Planning for festivals is a lot of work, and nobody likes work. Sure, you could read through 16 different Reddit threads to figure out what to wear, how to get there, if it’s worth it to splurge for VIP, and whatever else you need to know, or you could just check out the Betches festival guide.
At this point, I figured I would do something useful with my knowledge of music festivals, so I decided to start a series of guides. You are welcome. I’m starting off our festival guide series with one of my favorite festivals, and one that I go to yearly even though I am, as they say, pushing 30: Electric Zoo, Ezoo for the
lazy initiated. Taking place during Labor Day weekend on Randall’s Island, this electronic festival is a fun send-off to the summer that’s easy to get to and even easier to navigate. *Looks to the camera* *Waves to the viewers* Let’s go.
How To Get There
If you don’t live in New York and haven’t figured out how you’re getting to Ezoo yet, god help you. Assuming you’re not within driving distance, which will take care of things, you’ll want to fly to LaGuardia because
I’m biased it’s probably easier to get to the areas you’ll want to be staying. But if you cop a deal out of JFK or Newark, then do you. As far as actually getting to the festival, you are likely going to be walking there over the RFK bridge. You can also Uber/Lyft to the festival (highly recommend so you can save your engery/feet), but you can’t Uber out. Ubers literally will not pick up from Randall’s Island (or at least, they didn’t last year), so you’re going to be either walking back or taking one of the shuttles Ezoo has. Plan accordingly!
Where To Stay
Ezoo is not a camping festival and does not offer the option, so you’ll need to reserve some sort of accommodations in advance. Remember all your friends in Harlem and/or Queens who you made fun of for being broke? Yep, it will be time to hit those people up for a couch or half their full-size mattress! That’s becaues Ezoo is on Randall’s Island, an Island between Queens, and uptown Manhattan/Harlem that is within walking distance from both those locations. (As long as you are a little loose on your definition of “walking distance.”) If you don’t have friends with a free place to stay, you could try to Airbnb in one of those areas I mentioned, or just stay literally anywhere in any hotel you find. The subway system is extensive and you’ll be able to get uptown from wherever you are, but sticking to the east side will be easier because getting crosstown, especially on weekends, is a huge bitch.
What To Wear
Ezoo is electronic music, which means this is the weekend to bust out your full raver girl attire. The great thing about this is that you can wear literally anything in the world you want and nobody is going to look at you sideways and you won’t feel out of place. You could wear a bra, a thong, and fishnets. You could just wear pasties. It truly does not matter, just bring some glitter and throw on some fun makeup. Unlike other festivals, nobody cares what you’re wearing.
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See? Pretty normal summer attire.
Above all, though, wear something COMFORTABLE. You’re likely going to be walking 20-30 minutes across a bridge to get to the festival, so this is not the time to wear your giant platform boots with the heel (not like any festival would be the time for that, but this one especially). Also, New York weather circa Labor Day is a fickle bitch, so plan appropriately. It could be 90 degrees and sunny af. It could pour on you. Both things happened to me last year alone. Whatever your outfit is, make sure it incorporates good walking shoes, and bring a poncho just in case.
What Ticket To Buy
At this point, a 3-day GA ticket costs $300, and a VIP ticket costs literally double that. According to the website, VIP gets you admission (duh), plus a faster-moving VIP line at check-in. You’ll also get “Premium views, private VIP flush toilets, shaded chill out area with seating, full VIP cash liquor bars, complimentary cell phone recharge stations, and complimentary passed hors d’oeuvres.” Now, is it worth it? Maybe. I’ve personally never had a huge issue with the non-VIP port-a-potties, however, seating is a real issue. There’s basically one small hill where you can park your butt without getting stepped on, and that’s it. There are other areas where you can charge your phone for free, like the T-mobile activation. Also, it’s 2019, buy a mobile charger.
There’s also a “Platinum VIP” option, which gets you more of the same, plus “Exclusive Platinum Only Premium views,” whatever that means. That option costs $949, and there’s no mention of any cash bar. If I’m dropping close to a grand on a festival, you better give me as much free Casamigos as I can legally drink, and you better make that known in advance.
Personally? Unless you are very picky regarding crowds and bathrooms, I would just rock with GA. You’re literally spending double the price for basically some passed hors d’oeuvres that they are probably going to run out of in the first hour after the festival doors open.
