September may have ushered in a few showers, but it did little to dissuade over 90,000 outdoor revelers from shuffling, pumping, and grooving to endless electronic music artists at Randall’s Island over Labor Day.
LiveStyle’s flagship festival, Electric Zoo, welcomed fans from all ages to the island situated between the Harlem and East Rivers for three days of nearly sold-out fun. This year’s theme: The 6th Boro- and zoo animals.
An early afternoon arrival around 1:30 PM ET on Saturday September 2nd was met with moderate crowds and slight overcast weather. Superstars including Bruno Martini, Quix, Boris, CID, No Mana, Brohug, and Shaun Frank kicked off the second day of Labor Day weekend fun. By 5 PM, throngs of people had descended across the spacious island. Saturday night brought some heavy rain, but it did little to keep partygoers from the festivities. By Sunday, the sun was out and spirits were once again elevated to the stratosphere. Of course, diehard fans waited for the big finale: heavyweights Armin van Buuren and deadmau5 b2b Eric Prydz.
Attendees came from all over the country—and the globe. Proud Canadian, Thai, Taiwanese, Mexican, and Swedish flags were spotted, along with Serge, a fan from Los Angeles who wholeheartedly committed to the Zoo theme:
Five stages comprised the area, all of which were simultaneously in use during the entire festival, all of which included impressive pyrotechnics and light. Day 2 alone included 40 different acts, including the legendary Victor Calderone and Danny Tenaglia. In total, over 100 EDM artisans brought the party to enthusiastic attendees with the iconic New York skyline in the background.
Sounds technicians were completely on point and did an impeccable job of containing the sound of each artist at each stage so that none of the music bled into other performances. Also notable was the vast array of local food vendors including The Bao Shoppe, Bareburger, Big Mozz, Mighty Quinn BBQ , Uma Temaqueria, and many others. Those wishing to indulge a sweet tooth enjoyed luxurious treats from Waffle de lys.
Credits cards and cash were not accepted. Instead, guests were invited to load money onto their wristbands which contained scan codes. Genius idea! It prevented loss of cash and helped add an extra roadblock to alcohol abusers. Were food prices high? Of course! But you expect to pay higher than usual costs at festivals like this.
In the past, Electric Zoo has had issues with underage drinking and substance abuse. This year, security was tighter than ever and festival organizers ensured that the gathering was a safe space. For grumpy older people who complain about too much noise (like me), earplugs were available at a booth in the center of the park—along with condoms and information on sexual health.
By all accounts, this was one of the most successful festivals in the nine year history of Electric Zoo. Next year, it will return for its 10 year anniversary. How it can possibly top this year’s event is tough to comprehend, Yet creative minds are probably already hard at work to make it even more mind-blowing.
For more information on Electric Zoo, click here.