Electric Zoo is arguably one of the best electronic dance festivals on the East Coast. In New York, at least, it is THE festival to attend if you love all things EDM. In the past, it’s been rivaled only by the presence of EDCNY—which was short-lived and certainly did not reach the production levels we’ve seen from Electric Zoo year over year.
Each year, it seems, the festival takes on a new form and evolves to become better than the year before – as any good festival should. However, unlike other large scale music festivals like EDCLV, which stays pretty consistent with their motif, Electric Zoo has had all sorts of themes starting in 2015 with “TRANSFORMED,” which boasted a much different look and feel than previous lineups while still maintaining the EZOO standard: an absolutely STACKED lineup.
Any veteran EZOO attendee knew that in the early days of Electric Zoo, you could almost always catch Kaskade, Eric Prydz, Skrillex (from Dogs Blood to his Jack Ü days), Above & Beyond, Alesso, Tiesto, Zedd, Deadmau5, Armin Van Buuren & so many more EDM OG’s. They have always stayed relevant with the times while making sure to infuse heavy hitters as well as emerging artists truly breaking through in the scene. It’s masterful, really.
The following year, in 2016, EZOO revealed their next theme: “Wild Island,” a year that introduced stage hosts and hosted a carefully curated stage by Anjunadeep, which at the time was one of the label’s biggest festival stage takeovers to date! From “undercards” like Yotto and Cubicolor who had just signed onto the label, to legends like Lane 8 & a live performance from Way Out West (Bristolian dance music mavericks Jody Wisternoff and Nick Warren), Anjuna really made sure to go deep & give the people what they wanted! Borgore also brought the heat that year with his BUYGORE stage, bringing on bass heavy acts like Getter, GTA, Valentino Khan & even adding Lil Dicky & Juicy J to turn up the vibe. 2016 could not complain!
In 2017 it was EZOO “6th Boro” where they began to tease the lineup by blurring out certain acts, and in 2018 they celebrated their 10 year anniversary with “The Big 10.” Event producers did not hold back that year with star-studded headliners like Marshmello, Martin Garrix, Alesso, Kaskade, Tiesto and Virtual Self and stage takeovers from Deadbeats, Brownies & Lemonade, Hypehouse x Nightbass, All My Friends & more! They also made some environmentally friendly additions to the festival, like partnering with Boxed Water is Better, introducing paper straws and having both Vegan and Vegetarian food options!
EZoo 2019 was “Evolved” and 2020 was “Supernaturals,” but it was canceled due to COVID-19 and rescheduled for Labor Day of 2021. Supernaturals – aside from Wild Island and this year's 3.0 futuristic/crypto motif – was probably my favorite branding/marketing/promo I've ever seen EZOO do.
I really loved how EZoo went above and beyond into otherworldly realms as they revealed different facets of their theme, “calling all cosmic creatures, astral aliens, intergalactic illusionists, supernatural wizards, shamans, witches, and extraterrestrial beings for a once-in-a-lifetime experience on Randalls Island, in the heart of New York City.” Call me biased because I’m a Scorpio born near Halloween, but the mystical motif made so much sense at the time and called for so much creativity on behalf of festival promoters as well as festival attendees!
This year is no different with the amount of creativity poured into the festival, however, Electric Zoo is blasting off into the future with all kinds of upgrades like never before, including their recently announced stage: “The Landing,” replacing and retiring the legendary Hilltop Arena!
These upgrades come as Electric Zoo was recently acquired by NYC’s Avant Gardner, which truly is at the forefront of Manhattan nightlife, owning legendary spaces such as the Brooklyn Mirage and venues like Kings Hall, Great Hall and Lost Circus, some of which will be hosting this year’s EZOO After Parties - a no-brainer of course! So it comes as no surprise that they would go all out this year with next-level stage hosts like Confession, Bite This!, Carl Cox Presents & Odyzey.
There are afterparties you’re not going to want to miss this year, like Martin Garrix at the Brooklyn Mirage, Afrojack at Marquee and, closing out the weekend at one of Brooklyn’s best venues, isSuperior Ingredients. At this event you'll have house & tech house OG: Loco Dice, who will be playing Monday as well as at Carl Cox’s stage on Sunday!
From artists to fashion, to food, sustainability, and especially the art they feature throughout the festival, Electric Zoo continues to bridge gaps and drop jaws as they make strides to expand and revolutionize the music festival game on the East Coast and throughout the world!
Which set are you most excited about? Let us know if the comments and don’t forget to tag us @iheartraves !