“Ew, Ezoo? Isn’t that for 16-year-olds?” everyone says to me when I tell them I’m going there. I’ve been 3 times so far, and frankly, no. The crowd is actually older than you’d expect. I have never once looked around at my fellow festivalgoers and said, either aloud or to myself, “Ugh. The children.” You know where I have said that? Gov Ball, Coachella, The Meadows (RIP). Also? The vibe is way more chill than that of other festivals. Think less pushing and overall dickishness. People tend to respect other people and their space. Sure, if you’re trying to get to the front at Bassnectar 10 minutes after he already started, you are going to get some pushback. But as far as festivals go, the people here are generally pretty nice and chill.
Regarding the crowds… yeah. Friday is typically a dream and you can walk around freely. Saturday, you’ll see a noticeable increase in festivalgoers. By Sunday, it will be nearly impossible to move from stage to stage. Enjoy Friday as much as you can, and be sure to budget enough time in between sets to navigate through the crowds. And get there early because there WILL be a line to get in.
It honestly varies from year to year. The year the theme of the festival was The 6th Boro, everything was animal themed (why? don’t ask…) and the main stage was a giant elephant. That was really f*cking cool. The year before that, it was a cobra. Last year, for the 10th anniversary, it was just… a big sound wave, sort of. That was a bit of a letdown tbh. Truthfully, the theme of Ezoo every year should be animals, and I’m hoping they bring back the animal stages. Last year, Sunday School Grove also sponsored a jungle themed stage, which I never made it to but it looked awesome.
Okay, literally as I was writing this, Ezoo released a photo of this year’s main stage, which looks sick.
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Sneak peek for next week ? This is our tallest & widest mainstage ever — an evolved, futuristic, 3-D, fire-shooting New York City skyline stage set to tower over Randall’s Island ? If you still weren’t sure about coming next weekend, checkmate. ? → electriczoo.com/tickets
Who To See
The 2019 lineup boasts big names like Eric Prydz, Diplo, Kaskade, Above & Beyond, Zedd, Armin Van Buuren, Alison Wonderland, Skrillex & Boys Noize, and a f*ckton more. Here are a few of my other personal recommendations:
Excision: If you’re into some harder sh*t with more music/noises than words
NGHTMRE B2B Slander; 4B; Getter: If you want to hear your favorite music on the radio right now, but like, trappy.
Boogie T b2b Squnto: If you want some fun groovy music that will make you want to dance
Flux Pavilion: If you want dubstep
Seven Lions: If you want trance/melodic dubstep/if you don’t know what that means, it’s a little more chill than most of the other stuff I’ve listed above.
GTA: If you want house/trap/hip-hop
Don’t want to listen to me? That’s fine, Ezoo made a Spotify playlist with songs from the 2019 artists.
Other Things To Do
While there are a few art installations and activations, there’s not a whole lot to do other than see acts. Space on Randall’s Island is kind of limited, so there’s room for the stages and tents, plus food and drinks, and a few pieces of art. Last year they had a fun makeup/glitter station, and apparently giant Jenga. Like, there’s stuff to do if you’re looking for it, but people are mostly there for the music and not the Instagrams.
That being said, they have afterparties and, while I’ve never been to one because I’ve been too tired, the lineups are sick. Acts include Borgore and Shaq (among others, and YES, that Shaq), Eric Prydz, R3HAB, and a lot more. It’s worth staying up for.
Overall, Ezoo is the best/only? electronic festival in New York, and it’s one of the more manageable festivals that exist. If electronic music is your sh*t, you should consider going. If you hate that stuff, don’t go. You won’t like it.
Images: electriczoo / Instagram; aLIVE Coverage (4)
You probably know Alan Walker from his 2015 banger “Faded”, but the Norwegian-British DJ has been far from a one-hit wonder. This year, Walker became the number one YouTuber in Norway with 15 million subscribers. He also just turned 21, so like, he can have a drink now I guess. He’s way more famous than me even though I’m six years older than him… it’s fine, I’m fine. We sat down with Alan after his Electric Zoo 2018 performance to hear about turning 21, his musical inspirations and who “Alan Walker” really is.
Betches: You just celebrated a birthday right? 21?
I feel like in America 21st birthday is a huge deal but for you it’s probably not.
Well, for here, I think the biggest deal is that you can finally drink. And, in Norway, we can do that since we were 18, so. But, it’s cool knowing that I can play at the casino, I won’t get thrown out.
Some casinos are 18, some, not all…are you a big gambler?
