Electric Zoo has grown a lot since I last attended in 2010. The smaller stage ‘Sunday School Grove’ near the entrance has now transformed into its own tent alongside the others with its own VIP area. The ‘Main Stage’ now features “high resolution motion controlled video panels” and the medium sized tents, ‘Hilltop Arena’ and ‘Riverside’, both had massive LED panels as well. (Rolling Stone had an inside look prior to the festival for those interested in seeing the setup.) Needless to say, I was impressed. Sound rarely emanated from the general vicinity of the tents, so each area’s vibe was uninterrupted.
For photographers, the stages had generous photo pit space that welcomed press into the center and up some center alleys (at the larger tents) that allowed for better vantages shots. However, as the event has grown, so have the stages and it’s no longer as easily possible to get a close-up shot of a DJ or producer as massive stage productions obscure many shots. Ah well.
But for the day of Electric Zoo I was able to attend, Friday August 31, I still found plenty of photos to take and a lot to indulge in. You can see many of the images of EDM fans that I took here (posted earlier). Buses regularly and smoothly shuttled people from Manhattan to the festival gates on Randall’s Island. On the grounds, vendors lined up along most every available edge of the perimeter serving up refreshments and sustenance especially for those in it for the long haul. Music began each day around noon and ended at 11 pm. With after parties that went on till 4 am in many cases, Electric Zoo demanded a lot from attendees.
But the producers of Electric Zoo made sure there was a lot to offer. World renowned DJ’s like David Guetta, Ferry Corsten, A-Trak, Gabriel & Dresden were on the lineup, and that was just for Friday. Saturday and Sunday included Steve Aoki, Benny Benassi, Sasha, Diplo, Tiesto and Skrillex amongst others (with a little searching online you can download many of the live sets). It was hard to get much of a sense of the music that was played by each DJ while running around between stages, but I again have to admire the scale of the production that was put on.
LED panels blaring behind them, the DJs in the Hilltop Arena had their audience captivated. Gabriel & Dresden ended their set with “Tracking Treasure Down” letting Corsten begin his own set. Corsten then included some of his own productions as well, notably “Punk”, while Daft Punk songs emanated at least a couple times from various stages. Meanwhile the main stage was preparing for David Guetta’s performance. Guetta, who had just arrived from Ibiza he said, fed his North American crowd a new track, amongst his many already famous numbers. But the spectacle was fueled by confetti and flame cannons, the latter of which I didn’t catch the first time, left enough heat in the air that the audience welcomed the water hoses security wielded.
Gabriel & Dresden: