“Oh my gosh, I can’t believe this is real.” That’s the response you can expect to have at this year’s Electric Zoo: Transformed festival at Randall’s Island Park. The festival has experienced two consecutive years of turmoil, both shutting down before the final day. It’s no easy feat winning back the trust of investors, politicians, and most importantly, attendees to allow the event to come back. Many would have expected the organization to shut down entirely, pack up, and hope no one ever mentioned it ever again. However, Adam Richman and Morgan Deane, festival directors at Made Event, the company who makes all of this possible, had other ideas. It’s through talking with these people that has me convinced that this year’s Electric Zoo is truly…. Transformed.
The end of 2014 and all of 2015 was a year of transformation not only for the company but for their approach to their fans. This company has exceeded expectations by a long shot, going purposefully out of the way, and rightfully so, to win back the hearts of regular attendees as well as new ones. The first step was re-evaluating themselves. Adam stated:
“We took a long, hard look in the mirror. I don’t think we did the best job responding during the cancellations in previous years.”
As a result, they formed a close partnership with one of the biggest names in the business, ID&T, the incredibly creative minds behind other major festivals, including TomorrowWorld.
“Not only did they [ID&T] help with production and look of the festival, they also helped with treating customers from respect and loyalty they deserved. They helped us think more in depth into the experience, how to create moments, unforgettable moments for our fans to partake in.”
While this is all good in theory and practice, Made Event and ID&T utilized the responses, every single one of them in fact, from fans over the past two years in order to provide a truly invaluable experience.
“We personally looked at every single letter, thousands of them. We are passionate about the guest experience and made sure to show our guests that this year. In fact, we even sent out holiday cards in December to everyone who attended in the past two years, around 50,000 total, hand signed by everyone on the Electric Zoo team.”
From there, they continued to develop changes with everything you will experience in a few weeks, everything from the look, design, and production of the wristband, to creating speedier entries, and a lot more entrances, for every attendee.
Not only is Electric Zoo providing a powerhouse lineup for all three days, packed with all of your favorite artists like Above & Beyond, Pete Tong, and Alesso, but they’ve also taken a special approach as to how food and beverages will be treated as part of the festival experience. [Read more about the food being offered at Electric Zoo!]
“Food is talent, it’s an attractive part of the festival. They [food vendors] will be on site for 12 hours, bringing the food of New York to Electric Zoo.”
“One of the things we’ve always done at Electric Zoo is ensuring that every vendors site goes through a vigorous process of where the get their meat and animal products. We make sure every vendor is serving well-treated meat; our motto is to be kind to animals and kind to attendees. We also offer tons of vegan, vegetarian, and gluten free options to cater to everyone’s appetite.”
They’ve also partnered with New Fork City, a savory, and highly followed Instagram account with connections to the top food vendors and food eaters all around the country.
I know how daunting it can be to make a decision between 30 different eateries in a mere three days, so I asked for some advice and Adam and Morgan graciously helped me. You’re going to want to stop by Luke’s Lobster, titled by Adam as the “pinnacle of lobsterness”. Another one is Peace-Love-Tacos, I won’t spoil the surprise but make sure you find them at some point in the weekend. Finally, Chickpea & Olive is critically acclaimed by Morgan as having incredible “Chipotle Portabello” as well as fantastic vegan options. And yes, I’m also starving after writing this portion.
All in all, Electric Zoo is promising to have its best year yet in New York City, so what should you be most excited about over Labor Day Weekend? Adam and Morgan have some ideas:
“The change, look, and feel of the event is going to surprise them, we think they’ll see the extra mile we’ve gone to really provide them with an wonderful experience. The show is programmed and designed in a incredible fashion, we can’t wait for people to see it… they’re going to be blown away!”
As for getting in to the festival each day, they promise to “get you in quick” and that “the lines are gonna move.” Finally, they’re hoping you all will “take a moment to explore new artists you may not be familiar with. This year really goes back to our roots at Electric Zoo, offering our guests a variety of new artists, a gorgeous new setting, exquisite food, and great people.” Morgan concluded:
“I hope they see our passion and obsession over all these little details and that they feel cared for on every level. We love our guests and want to make sure this is something they come to not just for the artists, but for the community we’re helping foster.”
I’m extremely optimistic for this year and am confident the transformed theme will be a success for this three-day festival, leaving you with the wonderful feeling of “oh my gosh, I can’t believe this is real.” Leave your thoughts below and I hope to see you in two weeks!