No, no but when I went to play, they let me in when the show starts, but they kick you out when you’re done with the show.
So, we really enjoyed your set, we loved the Pirates of the Caribbean. So I read that you are a fan of Hans Zimmer, so what’s your favorite movie score of his?
How do you feel about John Williams, cause I’m more of a John William’s fan to be honest
Well I think that like, I’ve got a bunch of his music in my playlist as well. He also did Jurassic Park. He’s a classic.
I felt like your songs, the lyrics are kind of dark, but the melody is upbeat—so what’s that like when you’re creating these two things that are sort of opposite?
Well, I always like to produce melancholic songs and sometimes even though the lyrics can be dark it doesn’t really matter. If the lyrics are just dark, you don’t necessarily have to make something that sounds as dark as the lyrics. And if you can make something that sounds happier, then it changes the whole vibe of the song. For example, a dark sound could make it sound very dark. And it sounds very happy now when it comes to the drop, so that’s kind of like the highlight of the song, to make it more positive.
And how involved are you in the visuals?
For my songs, usually music videos, we really have one guy that’s been directing every music video that we’re doing like I don’t know, the last four or five music videos we put out. Then, it’s going to have like a red line that’s like, a life story that goes through all the music videos, which I feel like is kind of important so it’s not completely random. At the end of the day, it’ll be more like you’re watching a TV series but it’s music videos.
Ifeel like you as a person, you’re a little bit of an enigma. I actually really want to know what your day-to-day life is like.
By enigma do you mean like a machine?
Like, you’re a mystery. Like, ‘we know about his music but what is he like?’ Like on your social media you post about your songs, you don’t Tweet out your thoughts and your jokes and stuff.
You don’t necessarily have to front yourself. Like, I want to front Alan Walker the artist, not necessarily myself. I think I’m able to do that, so it’s different, it’s unique; it’s different from what everyone else is doing and that’s why I’m attracting so many people to come like find out and be like who really is that guy?
How do you think Alan Walker the person differs from the artist?
Alan Walker as a person does not like to be on stage. When I used to go to school, I hated being on stage. I was like the guy who got so shaken up, holding a piece of paper and super nervous. It’s very different when you’re there to come out and play, because you’re prepared to speak to and play music and I don’t have to speak to them too much. I just say like, “one two one two three drop” and then the crowd is happy.
So what do you do before you get on stage to calm yourself down?
Now it’s become a habit. I’ve been touring for the past three years now, so I’m like, never nervous anymore. So, it was only at the very beginning, the fear of being in front of a huge crowd and knowing that everyone is looking at you. It’s weird, but at the same time, you overcome it. It’s kind of like you start to let it be a job and you get used to it.
I do feel like even though you are super famous, you’re also sort of a regular guy. You’re really into gaming, I know nothing about gaming, all I know is Fortnite, do you play that?
Who do you surround yourself with when you’re out on tour?
My best friends, my tour manager, my crew.
Do you enjoy touring?
I do, I really do. The fact that I can travel around the world and experience so many different cultures, so many different people, I get to see weird but cool stuff.
So tell us about the mask.
My mask is there because, it’s not necessarily because I want to hide myself, it’s more to show a symbol of community and that anyone can be a Walker. It’s just a hoodie and a mask, so hoodie and the mask are actually inspired by Mr. Robot’s. Anonymous, like on the video game “Watch Dogs”.
I was going to say that the mask and the hoodie make you a little more recognizable because you’re always with it.
Like, I can go around without and people wouldn’t recognize me. It’s pretty fun. Like last year at Tomorrowland and this year at Tomorrowland as well, I just went around the crowd. But like last year there were so many of my friends there in the same weekend as I played and we just went into the crowd, had a good time. I was actually in the crowd, in the middle of everything at the main stage just with my friends having a good time. It was so fun.
Do you keep in touch with your friends when you’re on tour a lot?
Yeah, I keep up with them on Snapchat and talk to them on Facebook and sometimes Facetime them. It’s kind of like, just letting them know I’m still there.
And what’s that like for them to have a friend that’s like this huge name?
Oh, I don’t know. Like my closest friends don’t really care.
What is your favorite song you’ve produced?
I would say “Fade”, the one before “Faded”.
I also feel like a lot of your songs are really personal, is there one that’s particularly personal to you or is that also Fade?
Well, “Fade” is pretty personal because I was sixteen, pulling it together putting emotion into it.
I sense a lot of love motifs, is that accurate?
