The end of summer has arrived and with it, New York City’s largest electronic dance music festival of the year. Electric Zoo is in its 9th incarnation, branded as “The 6th Boro” and features headliners that include the likes of DJ Snake, Above and Beyond, DeadMau5 and Eric Prydz.
Entering the festival was a breeze with line waits that didn’t take more than ten minutes. Despite the weather being on the cooler end, there were festival-goers in sleeveless outfits, swimwear and more. For them, there’s still a little of summer left to be enjoyed and 60-70 degree weather won’t deter them from that.
At the Hilltop Stage, also known as the “Dada Life Compound” on day one (more on that later), French DJ Martin Solveig played for a crowd that could not stop shuffling to his set. The energy from his music unfortunately could not be contained to just dancing. There was an altercation that occurred between two attendees that led to a fistfight.
At the same time, on the main stage was Canadian DJ Snails. The crowd let everything go on the floor to his set. One could not walk around without the risk of getting hit by a literal head banger. There was a sense of small mosh-pits forming around that never fully developed into a full-blown shoving match. Snails however did drop “Let The Bodies Hit The Floor,” and the crowd started throwing beer on one-another in excitement.
After Martin Solveig, the stage became the Dada Life Compound. The Hilltop Stage itself was created to invoke the feeling of the New York City Subway. Entering the tent was similar to walking underground at a station. The entire festival actually lived up to being called “The 6th Boro” with installations and decorations that celebrated the city.
However, what differentiated the Dada Life Compound on day one were the insane amounts of inflatable Bananas and Champagne bottles. Many lucky fans even got their own inflatable to shake and jump with as Dada Life came on stage and threw a party in the pseudo underground subway station.
The next crowd favorite on the lineup was Seven Lions. Fans in the crowd kept yelling to each other all the “feels” they were getting. With all the “feels” in the air, one couple gave everyone a reason to really cheer. A man proposed to his significant other and she said yes. The entire right side cheered as the couple embraced one another during Seven Lions’ set.
Back at the Hilltop Stage, Don Diablo took the stage after the Dada Life party was over. Don Diablo is a personal favorite and he did not disappoint with his bouncy house vibes that made everybody in the crowd dance. He played some of his recent hits “Chemicals” and “What We Started” but what really got the energy levels up was his classic “AnyTime” [sic] an anthem for the house genre.
The two must not miss acts of the night were Galantis and DJ Snake over at the main stage.
If there’s one thing that differentiates the crowd at Galantis than other acts of the night is that everybody knows all the lyrics to Galantis’ songs. It was like a large unified karaoke session as Galantis played their songs like “No Money” and “Peanut Butter Jelly.” The DJ Duo also played remixes of popular songs such as Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” and Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You.” Galantis then stopped the music and told the crowd they have one question for everyone. The question was “Are you ready to runaway?” They then played their biggest hit “Runaway” to close out their set.
Once their set ended, the final act of the night was the legendary DJ Snake. He came onto stage wearing a bright yellow jacket. During his set he made everybody crouch down and jump up as he played the drop for “Get Low.” It’s something his other partner on the song (Dillon Francis) also loves to do. He also took the time to ask the crowd to give off good vibes for the people in Houston dealing with the hurricane and flooding. Overall, DJ Snake did a great job of knowing when to interact with the crowd and marrying electronic songs with popular rap songs, as he played Kendrick Lamar’s “Humble.”
Although day one of Electric Zoo is complete, the chattering heard among the festival-goers have a single collective thought: day two and day three lineups are more stacked and this was just the warm-up.