quality) that amaze us every year.
Even the entry station is well-organized and easy to arrive and depart from. The coordination of the festival is stunning in comparison to the substantial number of people present. Randall’s Island Park (where EZoo is held) literally transforms into its own self-sustaining ecosystem with guests having plenty of room to roam and colorful animal statues grazing the lush grounds. The menial task of transportation is also included in each ticket purchase, which puts every “animal” (what EZoo calls their attendees) at ease to just revel in the moment.
Other than these exceptional features, what sets EZoo apart from any other festival is the incredible energy and diverse pool of souls that gather together in harmony every Labor Day weekend (August 29th, 30th, and 31st).
New York City
To comprehend this phenomenon, you must first be familiar with the location – New York City. NYC has always been a beacon of hope, a cultural “melting pot” in America where one can persevere for the American dream. You won’t find such a wide range of diversity and multifariousness anywhere else.
Much like the Big Apple itself, many of the people that make the pilgrimage to Zoo every year are not native New Yorkers. Thousands travel across the globe hoping to catch that brief flicker of light that only shines within Electric Zoo. It isn’t difficult to make a cherished connection with someone there, and bond over more than just music – current events, each others’ cultures/practices, or the colorful backgrounds of each character. There are so many attendees there, spanning worldwide from places including: France, Italy, Spain, Japan, Mexico, The Netherlands, Germany, Russia, the United States, and more.
There is an authentic sense of cultural, global unity that is particularly unique to Electric Zoo.
The People/The Energy
Besides the obvious global diversity, every walk of life is represented at EZoo. People employed in every field imaginable congregate to see and be seen every Labor Day weekend. The city buzzes a special vibration this time of year spawned by the collective pool of residents and new faces arriving to eagerly take a bite of the Big Apple.
During a nonchalant stroll through Manhattan, you could easily bump into a fellow “animal” or hear live streams of Electric Zoo sets echo throughout the populated stores and cabs. This enigmatic energy always generates a colorful cavalcade of creative costumes, characters, and once in a lifetime moments.
Now let’s get to the meat of the article – the music. In a city known for being a deal breaker and career maker, every artist is expected to impress with their best in this town. For this purpose, every artist we’ve ever seen at Zoo always brings the most eclectic, exclusive performances (which often become career highlights).
EZoo is a festival that sincerely revolves around its core focus – the music – as crafted by the creators who wanted a fair representation of the electronic music scene in NYC. This magnificent ideal fuels a high caliber of rare bootlegs, unreleased tracks, troll moments, and genre-defying performances annually.
Not surprisingly, this year’s roster is pretty remarkable and includes: Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Dada Life, Zeds Dead, Wolfgang Gartner, Arty, Carnage, A-Trak, Tritonal, Candyland, DVBBS, Chris Liebing, Dirtyphonics, Gesaffelstein, Armin Van Buuren, Zedd, Benny Benassi, W&W, Knife Party, Laidback Luke, Clockwork, Sasha, Pete Tong, Madeon, Sub Focus, Kill The Noise, Paul Van Dyk, Cosmic Gate, BT, Kaskade, Alesso, Bingo Players, Mat Zo, Henry Fong, Myon & Shane 54, Jack U, Dash Berlin, Showtek, The Chainsmokers, ATB, Morgan Page, and Seven Lions to name a few.
Due to the divergence of visitors and musicians, each stage/tent caters to all ends of the music spectrum. If you’ve frequented the festival circuit, then you know that there are certain genres that never really get to grace the light of day. Luckily for NYC’s animals, Zoo highlights and celebrates these slightly more “underground” sounds with entire stages dedicated to them; something which is highly reflective of New York’s diversity.
Ranging from classic festival favorites such as: progressive house, deep house, big room, dubstep, bass, trap/twerk, and trance, to the lesser played genres like: dark electro/house, electronica, techno, industrial/garage, dance-punk, disco, and more, everyone can find a little piece of home in one of the stages.
We urge every “animal” to bask in the full EZoo glory by commuting through the ferry to Randall’s Island Park (included in GA and VIP tickets). There’s just something special about bonding with the EZoo community whilst gazing at New York City’s towering high rises reflecting gallantly on the water. Once the sun goes down, the ferry is host to a brilliant scenic cityscape illuminated by trickling doses of light among the shadows of the night. Let your mind relax as a cool breeze tickles your tired face in one of the most breath-taking experiences you can ever bare witness to.
Ferry schedules are prompt and plentiful; one running every 15 minutes all throughout the day. (There are also buses that run to the island if you prefer this option).
In so many ways, Electric Zoo is a life changer. Then again, we expected no less from the Big Apple and Made Event. Buy your tickets now before they sell out!
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