On September 2-4, ravers took a visit to Randall’s Island for the 12th annual Electric Zoo festival. While located in the Big Apple, the location is convenient to almost no one. However, the multiple transfer trip is well worth it for New York City’s biggest electronic music festival.
The RMR team had the opportunity to check out what all the buzz is about, and how it claims the title as one of the best electronic music happenings in the city. Rain or shine, everyone showed up day after day and dressed to impress.
The lineup was loaded with all of our favorite artists; from emerging DJs that we’ve covered and interviewed to renowned names that always impress. It was impossible to catch everyone on our radar but in the best way possible.
RMR’s First Electric Zoo Experience Exceeded Expectations
Traveling to Randall’s Island may have taken over an hour each way. However, taking a break from the urban jungle scenery and getting lost in the music surrounded by lush scenery made it worth the long trip. With four stages, you’d expect a huge venue. However, the area was sized and spaced out perfectly for a comfortable and efficient experience. The stages were close to each other, but large structures blocked the sound from one another.
With a DJ or two on our schedule for each minute of the day, the well-thought-out venue made it easy to catch nearly everyone we wanted to see. Not only that, but the industry-leading stage designs and lighting solidified the state-of-the-art experience. Each stage had multiple screens situated between massive structures. In addition, Electric Zoo did a fantastic job of capturing the essence of each stage and assigning fitting artists to it.
Electric Zoo Music Festival Highlights
We caught a few big names but focused more on the emerging artists we’ve had our eyes on. Moore Kismet, Canabliss, and A Hundred Drums were some of the rising stars we were impressed by. We were also blown away by buzzing names like John Summit and Wax Motif. Our favorite set had to be G Jones and Eprom taking the stage together, performing a trippy, glitch-focused set. In addition, Porter Robinson’s set was better than expected. He kept the audience engaged as he played multi-genre tracks and incredible remixes.
The venue set up was nice, however, it would’ve been cool to see the festival utilize more of the land on Randall’s Island Park. With 480 acres to spare, the festival likely utilized less than 10% of it. As media personnel, we had special access-ways around the festival and were able to see the beautiful scenery by the waters. We had wished the rest of the attendees got to see the beautiful views that we got to enjoy daily. Nonetheless, there was plenty to see inside the venue, and being surrounded by nature was a nice break from the city.
Electric Zoo’s Success Encourages Other Big Events to Join New York City’s Festival Circuit
Overall, Electric Zoo lived up to its title of being New York’s biggest electronic music festival/event. Since losing EDC NYC, there seems to be little effort to rebuild the local EDM scene here on a larger scale. Although there are plenty of tour stops in New York for electronic artists as well as many clubs, there are no major electronic-focused festivals for people to look forward to beside EZoo. Cities such as Los Angeles, Seattle, Utah, and other states all have seasonal festivals and events year-round.
There certainly is enough demand and buzz to support seasonal events, as Electric Zoo’s turn out proved. But for some reason, there’s a lack in supply. We are looking forward to seeing the growth of New York City’s electronic scene post-pandemic, and how Electric Zoo continues to influence the scene year-after-year.
Contributing authors: Hannah Gershowitz and Farra Tai