Compared to festivals like Ultra and Coachella, both having celebrated their 15th anniversaries in 2013, Electric Zoo is a infant. Yet the impact made by the festival cannot be overlooked. What started as a relatively small celebration of dance music in 2009 with only 26,000 attendees has grown to be one of the largest destination festivals in the country and expects to see well over 100,000 fans in attendance this year. As comes with recognition and tradition, the lineup has grown to almost 140 DJ’s and artists announced for this year’s event to date, with a few surprises sure to crop up in the coming month.
Having personally attended three of the five years of Electric Zoo, I have, like many others, come to experience the transformation of the festival from a niche celebration of dance music to a (sometimes gross) representation of the enormous popularity of “EDM” and the droves of young, irresponsible kids and illicit drugs that it attracts. And while this may have led many purists to turn their back on the festival to avoid such things, the fact remains that Made Event, the NYC-based promoters of the festival, consistently put their best foot forward to deliver an experience and a lineup that can appeal to just about everyone.
In order to accomodate what will probably be their biggest crowd yet, Electric Zoo has implemented two main stages this year in addition to the regular players: the Hilltop Arena, Riverside and Sunday School Grove. Perhaps also to host what may be their most massive lineup as well. Delivering almost every major DJ in the world in one three-day weekend, Electric Zoo promises to satisfy the mainstream EDM fan’s wildest dreams, at least until they get to the scheduling conflicts.
But if hearing Avicii drop his latest electro-country track or seeing David Guetta press play on his decks isn’t your bag, Electric Zoo makes up for it with a long list of must-see artists spread across the stages. Here’s some of my picks for each day, away from the madness of the main stages:
- Four Tet – Since his essential mix, I’ve had my eye on checking him out. Come early to the Grove.
- Bondax – These Brits have put together some amazing tracks over the past year and are not to be missed for those into Disclosure or Snakehips or UK garage and disco.
- Gramatik – I never miss one of his sets, as they’re always funky as hell and incorporate live instruments. If you’ve never had a chance to check him out, don’t miss it
- Dog Blood – Boyz Noize and Skrillex. Enough said.
- Justin Martin vs Eats Everything – The boys behind the collaborations “Featherfight” and “Gettup” are gonna get real deep. This one’s probably going to be real early so mark your calendars.
- Brodinski vs Gestaffelstein – This might be the best set of the weekend and I haven’t even arrived. That’s how strongly I feel.
- Fehrplay – Eric Prydz’ apprentice has been doing big things this year. I encourage you to stop by and find out what I mean.
- Chris Malinchak – The man behind “So Good To Me” and one of Pete Tong’s favorite producers as of late is surely not one to miss.
- Alex Metric – I have no doubt Metric will be bringing out all the Rave Weapons for his set. Metric deserves all the attention he can get these days and I am excited to see what he puts out live.
- Sub Focus – He’s made a much-deserved splash back onto the scene in the past year with “Tidal Wave”. If you’re not familiar with his other work, time to brush up and experience his amazing live performance.
- Keys N Krates – These guys have been pushing the envelope for a while and mastered the art of the live remix.
- Clockwork – Also known as RL Grime, Clockwork throws down some of the most diverse and interesting sets.
If my excitement looking through these 12 artists alone is any indication, Electric Zoo is going to be a blast this year. For those of you unable to attend, EZOO will be streaming on Sirius XM for the duration of the weekend. And for those of you who haven’t picked up your tickets yet, they’re going extremely fast over on Made Event’s website here. The MMIBTY crew will be in attendance, so look for us to get a photo taken and grab a sticker!