What: Electric Zoo 2011
When: Labor Day Weekend – Sept. 2-4
Where: Randalls Island, New York

So, despite a long and so far very successful festival season as of this point in the summer, the East Coast has yet to really get their time to shine.  While I was lucky enough to attend Ultra Music Festival in March in Miami (although, is Miami even considered East Coast? Feels like another country…) and one of our contributors attended Camp Bisco just last weekend, the EDM scene has remained pretty dormant in the East as far as balls-to-the-wall events go.  Well, my friends, in these coming months all that is about to change.  Worth mentioning is that Identity Festival will be starting its tour soon and running through several dates on the East Coast including stops in Massachusetts (at which we will be in attendance), Dirty Jers (no offense, but Camden is just like that), and New York before it continues to travel to cities across the country with it’s small but sizable lineup of all-stars.  However, the main event for New Englanders and New Yorkers alike is Electric Zoo.  If you’ve never heard of this festival, let me tell you that my attendance last year changed my perspective on what was possible at an event like this (and what was possible on the man-made island (read: landfill) it is held on).  Touting a stellar lineup and sporting some of the most friendly and diverse collection of party-goers I’d seen across the festivals I’ve attended, Electric Zoo 2010 proved that NYC is capable of throwing down just as hard as Miami and LA had been doing for years.  Electric Zoo 2011 is clearly out to do it again.

This year, the festival will be headlined by the usual group of crowd-pleasers: Tiesto, David Guetta, and Armin Van Buuren.  However, the real meat of the festival is where things start to get interesting.  This year, Rusko and AN21 & Max Vangeli have both earned main stage gigs, along with Sub Focus and Alesso.  I am very impressed with the Zoo planning committee for putting these artists on a main stage alongside international megastars as they certainly have a very solid following (and I think Rusko deserves a main stage gig at every festival!).  Main stage will also play host to Afrojack and Calvin Harris and personal favorite Benny Benassi.  Off the main stage, Hilltop Arena will feature a lot of the big trance names from last year such as ATB and Marcus Schultz but will also feature legendary producers Boys Noize and Diplo, which are MUST SEE ACTS.  Sunday School tent looks a little thin to me this year; while it will hold Carl Cox there on Friday and Richie Hawtin on Sunday, there is little reason for me to venture over there this year with no Claude Von Stroke in sight.  Finally, the Red Bull Riverside tent will be the stage for Crookers, Bart B More, Skrillex, Porter Robinson, Kid Sister (!), SBTRKT, EDX, Hardwell, and Michael Woods over the three days.  Makes sense that it was my go-to tent last year.  Also, Electric Zoo will host “bands” this year, including Chromeo and Colorado’s Big Gigantic, which should make for some fun distractions.

Notable absences are Wolfgang Gartner, Laidback Luke, Steve Aoki, Nero, Claude Von Stroke, Glitch Mob, and Avicii, just to name a few.  While I am surprised that EZ wasn’t able to book these artists, I’m sure there is adequate reason (ID Fesitval…) and the lineup is stellar nonetheless.  As a heads up, the last day to buy tickets that don’t include transportation (it’s complicated, details on the site) is July 21st – or a week from today – so get on buying your ticket if you have any brain to you.  I know they’re expensive but you know you wanna go… [Also, if you’re hot and a girl you can stay with me… ]

Get all the details and buy your tickets here: Electric Zoo Festival 2011

Since this is a music blog, I guess I have to leave you with some music.  I think it would be impossible to put together enough songs here to get you excited for Zoo so I will just post two of my favorite sets from last year.

First, Diplo.  Hip-hop.  Dubstep.  Everything in between.  If this doesn’t get you excited to see this guy, I don’t know what will.  Oh wait… I do.  Moombahton.

Diplo – Electric Zoo 2010 Set

I would post Boys Noize’s set here but unfortunately I have never been able to find it.  Instead I’ll leave you with trance legend Armin Van Buuren’s set, which I have fond memories of closing out the festival with last year.  Plus he plays SHM’s “One” to close, which was fitting considering it was THE song of last year’s event.

Armin Van Buuren – Electric Zoo 2010 Set

Note: Because our hosting server was giving me difficulty this morning with these files, I had to host them personally.  Therefore, in order to download them, right-click on the download link and click Save File As… to put them on your computer.  Sorry for the inconvenience.