#EZOO5, the 2-day elektro recap
Friday August 30th
10:45am: We arrived to the shuttle bus stop at 125th street where we enjoyed company of Chris who came solo from Toronto, dressed as Pikachu. When our bus stalled in the EZPass lane for a couple of minutes, the Pokemon costume wearing festival-goer became uneasy. He expressed: “I’m so anxious to get there.” Check out Chris here:
11:30am: We were on a tight shit as our day was composed of an observation of the festival, interviews and of course raging! On our way to the press tent to speak with Sandro Silva and Audien who was currently smashing Main Stage west, we saw a fleet of Made Event’s clean up crew patrolling the grounds. Randall's Island was just getting going with early bird ragers but we bet the cleaning staff did not know what they've got themselves into at this zoo!
12:00pm: While waiting and enjoying the air conditioned press tent, we finally got to speak with young DJ Audien and soon after the talented dutch producer Sandro Silva about their experience:
Audien: My Electric Zoo experience was spectacular! Everyone showed up really early and everyone was definitely up for it, that's for sure! I didn’t expect so many people there at noon. It’s just really cool to see that! Really exciting to see it growing!!
Sandro Silva: Thank you Electric Zoo for inviting me this year! Congrats to Electric Zoo and the staff for the 5th year anniversary, I’m really happy to play here and I can’t wait to play all my new tracks. It’s going to be amazing!
1:00pm: After our interview we wanted to explore the zoo to get the lay of the lands. One of the most noteworthy things we noticed were the improvements to the Hilltop Arena complete with spinning stage. We also took note to the obscure black object in front of the Riverside stage during Alesia’s set. We bounced around from tent to tent checking out the music, dance moves and well thought out ensembles; we were especially impressed with the variety of group costumes.
2:45pm: We rushed back over to the press tent to interview Dannic after his set on main stage west before he set off to play in Vegas later that night. We grabbed a couple free waters on our way out of the press tent and took advantage of the VIP section’s lounge beds before our next interview.
3:30pm: Still lounging around in VIP, we met up with Alesia and their crew for an interview. After relocating several times, we opted on doing the interview in no other than the legendary press tent. During our interview with Alesia, we learned the weird black object on the Riverside stage was actually their friend under a black cape representing the groups dark soul.The Riverside stage to some was the best stage as it was literally eye popping. The stage was edm's answer to IMax 3d; with the help of some branded sunglasses you were literally in another world.
4:00pm: By this time, we were hungry as hell. We ventured over to the venders looking at every option before making a decision. Electric Zoo is notorious for their wide and fantastic variety of food. After some time, I ordered a savory portobello mushroom wrap from Crescent Foods which was quickly devoured back in the VIP section during showtek’s set. Trying to get a glimpse of many artists, we traveled back to Hilltop just in time to hear Jack Beats drop a personal favorite ‘Epidemic.’
7:00pm: Back in the press tent with time to reminisce of the sets we just endured before our interviews. Flux Pavilion and Martin Solveig left a lasting impression making our interviews for the both of them even more special.
Flux Pavilion:This year I was on one of the bigger stages [Main Stage West] and I got a different view of the festival. I had a great time, it was just what I expected from Electric Zoo! It’s a damn good festival!
Martin Solveig: My Electric Zoo experience was perfect! I had the chance to play last year and this year. I wanted to do some different things and I was excited to play in a tiger suit because of the animal theme! I had the best time! Happy 5th Birthday, such an amazing festival and crowd!
8:00pm Onward: After our last interview, our night was just as great as any other zoo animal. We caught the end of Kill the Noise and enjoyed live sax and drums from Big Gigantic before heading back to the Riverside tent.
8:50pm: The chaos was unleashed as the supergroup Dog Blood aka Skrillex and Boys Noize opened their hour and 15 minute set with their original track ‘Middle Finger.’ The Riverside tent was full of high energy bass, beats and a wave of people throwing their middle fingers in the air(they must of heard him).
9:30pm: We pushed our way through the main stage crowd just in time to catch the beginning of Avicii’s highly anticipated set. Zoo animals sung along as the Swedish DJ opened with ‘I could be the one,’ although the singing did not stop here as Avicii dropped other lyrical favorites such as ‘Silhouettes’ ‘Seek Bromance’ and Armin’s ‘This is What it Feels Like.’ His set was also a great glimpse of what is soon to be released, LE7ELS as he incorporated various songs off the unreleased album.
Saturday August 31st
1:45PM Today we decided to trek to Electric Zoo a bit later than yesterday. As we got off the subway, we noticed a parade of neon animals making their way back to 125th St to get onto the shuttle buses.
2:00pm Finally making it onto Randall’s island, we headed straight through security to the Fool’s Gold Riverside Stage where Green Lantern was performing. Eminem’s DJ did not disappoint as he left the crowd wanting more, which was perfect for Paterson’s very own Just Blaze, who was able to pull in a huge crowd with “Higher”. Afterwards, we headed back to our infamous cage aka the Media Tent where we went on to interview Hendrix right after his set on the Main Stage. We ended up hanging around the tent for the next few hours waiting for our other interviews with Sliink, Zomboy, Cazzette and Just Blaze.
