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EZOO’s glimmer of hope in its array of mistakes

Jahlil Rush
EZOO Review

As one of the most anticipated electronic dance music events of the year, the 2023 Electric Zoo music festival on Randall’s Island brought both excitement and disappointment to attendees.

Expectations were high, but the experience left some festivalgoers with mixed feelings. Many festivalgoers expected an enjoyable three-day weekend full of EDM and social media photo opportunities.

Instead, they were greeted with sudden line-up cancellations and long lines.

EZOO took to its social media accounts to announce that the festival’s first day was canceled due to unforeseen circumstances. “The global supply chain disruptions have impacted industries worldwide, and, sadly, our beloved festival has not been immune,” EZOO said in a statement. “These unexpected delays have prevented us from completing the construction of the main stage in time for Day 1.”

However, there were some significant factors to EZOO 2023 that left many feeling let down. One of the most significant issues was overcrowding.

Navigating through the massive crowds was challenging for most and it often took an extended amount of time to get from one stage to another. The overcrowding also led to safety concerns, as it was difficult to maintain social distancing in some areas.

EZOO’s biggest letdown was the loss of what would have been a stellar DJ set from EDM titans The Chainsmokers.

Andrew Taggart, who serves as one half of the electronic dynamic duo, expressed his disappointment on Instagram.

“Bruh EZOO is cancelled. I just flew all the way,” Taggart said.

While the loss of Friday’s performances was arguably the festival’s biggest defeat, the remainder of the festival had small glimmers of excitement.

Despite Friday’s trials and tribulations, attendees partied, friend groups captured selfies and crowds were hyped at the few performances that occurred. Saturday attempted to make-up for the loss but ultimately failed to reach that status. The line-up featured performances from artists such as Gryffin, who along with GRiZ and Zedd, experienced production related issues that significantly impacted their sets.

However, Sunday was the strongest day and ended EZOO on a high note.

EZOO’s last day featured amazing performances from upcomers like OddkidOut and household name Major Lazer. The festival showed signs of recovery for those who made it inside.

Those who were stranded outside the gates were stuck in an hours-long line and did not get to experience the unofficial first day of the festival.  Thousands of people journeyed to the final day and EZOO seemed as if it was operating without any additional issues.

However, festival organizers reportedly oversold tickets by 7,000 people, resulting in extremely long lines at the entrance and overcrowded areas within the festival grounds.

Crowds of milling attendees barred from entering the festival grounds during Sunday’s line-up.

Marshmello’s electrifying performance solidified Sunday as a memorable moment despite previous mishaps.

The 2023 EZOO music festival had its moments of brilliance, with a not-so-memorable lineup and impressive production values.

However, the overcrowding, long will-call wait times, limited food and beverage options and scheduling issues left many attendees with muddled feelings.

One Twitter user said they loved the sets but found the disorganization frustrating.

“Even though EZoo was an absolute shit show – imo the best stage at #Ezoo was Morphosis. It was complete, screens worked (at least when I saw) and the crowd was great there. Enjoy some  @_elderbrook ‘s set,” @caso435 Tweeted.

While it was still a memorable weekend for many EDM fans, people have said there is room for improvement in the organization and logistics of future EZOO festivals.

EZOO has had its fair share of controversies in its tenure. The New York City Police Department and New York City Mayor Eric Adams said they would take action against those who they believe are responsible for the festival’s mishaps.

EZOO did state through their social media that refunds for Friday’s debacle will be issued out to those who request them.

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Jahlil Rush, Production Assistant
Jahlil Rush is a Production Assistant for The Ticker.
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