The colossal, three-day dance music festival is rearin’ and ready to invade Randall’s Island Park in New York City over Labor Day weekend, September 4, 5 and 6. It’s time to get your Electric Zoo tickets now. Coined, “ELECTRIC ZOO: TRANSFORMED,” this year’s incarnation boasts impressive headliners yet again, including: The Chemical Brothers, Above & Beyond and Alesso.
Rounding out daily dynamic lineups are anticipated sets by the likes of Markus Schulz, Ferry Corsten, Ansolo, Borgeous, Robin Schulz and Dirty South. David Guetta, who is notably missing, having barely skipped a season of the festival, will bring added mayhem to Las Vegas’ XS nightclub at Wynn. Disappointed not to find Skrillex, Diplo, Kaskade and Avicci on the EZoo lineups this year? They’ll be there as well. But you can’t have it all and you are sure be just as much raucous and thrilling lights, pyro and partying during the marathon of sets at Randall’s Island Park. (Let’s pray that the weather this year cooperates throughout the festivities as last year’s final day, was cut short by severe weather conditions…)
Made Event, Electric Zoo’s producer and organizer, selected Miami’s LIV Nightclub (of the Fontainebleau Hotel) as the official nightlife partner for upscale offerings that promise premium views of the main stage, a swanky bar and comfortable crowd control from the riff-raff.
“We’re unbelievably excited to bring LIV Nightclub to one of the biggest dance music festivals in the world,” remarked said LIV Operating Partner David Grutman. LIV’s world class service will provide our clientele with an unparalleled experience at Electric Zoo.”
For those less fortunate, there will still be plenty of sustainable, local grub trucks and vendors, accessible to all, such as Valduccis, Chickpea & Olive and Kimchi Taco Truck.
“When you get the headline slot like that it obviously puts a little bit of pressure you to pull something out the bag so to speak,” Jono Grant of EZoo’s main event, Above & Beyond, told BlackBook in an exclusive from London.
“It means maybe debuting new tracks or remixes of tracks from our albums, but I don’t know what they are yet to be honest.”
During Above & Beyond’s headlining set at Electric Daisy Carnival – Las Vegas this past spring, the group added an element of celebrity when they invited Emmy, Golden Globe and Tony Award-winning actor, Brian Cranston, of Breaking Bad fame, on to the stage to spin their song “Walter White” for 80,000 revelers.
“He was just a real gentleman,” Jono recalled with a laugh, although hehinted that perhaps a more feasible surprise for the festival might be a Jason Ross remix of their track “Fly to New York,” featuring Zoë Johnston.
“Madison Garden, which sold out, was our last New York show,” Jono divulged. “Every year we basically do a live radio show [Group Therapy] at one of our gigs and last year we decided to do it in New York. The obvious venue was Madison Square Garden,” he reasoned. Since last being in New York, Above & Beyond has been exceedingly busy with their weekly podcast, the release of the group’s latest single, “Counting Down The Days,” from the #1 Billboard dance/electronic album We Are All We Need, and a summer residency at Amnesia Ibiza.
“A few years ago, Ibiza went through this phase when it was re-finding itself in a sense, because you had America blowing up and DJs were almost deserting Ibiza for a while,” he explained. “It felt as though the rest of the world had moved on in terms of production and now it’s finally caught up.” Above & Beyond also got top-billing with Afrojack at open-air club, Ushuaïa, for Creamfields Ibiza on Playa D’en Bossa.
“Ibiza is really important again for dance music and it’s truly an international crowd there,” Jono marveled of the group’s weekly jetting back to the Balearic island. “The nice thing from our perspective is that we get to do the Amnesia show alone. We are in control.”
It can get chaotic with so many gigs stretching across the globe and although Above & Beyond numbers three, they travel to concerts and festivals as a duo, while one of them remains in the studio. “The main thing is to put your ego aside,” Jono admitted when asked about the trio’s dynamic success for the last 15 years. “In a group, it’s like a marriage and it’s about picking and choosing your battles. We’ve built a really great team around us in the studio, on tour and at the record label.”
As of now, after their Saturday primetime set at Electric Zoo, they have a four-day break. “Who doesn’t love New York,” Jono optimistically. “I hope to get some time to hangout and wander around. It’s such a great walking city.”
We’ll take our sweet time to recover from the rave.
Tickets for Electric Zoo are approaching sell-out, but are still available and range from $109 for general admission on Friday to $499 for three-day VIP bracelets. Payment plans are available and the festival is 18+.