Electric Zoo is one of the most influential festivals in the States. Having started out with big name EDM acts, in 2016 it will offer a more broad selection of dance music including an arena hosted by acclaimed Ibiza crew Ants These include some key underground house and techno offerings that will show kids on the ground there about the wider musical underground. As such, we sat down and chatted to the team behind the festival to find out who they have reached out to this year, why they did so and what they hope it will add, as well as what we should look forward to this year between 2nd September and 4th September 2016 at Randall's Island Park.
We always decide together, as a team… If we disagree, we can always draw straws...What comes into consideration when choosing partnerships for your festival? Audience, size, music policy, history?
A little bit of everything but mainly we want to be leaders, not followers…so we are always looking for something edgy, new and innovative…
Who is responsible for making the decisions, one person or the team?
We always decide together, as a team… If we disagree, we can always draw straws :-) but luckily we all were on the same page about which partners to choose this year.
With Ants & elrow, we wanted to give the fans a taste of a very unique experience from Ibiza with the totally different style of entertainment they bring to the table...Tell us specifically about why you picked some of your partnerships, what drew you to them? What made them the right partner for you? Did their brand values match yours? What are they if so?
This year we are Electric Zoo: Wild Island. A few brands made more sense than others but we couldn’t be happier to end up with Ants, Elrow, Anjunadeep, Buygore and Dim Mak’s 20th anniversary.
Why not just do this on your own? Why hook up with them, what does it add?
Every partner is great and they all add so much value to the festival. With Dim Mak, it’s their very special 20th anniversary celebration and New Yorkers really love the brand, so why not celebrate together? Buygore added a different musical flavor with Juicy J and Lil Dicky. Anjunadeep has never curated a stage in NY, and we have a very long and storied history with Anjuna, so we wanted to debut the stage at Ezoo. With Ants and elrow, we wanted to give the fans a taste of a very unique experience from Ibiza with the totally different style of entertainment they bring to the table.
How much do you play to what people want and expect vs picking partners that will open people’s eyes to new stuff?
We have our surveys and we always listen to our fans and their wishes. However, it would be too easy, and pretty boring, if we just took survey results, picked the top three answers and went for it…We want the feedback but also want to always over deliver to keep the festival ahead of the curve. We love being trendsetters too! ;-)
This year, our theme is Wild Island. What can be a better fit than a brand which comes from the wildest island: Ibiza... What made you work with ANTS? What appealed about their brand? Is the US market ready for that style of club music?
This year, our theme is Wild Island. What can be a better fit than a brand which comes from the wildest island: Ibiza :-) These guys have created something so special with ANTS and to have them bring it to Electric Zoo to curate their very first American festival stage is simply an honor! It’s been a pleasure to work with Yann & Romain Pissenem in getting this done. Deco, video content and the dancers are all designed to work together with the music to create something truly epic! In terms of the sound - this is such a special line-up!
Having Henrik back at Ezoo second year in a row is going to be so much fun, Andrea is like family to us and we can’t wait to have him back…Julia Govor is our good friend, same goes for &ME (who came to visit us as a guest many years ago and now is on the bill) and our beloved Agoria. Finally, we are all really excited about Joris coming back to the Sunday School Grove.
What sort of production can people expect, how important is that to the overall show or is it more about getting the sound just right?
Everything has to be equally important but production had a lot of extra focus on it. I won’t spoil any surprises, but let’s just say that New Yorkers and the guests will LOVE Wild Island this year!
I’m super happy to work with one of the most legendary (& humble) nightlife family on this planet - The Arnau clan...You also bring Elrow to town - what appeals about them? That colour and carnival atmosphere, do you think it is something new for New York?
I’m super happy to work with one of the most legendary (and humble) nightlife family on this planet - The Arnau clan.
Getting elrow to Ezoo wasn’t easy, because in additional to their monthly Barcelona marathon shows, they are selling out Space Ibiza every week, so they are quite busy.
Luckily, in the end, it all worked out and we now have elrow’s 1st American festival stage debuting at Electric Zoo. They take their responsibility as party hosts very seriously and American fans are going to get a real treat!
House & techno music is in our veins, that’s why we have Sunday School Grove at our festival every single year...Tell us about the house end techno stages generally - what sound will they push? Are Americans more ready for proper house end techno now that EDM has peaked, do you think?
One of most popular underground parties in US for many years in a row was Sunday School for Degenerates which was created and produced in Miami during WMC by us at Made Event.
House and techno music is in our veins, that’s why we have Sunday School Grove at our festival every single year…and yes, of course Americans are VERY ready!
What are you most looking forward to about the festival this year and why?
I’m looking forward to walking across the festival field before it all starts on Friday. I wait for that moment all year long and it's an unbelievable feeling to see everything ready to go after 362 days of working on it. You can’t imagine the rush I get when I am in the middle of that field 10 minutes before we open our doors and the madness begins!
Electric Zoo: Wild Island
02nd September 2nd to 04th September 2016 at Randall's Island Park, NYC, USA