Electric Zoo returned to Randall’s Island with its eighth installment this Labor Day Weekend
The transformation continued this year as Electric Zoo made its way back to its home on Randall’s Island. This year’s Wild Island installment kicked off on Fri., Sept. 2nd and ran through Sun., Sept. 4th.
Electric Zoo is New York’s original electronic music festival, which first made its debut on Randall’s Island in 2009. Now, Electric Zoo, a Made Event and ID&T creative collaboration, has secured itself among the most elite festivals in North America. By the time the doors opened on Sunday, the festival announced it was sold out.
In true New York fashion, Electric Zoo brought an eclectic mix of art and culture, interactive entertainers, pyrotechnics, mesmerizing light shows, and diverse LDW soundtrack. Serving up a transfixing, wild experience, Electric Zoo 2016 was soundtracked by dance music’s biggest names: Tiësto, The Chainsmokers, Porter Robinson, Hardwell, and Bassnectar.
Despite the weather forecasts originally predicting Hurricane Hermine would hit the Tri-State area on late Saturday and all day Sunday, Zoo-goers basked in beautiful weather and blue skies all weekend long.
The Hilltop Arena had better ventilation than last year with openings on all sides. Slightly smaller than in years past, the newly designed stage this year was coined as the Crystal Cave.
This year’s Electric Zoo saw the return of the Treehouse, which is located in the top corner of the festival grounds. New York City local talent along the water and next to The Hideaway.
Electric Zoo: Wild Island Highlights
The Chainsmokers at the Temple of the Cobra main stage
The Chainsmokers, a main stage festival highlight, performed a one-hour-and-15-minute ensemble consisting of their biggest hits. Drew Taggart and Alex Pall of The Chainsmokers gravitated thousands of wild party animals to the Temple of the Cobra. An interactive showcase of their popular songs, The Chainsmokers’ set included “New York City,” “Kanye” feat. sirenXX, “Roses” feat. ROZES, “Inside Out” feat. Charlee, “Let You Go” feat. Great Good Fine Ok, and “Don’t Let Me Down” feat. Daya.
The guys had all hands in the air with familiar tunes from Kanye West “Love Lockdown,” their remix of Mikky Ekko’s “Kids,” a cover of MGMT’s dance classic, “Dominator,” Alice Deejay’s “Better Off Alone,” and “Sweet Dreams.”
Following a performance at the MTV Video Music Awards at MSG last week and a Billboard Hot 100 #1 with “Closer,” Alex and Drew returned to their hometown for their very first EZoo.
Temple of the Cobra
In keeping with the recent transformation, Electric Zoo continued the progression of their main stage with another artistic and unique concept. The Temple of the Cobra main stage depicted a king cobra, standing tall. Entrancing and captivating, the new main stage design this year was comprised of LED screens, protruding lights, and pyrotechnics. After last year’s phoenix stage, and this year’s cobra, we can’t help but wonder what Electric Zoo has up their sleeve for 2017.
Anjunadeep at Sunday School
This year’s stage curators played an integral role in the continuing EZoo transformation. Anjunadeep, the famed Above & Beyond deep label imprint, brought Lane 8, Moon Boots, Yotto, Cubicolor, and Lauren Ritter on Friday. The Anjunadeep Sunday School takeover also consisted of live sets from Âme, Way Out West, and HVOB.
Weekend Full of Surprises
At Electric Zoo, surprises never fail. Many DJs take the opportunity to premiere new music. With some of the weekend’s set broadcasted live on SiriusXM’s Electric Area, EZoo is one of the last events of festival season. During Tiësto’s main stage set on Saturday, he brought out singer/songwriter Vassy for a surprise performance. And in addition to Steve Aoki’s regularly scheduled DJ set at the Dim Mak 20th Anniversary stage, he also surprised fans with an impromptu DJ set at Riverside.
Elrow at Sunday School
Sunday School Grove was transformed by Elrow (Sambodromo Do Brasil) on Saturday. From revamped tent decor to Elrow-branded inflatable gear, the Elrow experience was a day two highlight. The soundtrack for the Elrow Sunday School takeover included music from Bicep, Eats Everything, Jackmaster, Patrick Topping, De La Swing, Nadav Vee, and Michael Magnan.
Steve Aoki closed the Riverside Dim Mak 20th Anniversary Stage on Saturday with DJ sets from 3LAU, SBCR, Rain Man, ETC!ETC!, and Watch The Duck. Sunday’s curation takeover included the Hilltop Arena’s Buygore Stage with Borgore, Juicy J, GTA, Lil Dicky, Getter, Valentino Khan, and Styles&Compete. Taking things back to the underground on Sunday, ANTS brought sets from Joris Voorn, Henrik Schwarz (live), Davide Squillace, Andrea Oliva, Agoria, &ME, and Julia Govor.
What will EZoo bring to the table with next year’s ninth installment? Check this space for more about Electric Zoo 2017 as it’s revealed. For more about Electric Zoo Festival, visit electriczoofestival.com.
Photo Credit: aLIVE Coverage