What you need to know about Electric Zoo Day 1Sunday School 1

What you need to know about Electric Zoo Day 1

What you need to know about Electric Zoo Day 1

Electric Zoo’s return went from countdown to reality on Friday and the changes made for this year’s festival were extremely apparent. On the ground, the stage layout scaled down last year’s larger Main Stage East for a smaller stage squeezed between Hilltop and Riverside. Sunday School ditched the busses from years past and instead sought shelter in a pop up club that served as the coolest stage of the day. Last year’s circular production also hit the cutting room floor. In years past the ferry ride over to the island always included a view of the Main Stage towering above the sky line, but this year’s stage was much smaller — a city-themed structure that matched the cold urban sprawl of New York with its own cast iron scaffolding and LED walls.

The changes to this year’s festival didn’t sit too well with returning attendees at first, but made for a setting that was quickly warmed up to and welcomed. Free water and water refill systems couldn’t be any more convenient. If you needed to hydrate, Electric Zoo’s new process made it possible to do so in a matter of seconds. As far as their first day using a cashless model, lines to ‘Top Up’ wristbands with dollar credits were a bit long, but that freed up the food lines for everyone else. Health and safety was very clearly on everyone’s mind and Zookeepers were prevalent but not imposing. Searches were strict, but inside the festival there were very few “big brother” moments.

Brillz packs the Hilltop Arena early

After a year of mystery surrounding the three-day extravaganza that is Electric Zoo, fans were eager to get going on day one of the festival, and Brillz provided a perfect soundtrack for the turn up to get going early. Rickyxsan’s “Freak” bootleg and GTA’s “Hard House” were amongst the most energizing tunes of the day, setting the tone of the festival; no one will hold Electric Zoo back.

Carnage unleashes all Festival Trap set

Carnage has stepped up to the plate and taken a lead role in setting the tone for big room music in the past year. With a main stage time slot in his pocket, the Chipotle Gang leader announced that he would be spinning a festival trap-only set, which would prove to be a massive success. No big room house, very little hardstyle, and a whole lot of 808s made up a special set from Carnage.

Pryda Friends get #Progressive early

The Beatport Riverside housed fans of deeper music all day, ranging from the sounds of the progressive and dark to the hard hitting synths of French House. While Eric Prydz refuses to give New York a taste of his performance before EPIC 3.0 at Madison Square Garden, two long time Pryda Friends Jeremy Olander and Fehrplay delivered smooth pulsing sets. The DJs took their audiences on a delicately crafted musical journey, transporting the Beatport Riverside to a private Pryda Friends haven.

DVBBS paints Electric Zoo skies gold

In just one year DVBBS have made their way up from Hilltop Arena to Mainstage West apace with big players Carnage, A-Trak and Dada Life. While electro house tended to dominate both main stages, DVBBS held their own until the very end of their set when they closed with “Gold Skies,” a star-studded collaboration with Sander van Doorn and Martin Garrix that had the crowd waving their arms side to side with the DJs.

Gesaffelstein goes up against David Guetta to close out the Riverside Stage

The impossibly cool Gesaffelstein seized the opportunity to steal some thunder from the estimable David Guetta during his closing set on day one. While the pop crossover king took over the main stage, it was Gesaffelstein at the far end of the festival that made the greatest statement. A DJ set, rather than his Gesaffelstein-only live tour, the Frenchman’s lengthy closing slot provided the perfect canvas for a macabre techno masterpiece.

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