A rumble in the concrete jungle — Electric Zoo 3.0 shook the streets of Manhattan as thousands of tri-state ravers marched through the bridges and subways of NYC to arrive at Randall’s Island this Labor Day weekend. It was my first NY/East Coast music festival since EDCNY 2016. I wasn’t sure what to expect but was super excited to check out all the stage upgrades and performances from some of my favorite artists I’d never seen. Some of the artists I was most excited to see? DJ Snake, Moore Kismet, Will Clarke, Chris Lake, Jauz, Camelphat but more than anything, I knew I'd basically be camping out at Tchami’s Confession Stage Takeover.
Electric Zoo is known for having artists’ labels take over entire stages, in past years they’ve had Nightbass, Ophelia Records, Anjunabeats, Deadbeats, Pryda Arena & so many other incredible takeovers but this year the one I was most excited about was Confession. Confession took over the recently renamed & revamped Landing Stage (formerly known as the Hillside Arena) with one of the most stacked rosters if you’re a house head like me. Starting the day off we had Capozzi, the only female DJ/Producer on the Confession lineup, who’s been stirring up the tech/house space with her unique look and sound – bringing the matrix to life with her all black ensemble and futuristic visuals. Next up we had Taiki Nulight, bringing that UK sound to the big apple with UKG and heavy-house bangers to warm the decks up as the sun began to set for BIJOU.
The crowd was elated and had good vibes as BIJOU went back2back banger after banger with Originals, IDS & house favorites from Bleu Clair & Pop Smoke. Next up was Croatian-born DJ/Producer on the rise: Matroda. Playing his first EZOO set, Matroda lit the stage and the crowd up with his one-of-a-kind Matrodasound, which had the crowd going absolutely mad. The most beautiful moon sat behind the landing stage as Wax Motif walked up and hugged Matroda before starting his set as his loyal Wax Gang awaited anxiously and patiently to throw their W’s up for the legend himself. Wax Motif did NOT disappoint, as pyrotechnics and 808’s brought the nightlife vibes to The Landing stage at approx. 7:30PM – a true vision with the AI assisted visuals that EZOO upgraded their stages with this year. I did make sure to bounce over to Netsky, Of The Trees, Jason Ross and Slander before heading back for Malaa, and ending the night with Tchami before getting my phone stolen! Highly recommend that everyone keep their phone in a fanny pack in front of them where they can see it at all times because you just never know!
Bouncing from backstage to pockets of shuffle circles in and around the landing, there was never a dull moment to be found at the Confession stage. What I really loved about this stage was that there were a few trees that lead into the groovy house grove, plenty of places to sit and enjoy food from the nearby vendors and no soundbleed from the neighbouring Levitron Stage, which hosted the likes of Gem + Tauri, Ilan Bluestone, Jason Ross, Abraxis, Lab Group and the entire Odyzey takeover on Day 3 curated by Clozee.
There truly was a little bit of everything for all tastes of EDM subgenres, which in my opinion was curated really well – from their stages and stage hosts to the food and layout to the artists playing each stage. I can’t deny that aside from The Landing, I was really stuck at Main Stage for John Summit, Surf Mesa, Chris Lake, DJ Snake, Gorgon City, Joel Corry, and Ship Wrek – I mean if you were at mainstage you were not wrong and in fact you were simply being engulfed in both lazers and some of the most electric vibes.
This year’s EZOO was also cashless, so in order to purchase any drinks, food or merch, you’d have to reload your bracelet with money at one of their booths throughout the festival – not the worst thing and the food was definitely worth it – shout out to Capuano’s pizza because that pizza and lemonade combo just HIT.
Traveling to and from the festival is also fairly easy depending on where you’re coming in from. If you drive, keep in mind that there is no parking on Randall’s Island, so you’ll have to check what the nearest area you can park in is which depends on where you’re coming from but Astoria worked really well for us. From there, you can either take a taxi to the island or walk, however make sure to check to see how far the walk is and if it’s worth it for you. I mention this because on the first day I took the train up from Penn Station and I almost made the mistake of walking 59 minutes (which is many miles) to the festival from the 125th Street subway stop in Harlem. It may work for some, but I wanted to conserve my energy and not wear myself out in the sun or tire my feet out so early into the day.
Make sure to drink plenty of water and bring sunscreen, as the weather certainly rose into the high 80’s both days that I attended – by day 3 the festival goers caught some clouds and light rain. Overall the production was fantastic, the fashion, food and vibes New York brought were next level. Not to mention the views of the Manhattan skyline next to a majestic main stage blasting the kind of music that just captures your heart and soul and makes you pause to admire everything that it took to put this production together and how lucky you are to be standing there – my favorite kind of music and my favorite kind of feeling.Curious about attending next year? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Ezoo!