This year’s edition of Electric Zoo festival was truly something to have major post-festival withdrawal for. It served some serious heat, both figuratively and literally. The most important thing about Electric Zoo 2019 for me was the music. The artists on the top of my list all exceeded my expectations. I was dancing from start to finish, including during Kaskade and Alison Wonderland. The festival was located on the beautiful Randall’s Island Park in NYC, making it a three-day haven for any dance music lover.
Over a hundred and seven thousand attended the massive festival to embrace the outstanding sets from over fifty international DJ talents. Out of the three-day event, Saturday and Sunday drew sold-out crowds. Every artist proved to be a key part of Electric Zoo. With that, they all brought something unique to the event. The eleventh anniversary (with it being sold out on the last two days) brought in some serious crowds, which only made the experience that much better. Throughout it all, it seemed to be well-executed and full of music lovers all ready to vibe to who they came to see.
With that being said, I outlined some key points from what I and most people obtained from this year’s Electric Zoo.
Best Sets in the lineup
The main reason why any festival goer wants to attend an event is probably for, of course, the lineup. Electric Zoo went above and beyond with their artist selection. Not only did they bring big acts, but they brought diverse acts. By doing so they were able to meet the satisfaction of fans and introduce different genres to Electric Zoo attendees. There were many highlights for electronic music enthusiasts over the weekend. These included the following: epic headline performances by Dog Blood (Skrillex: Boys Noize), Diplo, Afrojack, and Armin Van Buuren. Additionally, there were also magical sunset sets from the mainstage by Kaskade, Zedd, and Alison Wonderland. I personally saw four sets at Electric Zoo that absolutely killed it and exceeded my expectations.
On Friday, I just missed Oliver Heldens set (still sad about it). I did however, make it to Kaskade’s legendary Sunset Set. I recently saw him at Sunset Music Festival and was still as excited. Indeed, Kaskade never disappoints. Kaskade kicked off day one with a splash. He warmed the Electric Zoo music lovers up for a long weekend ahead of us. Near the end of his set, he played “On My Mind” as well. This was one of my favorite songs of his. I was grooving to every minute of it.
With the view of a glowing red sky and a firework finale, he played all his legendary songs and some from his Redux 003 album. Whether you’re a fan or not, I don’t think anyone could deny how he kills a sunset set.
On Saturday, there was a small switch in the schedule: Zedd took the stage before Afrojack. From the beginning of Zedd’s set, everyone was on their feet dancing and vibing to his familiar songs and remixes. Following that, I was curious to see Afrojack because I have not heard any hype about him recently. Afrojack blew me away by keeping the party and energy going right away. Afrojack fully revived the heart pumping electronic dance vibes back to its buzzing roots. At the end of his set, he closed with the late but great Avicii’s “Wake Me Up.” I felt as the crowd connected through him during that moment.
Another artist who definitely set the stage on fire was none other than the queen, Alison Wonderland. I saw her recently at the Sunset Music Festival and was blown away. With that, I made sure my friend and I made it to her set from start to finish so she can experience the spiritual level of Alison Wonderland. On the second level of the Electric Zoo T-mobile Club Magenta, I had a full view of the entrance to the mainstage. It gave me chills to see her performing as the main stage was filling up by the second.
Alison Wonderland recently has been more open about her personal problems with mental health and exhaustion on tour. Her Electric Zoo set became a safe place for her to express personal details about exhaustion and depression. She took several opportunities to thank her fans for their support during this tough time and wouldn’t have made it onstage without them. Her visuals were stunning and the whole time she connected with her crowd.
Gud Vibrations: SLANDER + NGHTMRE
To finish off day three, SLANDER + NGHTMRE’s Gud Vibrations slammed the Electric Zoo Hilltop Arena with insane stage production and visuals. Their collaboration never seems to disappoint and fulfills attendees that are dying to headbang to their legendary classics.
Food and Drink
There is truly nothing like staying hydrated and full when you’re dancing your face off. Electric Zoo made sure to accommodate all food/beverage needs. Buying some of that food or drink probably hurt your wallet but I think it was still worth it. There were a wide variety of food options, including hot dogs and pizza, as well as many other local and vegetarian and vegan choices. I personally was in the mood for fried rice and vegetables, which was thirteen dollars and filled up two people.
Electric Zoo had different booths for alcoholic drinks, slushies, and water stations for the attendees. I looked at the SVEDKA Rosé garden to see what they offered and I thought the Frosé was a great idea for an alcoholic festival cooling drink. They also served Redbull slushies for six dollars as well as other fountain and sports drinks.
Although my personal experience with the free water station went smoothly, I was told by other festival-goers they were not impressed. Some explained that they should have more organized water stations with the number of attendees. There were some cases of people that would push and shove to get to the front of the line.
Festival-goers were treated to a viewing deck with a meet and greet with Above & Beyond. There was also a fast lane for quick entry and transportation to Electric Zoo via ferry sponsored by T-Mobile.
Furthermore, I was curious about how T-Mobile employees could tell if people had T-Mobile as a provider. An employee replied explaining if you do not have T-Mobile, but a friend does then you are able to take a photo at the T-Mobile photo wall and post on social media to get through. I tried to enter and was told it reached max capacity, which was seventy people. I waited in line only on day three.
There were four stages at the year’s event, all lined up in a row (two were semi-enclosed). The Electric Zoo stages were set up in a way which made them not interfere with each other at all. Although there was definitely some sound bleed if you sat on the grass, you couldn’t hear anything but the music in front of you once you were in that zone.
The main stage was better than last year. Still, there were definitely some points where it was pretty hard to even walk two feet because there were so many people about. At the stage All My Friends, I could not bother to stay for the rest of Malaa’s set because of how hot and crowded I felt. Nevertheless, everything was set well together and the festival flowed smoothly throughout. Keep in mind, Electric Zoo was well-planned and as coordinated as one can expect from a festival of this magnitude.
This year’s Electric Zoo was certainly one of the best in years. It was truly such a memorable production, fused with amazing vibes from all the fans and the beautiful location of Randall’s Island Park. The eleventh anniversary really proved to be one to remember and Electric Zoo has already confirmed that it will return for 2020.