Jason is a member of ReverbNation’s Live group in New York City, and is our in-house photographer. In addition to working in the industry, Jason is also a musician and performs under the name, “The Dharma Body.”
I’m going to start off this post by being bluntly honest: I don’t know much about Electronic Dance Music. When it comes to Rock, I pride myself in my knowledge and ability to be in the loop about anything and everything Rock-related; I probably know more about some bands’ histories than I know about my own family’s genealogy. Put an artist lineup from an Electronic music festival in front of me, though, and I feel like a middle aged father who is trying to bond with his totally “hip” son; “Which one of these guys does the cool thing with the bass?” That’s exactly how I felt this past weekend when I arrived at New York City’s largest Electronic Music Festival: Electric Zoo.
Held every Labor day weekend on Randall’s Island, Electric Zoo has become one of the most talked about Electronic festivals in the country. This year boasted the biggest turnout yet, with 110,000 fans attending the festival over its three day duration. Being an avid show goer, I thought that covering Electric Zoo would be like any other festival. I would watch some great music, take some photos, chat with some fans, and that would be it. What I experienced over the following three days proved to me that Electronic music festivals are in a league of their own, and can only be described as something you have to see to believe.
The first snares and bass beats that echoed from the festival’s main stage when the gates opened on Friday morning came from Julien Loreto, a DJ who was chosen to perform at the festival via ReverbNation’s Opportunity Submission platform. Fans wasted no time getting down to business and dancing their hearts out to Loreto’s fantastic set. “It was my first time DJing at Electric Zoo and it was an honor to perform at such a world class festival,” Loreto said of his experience. “The hospitality was great, and the sound and visuals at all stages were fantastic. There were DJs and performances for all EDM tastes, and a super crowd!”
By mid-afternoon, Randall’s Island was packed with fans that were eager for a weekend of good music, a great time, and non-stop dance parties. Their excitement and enthusiasm over the course of the weekend was immensely palpable, and the eclectic group of DJs, ranging from Dillon Francis to Above & Beyond, fueled the fire with mind-bending light shows, confetti, pyrotechnics and everything in between. The energy from the crowd reached an all time high on Sunday evening when Skrillex took the stage, signaling the end of this year’s Electric Zoo, and leaving the crowd with a euphoric sense of closure to their summer and to a fantastic music festival season on Randall’s Island.
Electric Zoo taught me a lot about the Electronic genre and, honestly, music as a whole. When it comes down to it, the names on a festival artist lineup are just that; names. Sure we have our favorites, our must-sees, our can’t-do-withouts, but festivals are all about exploration and discovery. For me, Electric Zoo was uncharted territory; a plethora of opportunities for new experiences and appreciation of a genre I knew so little about.
I came to the festival confused and skeptical. I left a converted believer.
For more information on ReverbNation’s performance opportunity with Electric Zoo 2012 click here!