Sliink:This is my first time at Electric Zoo! I actually had a lot of fun today, I had an early set but a lot of kids came out to support me. I respect that a lot! Big shout out to Electric Zoo on their birthday and I want to thank you guys for having me!
Zomboy It was an amazing experience, we can check this off our list of things to do! I had an early bird shift, but managed to pack out the tent. I love American crowd, they have so much energy and commitment! They travel from thousands of miles around just to see you, it means so much.
Cazzette: We were just on stage, it was amazing! Very warm though, so sweaty! Crowd response was great, they were so responsive. We would love to be back next year! Thank you so much for everyone who came and made our day! Special thanks to the girls who had Cazzette masks on.
5:00pm Having tried our luck at Crescent Foods yesterday, we decided to try something new on the menu today - quesadillas! Instead of taking our food to the VIP area as we did yesterday, we figured we’d sit on the grass with all the other animals. The soundtrack to our lunch was a mixture of Riverside Tent’s RL Grime and Main Stage’s Tritonal. It’s here that we found a very ambitious fan wearing rainbow Jeremy Scott sneakers. Kudos to you man. After catching just the beginning of RL Grime’s set, we had to run back through the crowd to the media tent for our last interview of the day - UK’s John Digweed.
6:00pm As we finished our interview with John Digweed, we decided to stick around the tent to see which other DJs we’d run into. Luckily, the cards were in our favor and we were able to see Sander van Doorn, Dada Life as they exchanged kandi with fans, and Maarten from Bingo Players, who was taking pictures and signing autographs for fans. We decided to head out, after all the madness in the media tent, with our new friends from Undrgrnd Sound to see Maarten from Bingo Players’ set at Main Stage East. We had the luck of walking through the photo pit in front of Main Stage East as confetti was being popped during Sander van Doorn’s set.
6:45pm Finally making our way into the VIP section of Main Stage East, we got to see a completely different crowd than we did the previous day. Not only were their masses of fans dancing to Maarten’s set, there were also older, veteran ravers in the VIP section putting my dance moves to shame! Let’s just say, the older crowd knows how to get down and have a great time. We even got to see some security staff and medical staff bopping around to “Cry”!
7:00pm At this point we decided to split up for a bit and venture off on our own through the zoo. I made my way through the crowds to see Congorock and Datsik. Here’s when I noticed just how packed and how hot it gotten throughout the day. Thankfully, there was security and medical staff making their way through the crowds to make sure the zoo animals were all safe and having a good time. After getting my dose of really being a zoo animal, I decided to make the trek to the mecca aka the Media Tent again to catch DJ Mag’s prospected new #1 DJ….HARDWELL.
8:00pm After hydrating at the Media Tent with possibly our 50th Hi-Chew of the weekend and our 30th bottle of water, we noticed some commotion going on outside. Low and behold, Hardwell was making his way off stage and into the Sirius XM tent for an interview. Being the great guy that he his, he decided to take some time to take individual pictures with fans and sign some autographs, with beer still in hand. At this point, we decided to once again take our chances through the zoo alone. I would stay behind and look out for more DJs, while Brittany would take her chance at Brodinkski v. Gesaffelstein.
9:00pm Already well into David Guetta’s set I began to realize that I was surrounded by some new, nonetheless friendly, faces - NYPD and FDNY officers. These men and women, who had been on site from the time doors opened, had taken the opportunity to see what all the commotion was about. They were warmly greeted by media members, Made Events security and VIP goers, all of whom took the opportunity to ask for photos with their hats. Once their paparazzi were all satisfied, the officers decided to whip out their phones and transform into a concert goer themselves. In between snaps, they were getting down to Guetta’s beats and singing along to “Without You”.
10:00pm The end to day two commenced as Tiesto took the stage. As the lights dimmed, the chanting began, “Tiesto! Tiesto! Tiesto!” Boom! Tiesto took stage and everyone was in awe! As we were dancing, all of sudden Tiesto took hold of the mic and announced a very special guest - Hardwell! The roaring of the crowd was enough to make someone think they were in a real zoo! Managers, publicists and other DJs were all in the presence of Tiesto, none were unmoved by his set.
11:00pm Fireworks began to light up the stage and sky as we began to walk off in order to beat the crowd. But, being the lucky ducks that we are, we were able to meet Tiesto briefly as he walked off stage. Let’s just say I had to compose myself and not look like a serious fangirl. Finally, after being herded to the buses, which were a lot quicker than yesterday, we wearily walked to the subway after having another long day. Food businesses throughout 126th St were bustling with starving animals before they made their way back home.
Written by: Chelsea Gamarra & Brittany Drygas