Not anyone in particular? Just your feelings?
I just like to make music that makes me feel happy and feels good and if I make a melody, that makes me feel like better about myself, so it feels naturally good.
Images: Rikkard Häggbom
Known for pushing the boundaries of EDM, Dutch guitarist, DJ, and producer, San Holo has taken his taken his musical talents internationally. Live instruments combined with his electric sound have made him one to watch. His debut album, album1, is set to release on September 21, but we caught up with him at Electric Zoo 2018 to learn about his musical background, how his stage name came to be, and more. We started off the interview asking him about Dutch people and how he thinks they differ from Americans.
San Holo: I do feel like we are very much with two feet in the ground, like very sober… Americans are more like “OH MY GOD” and Dutch people are more like “Okay, cool.”
Betches: So you don’t think Americans are straightforward?
Well, I do, to a certain degree. Americans would also be like, “Oh my God I loved your set” and just not love it at all. And if Dutch people don’t like something they’ll be like “eh, it was okay, not really my thing”.
I really did like your set though, I loved how you came out and played the guitar.
Yeah, I’m bringing more live instruments into my electronic music, to kind of make it more organic, lively and colorful.
And you are a really talented musician, do you feel like people underestimate your talent because you’re a DJ?
I don’t think that people are underestimating me, but I think there’s like a prejudice about DJ’s like that they’re just pressing buttons and not making anything. Which is very common, which I understand because there’s obviously a lot of stuff out there, I don’t know if I should talk about it, but there are plenty of DJ’s who don’t make there own stuff you know? There are plenty of DJ’s that are just their brand, and they just press play. But I think there’s this new wave of producers that are very invested in making their own music and making their own sounds and making their own style, that I think is very respectable.
Is there someone that you’re particularly influenced by?
Most of the time I don’t listen to electronic music at all, I don’t listen to EDM in my spare time, I listen to bands like Bon Iver, Sigur Rós, Explosions in the Sky, very like indie bands that inspire me. I take those sounds and put them in my electronic productions. But, I think there are some great musicians out there in the EDM world like Porter Robinson, Jai Wolf—to me they bring musicality and cords and melodies back into the music, you know? There’s so much EDM out there, there’s like very dark, dark… how do I say that without sounding like a d*ck?
It’s okay if you sound like a d*ck, it’s kind of our personal brand.
There’s so much trap sh*t out there that just sounds like one note all the time, like dark. And there’s this new era coming out with people who have musical skills doing that sound with cords and melodies. I think melodies will win in the end. Melodies and songs will stay, will last.
I feel like you can kind of tell also when someone has a music education behind them.
Well the thing is… I know some uneducated people that make the most beautiful, colorful music I’ve ever heard, but I think in the end the songs and the songwriting, a vision, will last longer than just releasing bangers with crazy sounds.
I feel like your music, every time I listen to it, I feel uplifted.
That’s great, that’s great, yeah! I wouldn’t want to make music that would make you feel very dark and depressed. I want to make music that makes you feel alive and hopeful, and you know, motivated.
And I do feel like I got that also in your new song that came out today.
“brighter days,” yeah. That’s one of my more uplifting songs I think. It’s a very danceable hopeful song.
And how did you get linked up with Bipolar Sunshine?
We met at Coachella, he was, I think he was doing a guest performance with Petit Biscuit and he just came to my trailer and we talked. Then next week I was in LA in an Airbnb that I wrote the entire album in. I rented this Airbnb for half a year and just locked myself up in the Airbnb. He came by and we wrote the song in like two days. And we recorded it in the kitchen and we literally just had a laptop, two speakers and a microphone and made the entire album with that. No expensive stuff, no super hi-fi studio. Just a room with a laptop and a microphone.
We recorded that song, and ever since I heard his voice on the song I felt like it was something special. I think his voice is so unique; it’s so imperfect that it’s perfect to me. He’s not the best singer I’ve ever heard, but that’s the beauty of it. His voice has so much character.
That’s really cool. And Coachella, you were there this past year?
Yes, I played Coachella, both weekends and it was life changing to play there. Crazy to see my name on that flyer with like Beyoncé. I was like wow, is this like a thing? I’m playing these shows right now… Coachella was definitely one of the highlights of my career or life right now.
I feel like I’ve seen you on the bill at a lot of festivals, I went to like Shaky Beats in Atlanta and saw you there.
