A place where sweaty bros, vagabundos, EDM snobs, trance nerds, sorority girls, hipsters, ravers, parents and more can exist in harmony
Day 1 -
As Marcus Schossow and Adrian Lux sat in a trailer cracking jokes and taking shots of jager, Alvin Risk was on the Main Stage spinning something furious.
And that, in a sense, describes a major EDM festival from the artist’s perspective:
- A place to catch up face-to-face (as opposed to tweet-to-tweet)
- For up and comers to make new fans
- For established stars to draw the mainstream with “pop” and introduce them to the underground
- And to give people the experience of a lifetime
Even EDM snobs who cringe at the thought of David Guetta being ranked #1 in the DJ Mag Top 100… even they had to admit the French DJ/producer was playing some seriously dirty, un-ID’able, underground bangers.
Easy to forget that festivals are just as great for the talent as they are for the fans. Of course, they’re pretty great for the hum
- The custom LED stages and pyrotechnics are out of this world
- The chance to forget the outside world for just a day (or three) is priceless
- The fact that 20-somethings sucking pacifiers isn’t weird… is interesting
Regardless of genre, an artist speaking to tens of thousands through the language we call music is truly a beautiful thing.
As Day 1 of Made Event’s 2012 edition of Electric Zoo plunged ahead, we witnessed the connection artists like Above & Beyond, Laidback Luke, A-Trak, Luciano and more have with the masses. A connection that binds us all.
Day 2 -
Whether you came by ferry or bus, one thing you’d immediately notice about Day 2 of Electric Zoo 2012 was the sheer volume of people. It seemed like double the previous day.
Impressive were those who brought blow up palm trees and poles with stuffed animals on top. It wasn’t for show, it was so their friends could find them in the crowd.
Text message: “Where r u???”
Response: “12th Planet, Riverside. Look for the tiger.”
Check out the Rastaman on top of the poll @ :50 on the right side
When you have a big group of friends and Martin Solveig, 12th Planet, Maya Jane Coles and Sander van Doorn/Dada Life playing the same time, you’re definitely getting split up.
It’s much easier to find your friends by looking for a tiger on top of a 10-foot pole than it is to look for the guy with the red glow sticks in the “middle right.” In that sea of bro tanks, neon tutus and comedy/tragedy masks, you really do need something to set yourself apart. Big ups to the guy with the inflatable palm tree.
With a stacked line up on 4 stages, running into friends old and new, food/bathroom, etc., it’s tough to see every artist on your list. We heard great things about Claude von Stroke and found Arnej at a picnic table chatting with fans as Morgan Page did his thing. Paco Osuna turned in straight A’s from Sunday School and Dada Life not only had the crowd going buck, but also took a champagne shower in the photo pit. Datsik dropped some smooth sh*t mixed with heavy wompage, Benassi opened things up with a ridiculous remix of Bob Marley’s ‘Jammin’ and Above & Beyond therapized us while throwing in ‘Flaming June,’ ‘Alone Tonight,’ and a ‘Good Day’ piano ballad to close out Day 2.
Randall’s island went from a Day 1 hum to a Day 2 roar and with Day 3’s line up featuring Porter Robinson, Knife Party, Tiesto and Skrillex on the main stage alone, we were confident that things were about to get crazy.
Day 3 -
Day 3 of #EZoo 2012 brought with it a sense of relief as much as it did excitement. 3 days of day/night dancing, after parties, travel, etc. can take its toll. We didn’t even make it to the final day of Zoo until around 5PM. But that had as much to do with exhaustion as it did a cabbie thinking we said Rikers instead of Randall’s.
After a quick interview with dubstep pioneer Benga, who had just celebrated his 26th b-day, we passed a main stage crowd going absolutely mental for Porter Robinson. Afterwards, the electro star came down for meet & greet/photo ops with fans.
Sunday definitely seemed to air more towards the bass side of EDM, with Excision, Benga, Flux Pavilion & Doctor P, Porter, Knife Party, Zeds Dead, Mt. Eden, Andy C, Skrillex, Bloody Beetroots and Diplo all performing.
And oh ya… some guy called Tiesto was there too.
Just before the end of another one of Tijs’ epic sets, we felt the migraine coming on strong. Would be nice if they gave out Excedrin at the medical tents. On the way out we had a chance to catch the end of Zeds Dead and the start of Diplo, both to the rawkus chants of bass heads, ‘cool guys’ and girls expressing themselves.
And that was that. The tank was empty. No energy to catch Skrillex. After a steamy, twenty minute shower we were in bed by 11. We even slept through what apparently was an amazing, epic trance-filled after party with JOC, Aly & Fila, Jochen Miller and Jaytech.
Artists, fans, excitement, energy, fireworks, survival. After reading our own review we’re trying to figure out what EDM festivals are all about? Is really just DJs and looking ridiculous? Even Benga commented that the biggest difference between American and European festivals is what people wear.
Our favorite thing about any festival, whether it’s Zoo, Miami Music Week or BPM is the community. Whether it’s meeting face to face with those we only know through email, seeing old friends, high-fiving random people, etc; that to us is what the EDM experience is all about: Friendship and community.
The YOLO hats, glow strings and Steve Aoki stage dives don’t mean anything if you aren’t enjoying them with your friends.
Things we loved:
- Variety of good food at reasonable price
- $3 water festival-wide
- Few repeat songs from what we heard
- Proper water refill stations kept grass from turning to mud
- Tickets came with shuttle or ferry pass (great planning)
- Free parking was available on site
- Line queues ran smooth all around
Things we didn’t love:
- Felt like Friday was trance, Saturday was house, Sunday was bass
- Benga and Doctor P & Flux Pavilion on at the same time
- Too crowded Saturday
- Aspirin not available at Medical Tent
- Not enough lasers ☺