With a line-up that boasted the likes of Sasha and John Digweed, Armin Van Buuren and a closing set from Eric Prydz b2b with Deadmau5, or Prydzmau5 as they have adopted – anyone in attendance at Electric Zoo festival in NYC this year was in for a treat. Two huge promoters were hosting stages, Barcelona’s elrow and the Awakenings crew from Holland, each with a tantalising line up. The production all round was exceptional; an impressive mainstage sported an enormous elephant head which provided quite the spectacle as it lit up at night with neon LED’s trailing down the tusks and fireworks erupting with every ‘drop’. A huge effort had gone in, giving the dancers an experience to reminisce about for weeks to come.
The first day was very special on the Awakenings Stage with Paul Kalkbrenner leading the way with his new live show before Sasha and John Digweed took to the decks with a nostalgic set you would expect from the British veterans. The pair weaved their way through the years with hits like Chimera’s ‘Just wanna do my thing’ and the Honey Dijon remix of ‘Slave to the Rave’ that got the crowd’s seal of approval.
Day two was dampened by a torrential downpour that cleared the main stage for much of the day. The crowd took refuge in the Awakenings tent but it wasn’t the biggest sacrifice as Dirtybird boss Claude Von Stroke and Danny Tenaglia took care of proceedings. By the time Above & Beyond closed the main arena there were blue skies and the crowd flocked in their hundreds to witness the UK trio, who have released some twenty-three albums and compilations in the last twelve years. Perhaps it was the 2014 classic “Blue Sky Action” that demanded a response from the heavens, or just good luck but all worries were ebbed away as the timeless music won over the dancers. Confirmation of this was when “Sticky Fingers” rung out to rapturous applause and pure energy discharged from every corner of the dancefloor.
On to the final day and spirits were still high from the exceptional music the promoters from Electric Zoo had laid on throughout the weekend. It was also the birth of the elrow stage which hosted the likes of De La Swing, Claptone and The Black Madonna. As always, Maria delivered a high octane set of clappy house and techno with incredible expertise and showed why she is one of the most revered djs on the circuit right now. Awakenings stayed true to their educated bookings once again, presenting top German DJs Dixon and Henrik Schwarz who performed his live show. Ever tribal and littered with African vocals, Henrik’s performance is always a delight but one track that really stood out was his own remix of Baaba Maal’s ‘Fulani Rock’.
Considerable focus was on the finale and headline acts. Armin Van Buuren proved why he is one of the biggest trance and EDM DJs on the planet as his track ‘Shivers’ sent shivers of excitement down everyone’s spine and, combined with ‘ASOT,’ he laid the way exquisitely for Eric Prydz and deadmau5 to close the festival. There was an epic light show to accompany the live set as these two truly tore the main stage apart and provided an unforgettable performance. The seventh edition of Electric Zoo on the Labor Day weekend in NYC had once again proved sensational – not even the adverse weather conditions could deter the crowd from having the time of their lives and people will without a doubt already be marking it in to their calendar for 2018.