Oh my God, Shaky Beats is one of my favorites, to be honest, I didn’t know you’d know that.
I was there, it was like my first time and I loved it.
Yeah, I didn’t mention that because it’s kind of a smaller thing, not as big as Coachella, but like Shaky Beats was sick right? Where was it again?
Oh Atlanta, ATL Hoe. First time I played in Atlanta and people started saying “ATL Hoe” I stopped the music and was listening like, what are they saying? Like, I’m from Holland, what the f*ck? But Atlanta was sick. I loved it.
Yeah, I feel like you had a pretty fast rise to fame. It seems like you blew up really quick.
I think so yeah. I was a guitar teacher for seven years before this started. I taught guitar to everyone, like kids and adults for like four days a week, and whenever I got back home I’d work on my own music. I just think, I spent a lot of time working, whether it was guitar lessons or my own music. Maybe to you it felt like a fast come-up, but for me, I put a lot of work into this already, before you ever heard of me.
So speaking of your guitar, I read on Twitter that your guitar keeps getting lost on airplanes? What’s that about?
Yeah! I don’t know, especially in Europe for some reason. I have to check them in at the bulky luggage, the bigger luggage. For some reason they always mess it up, then I’m there without a guitar and I have to rent another guitar. But in America, it’s been great—actually in most places I can take my guitar, I put it in the lockers or the closet and they’re like okay, it’s fine. So that’s what I really appreciate about America, you respect artists on planes more than Europe does.
I also read that you really enjoy birds.
Birds? Oh my God, birds. I told people two years ago birds are the new cats. Birds are the new everything. Now you have to follow some birds on Instagram, Alex the Honking Bird is beautiful. I love birds, also because of my label, bitbird. There’s no animals that are cuter than birds.
Is there a specific type of bird you like the most?
Yes, I love Cockatiels with the little like, I don’t know what it’s called, the feathers. Also I like Gouldain Finches, they’re beautiful.
That’s awesome. Also, I wanted to talk about your name and the inspo. Was it meant to be a Han Solo pun?
So, five years ago I was making beats with my friends, I was doing Dutch hip-hop, and they were like Sander van Dijck, you need a cooler artist name. What about San Holo, and everyone started laughing and I was like okay, San Holo, it kind of has a ring to it let’s go with that. It just blew up, all of this blew up and I was like, I’m stuck with San Holo. At first I was scared people wouldn’t take my music seriously, but I think they do. I think it grew past the funny meme thing like now it’s a real thing. We actually own the name in America, San Holo.
So are you a big Star Wars fan or not really?
Well, I think every kid my age kind of had something to do with Star Wars, I think everyone owned Star Wars Lego or like you know, everyone has action figures. It’s not like I’m the biggest Star Wars fan, like not like I’m watching the movies every week but yeah, I think it’s a big part of my childhood definitely.
My final question is: what’s your favorite meme right now? Cause you put this picture on Twitter and you’re like “caption this” and I saw all these crazy Photoshops, so I was like okay, this guy likes memes.
It’s just very inspiring to see what the internet can do with a plain picture. You can literally just upload any picture and ask people to caption or meme it, and what comes out of it can be so funny. Like sometimes I try to think of something funny and I can’t think of anything funny and I post a picture, like “make this funny” and people will turn it into something hilarious that I never thought about. I think that’s the beauty of the internet. There’s just so much creativity out there.
People that are able to make a plain picture into something funny are very talented I think because, in the end, I think humor is one of the biggest things. Like humor and funny things is what drives people the most, things that make people smile and happy is what for some reason people love. I notice on my Instagram whenever I post a serious thing people are like oh, cool, but whenever I post something stupid and funny, people go all over the place. I think it’s maybe because life is so hard sometimes; people just want to see things that make them happy.
Experience San Holo for yourself as he starts his 35 show North American tour on October 31!
If you’re any sort of EDM fan, you’re probably well aware of Alesso’s music. For the past decade, he’s been one of the top dance music DJs and producers, headlining festivals and clubs around the world. His songs are iconic, but who is the Swedish DJ behind the music? We caught up with Alesso at Electric Zoo 2018, and asked him some of our most hard-hitting questions about his creative process, his new single “Remedy”, and life in general.
Betches: I really like your new single “Remedy.” What was your inspiration behind it?
Alesso: When I make music, I don’t have like, crazy ideas going on. I just start working on ideas and sometimes you get sent ideas. In this case, I was sent this idea, like a very rough demo of “Remedy.” I listened to it, and that rarely happens that someone sends me something and I like it. I’ve never worked with these guys before, and I was just like, “wait, I think I can do something great with this.” I was working on it in Mykonos. The more I worked on it, the more I felt like it was the right song for me to put out next. ‘Cause I’ve been working on so many songs the last six months, going back and forth which one would be my next single, and when I finished this one, which was literally like a month ago, I was like “wait, this is the one.” It’s a very melodic, melancholic song… I’ve been saying that it feels like a song you listen to when the summer is ending. Like, you had a great summer, but you’re sad about it too.
I feel like a lot of DJs nowadays are sort of anonymous, they hide behind a mask or a helmet, but it doesn’t seem like you’ve ever really chosen to hide your identity. Why?
Well personally, I just feel like they do that for branding. Maybe some are uncomfortable showing their face. But I don’t really have that much to say… It’s a brand.
I wanted to talk a little bit about your planning process when you start a song.
It’s different every time. Like I said, sometimes it’s just me playing around with a laptop and keyboard, and sometimes I have an idea and I walk into the studio, and sometimes I write with these songwriters and they have certain style; it’s different every time. I always try to keep it focused.
I think it’s really interesting that you’ve been around for like, forever, but you’ve only released one full album. What’s the decision behind that?
I think releasing albums is important, but you don’t have to necessarily do that to show people what you represent. I’m working on an album right now, so hopefully it will be released, but after my first album, I was kind of deciding where I wanted to go with my music, because I don’t want to repeat myself. I need to keep things interesting or I’ll get bored. My team and I, we said we all agree I have an album, but anything could happen. Sometimes you get cold feet… but I think what’s important for my next album is that it’s a project, not just a bunch of songs that are put together.
How do you see it being different from your previous work?
I think that the difference is going to be not necessarily festival music, because my last album was very based on what’s happening on the stage. I feel like now the older I get, the more relationships I have with people, I feel like the music is inspiring me and coming out in another way. And I want people when they hear my music to think “this is different,” but hopefully in a good way. Still dance music, but I want to evolve.
Finally, you have great hair. I really want to know what hair products you use.
The secret is genetic. Both my mom and dad have great hair, so I think I was blessed with that. I think there’s a few tricks. Like when it’s this humid, I can’t wear my hair out, it will get crazy. I use this brand called Maria Nila, it’s all like, vegan stuff, like no bad chemicals or anything like that. And coconut oil, I use that too.
Check out Alesso’s new single, “Remedy” on Spotify.
Image: Harrison Boyce
Friends, family, animals. Electric Zoo 2018 is upon us, and the lineup is honestly so f*cking good that it’s a little overwhelming. It’s about time to start planning out your weekend, lest you miss somebody really awesome because you forgot their set time. I mean, Randall’s Island may not be a farm out in the middle of nowhere, but there are still plenty of stages. Speaking from experience, it’s easy to get a little lost, especially on your first day. Obviously you’re going to see Tiësto, Marshmello, Virtual Self, and all the big hitters. But, in my opinion, the best part of festivals like Ezoo is discovering new artists. So we asked Cray, LA-based producer, DJ, singer, and Ezoo 2018 performer, for her top five must-see acts at Ezoo.
And, by the way, if you’re attending, you should definitely stop by Cray’s set on Sunday. She’s being a little humble by not including herself on here. If it were me, I would be like, “Yeah f*cking duh, you should attend my performance.” For those of you who don’t know, Cray has performed at HARD Summer and toured alongside Skrillex. She’s pretty f*cking cool. Her newest single, “Peaches”, is a genre-defying energy boost, and a lot of her songs have been described as bangers that don’t fit neatly into one specific genre. I feel like that means the odds are, you’ll like something she’s put out. So in addition to Cray, here are other must-see acts at Ezoo this year. And if you haven’t bought your Ezoo tickets yet, what are you doing?! Buy them here!
Images: Aditya Chinchure / Unsplash
Last weekend The Betches took over Electric Zoo on Randall’s Island. Perhaps you saw us on their Instagram story or just generally
balling hanging out? IDK. Regardless, we’re here for our usual post-event recap. Here’s the best, the worst, and everything you missed. BTW, EZoo is returning for their 10th anniversary next year (fuck, I’m old), so start planning now so you don’t miss out again.
The Music. Fucking duh. There were so many amazing acts, so brace yourself. We randomly wandered over to Slander and it was lit. Ok you know what I’m not going to sit here and be like “this person was great. That person was amazing” because there aren’t that many adjectives in the English language. So here’s our non-complete list of favorites: Ookay, Armin Van Buuren, Ghastly, Rezz, NGHTMRE, Jauz, Yellowclaw, Galantis, Seven Lions, Snails, Alan Walker, Above & Beyond, Slushii…okay I realize I’m basically listing the entire lineup. Whoops. Obviously you go to festivals for the lineup, and EZoo’s lineup never disappoints. There’s always so much going on, and something for everybody. Or at least, that’s what I’m told. I don’t really have that varied of music taste. Persecute me.
The Stages: The stages this year were really awesome. There was the Bollywood themed Elrow stage, the main stage looked like a giant elephant surrounded by a mini NYC skyline, one of the tents was decorated like the subway which gave me PTSD-like flashbacks to my morning commute delays but was overall cool. Once again, EZoo did a great job of making you feel like you were on a remote location in the woods somewhere even when you were in the middle of a city and could see the Costco on 117th street from the media tent.
The Food: I ate a total of one (1) meal at EZoo, which is more than I usually eat at these things #FestivalDiet. I had a sushi burrito, and it was good. No complaints. The line wasn’t long, it wasn’t absurdly expensive, it was solid. Did I love the cashless system? No. What’s the point of waiting on a line to put money on my wristband with my credit card when I could just use my credit card? I don’t know. But at least this year they didn’t have that ridiculous EZ Bucks conversion system. Me last year trying to figure out how much money shit actually cost in real money:
The Lounges: It’s always nice to be able to retreat to somewhere a little more private that serves hard alcohol, and the China Town and Little Italy sections were just that. It was a nice reprieve, and the New York tie-in was cute.
The Crowd: Every year I tell people I’m going to EZoo somebody inevitably asks, “Ew, isn’t that for 16-year-olds?” And the answer is no. Overall the crowd is a little bit older since you at least have to be a legal adult to attend, and overall everyone is more chill. There’s not very much pushing to get to the front even though it’s the headlining set and we’re all packed in like sardines and if you wanted to be upfront at Kendrick, you should’ve gotten here three hours ago like the rest of us, TREVOR. There’s a lot less of me questioning my own life choices and wondering if I’m getting too old for this (answer: never). Everyone we met was friendly and cool and hopefully it stays that way.
…Nothing tbh. “Worst” is a strong word. Honestly aside from having a personal vendetta against “cashless” systems, the one gripe we had was security. It was all just very confusing. The first day they took away my empty stainless steel water bottle, and that was v personally upsetting. The next day, they let my brother keep his (those bitches). They also took my friend’s empty clear plastic water bottle. That was annoying. But like, I get it. They’re just trying to make it safe. But still, I want my water bottle back.
You’ll notice I didn’t have many complaints about EZoo, and my mom and my last boyfriend will tell you that’s fucking saying something. We really had no ragrets this year. Sorry if you have FOMO now but at least there’s always next year—and you know they’re going to pull out all the stops for the 10th anniversary.
There are two types of people on Thursday: the ones who say they’re only going for a few happy hour drinks and end up blacking out and calling in sick to work on Friday, and
lame “responsible” people. Obviously, if you’re reading this article and this site in general, we are only concerning ourselves with the first group of people. Anyway, it’s Thursday night so obviously you need a playlist for your pregame/the last few minutes of work before you leave for happy hour/your drunk subway ride home. And what better to get you pumped for the weekend than a shit ton of dance music from some of the best EDM acts in the game? There…isn’t one. That’s why we’ve teamed up with Electric Zoo, New York’s best (and only, I think?) electronic music festival to bring you your ultimate weekend playlist.
But this is not just a playlist—it’s a lineup announcement. We’ve curated a special playlist with songs from every artist performing at Ezoo this year, so consider this your Ezoo phase 2 lineup announcement. Headliners for this year include Zedd, Above & Beyond, Armin Van Buuren, Deadmau5 & Eric Prydz, and a whole fucking bunch of other people you’ll hear on the playlist. Yes the playlist is v long so you basically never have to make another playlist again. This year’s festival is taking place on Randall’s Island during Labor Day weekend, so you really have no excuse not to go given that you have an extra recovery day.
Check out our playlist below and buy your Ezoo tickets here!
Check out the full lineup. It’s gonna be lit.
Buy Electric Zoo Tickets here!