Electric Zoo has a special place in many raver’s hearts. Personally, it was my first festival in 2012 and has changed the way I see dance music today. It was an introduction to the world of electronic music while the giant “EDM bubble” was exploding. Since then, every Labor Day weekend has been a special one. Much like EDM itself, Electric Zoo has changed and evolved throughout the years. Hosting many special curated stages such as elrow, Awakenings, Anjunadeep and so forth. