Five years ago, Electric Zoo Festival stormed onto the scene, bringing electronic dance music to the forefront in New York City. Since then Electric Zoo has seen attendees from 188 countries and all 50 states making the pilgrimage to one of the greatest cities in the world to celebrate electronic dance music with like-minded fans and internationally renowned DJs and live acts on Randall’s Island. The three-day festival took place over Labor Day Weekend on August 30, August 31 and September 1. Featuring two open-air Main Stages for the first time ever, plus three state-of-the-art tents: The Hilltop, The Riverside and Made Event’s legendary Sunday School Tent.
It was supposed to be the bigger, better party. But after two concertgoers died from using MDMA, Made Event followed the recommendation of the mayor’s office and abruptly canceled Sunday, the third day of the festival. Even though it was cut short, Electric Zoo still offered nearly 100 sets over its first two days, a sweeping survey of dance music. A small tent held die-hards of deep house and techno with John Digweed, Justin Martin vs. Eats Everything, Claude VonStroke, Cassy, Green Velvet, Scuba playing seamless and incrementally evolving sets. On the big stages, it brought back many regulars who headline festivals worldwide: Avicii, David Guetta, Tiesto, Benny Benassi, Above & Beyond, Hardwell. Hardwell aired his usual stomping beats; Tiesto modulated smoothly, playing his usual long anthems with a parade of different vocalists. Sander van Doorn played dramatic, intensifying, minor-key instrumentals after another and Madeon played with dozens of quick segues from hook to hook, exceeding all expectations of his performance. The confetti blasts were on full power the entire set, and when he dropped his highly acclaimed single Technicolor, an endless stream of confetti showered the audience while they were jumping and raging. Dupstep acts Flux Pavilion, Datsik, Dog Blood, UZ and Bassnectar drew on hip-hop, grabbed some of punk-rock’s momentum and aimed for the unexpected; Bassnectar even tried a remix of Nina Simone’s “Feelin’ Good” as well as his hits “Freestyle” and “Bass Head”.
Main Stage East transformed for Dada Life as bananas and champagne were showered over the audience and a video took over the screen describing the stage as Dada Land, where there are no rules, but the rules of Dada. Quickly following the intro, both guys forming Dada came on stage to an erupting crowd eager to get lost in the music of the duo. The most energetic moment occurred when they dropped Kick Out the Epic MotherF***er and the crowd went into a jumping, raging frenzy. Nothing could predict the sheer craziness of the weekend with acts like Danny Tenaglia, Knife Party, Alesso, Ferry Corsten all taking the stage for excited fans.
Although the Zoo was cut short for unfortunate circumstances where acts such as Zedd, Armin van Buuren, Sebastian Ingrosso, Steve Aoki, Markus Schulz among other big names were set to perform, we are certain it will be remembered as an incredible two days of ravers coming together for the love of music and dance. The true animals attend the festival for the music, and it was witnessed all weekend that only the best raging animals came out to play. Until next year, Electric Zoo.
Representatives from the Electric Zoo camp have posted refund updates for those who attended the 2013 festival. For more info, please visit www.electriczoofestival.com.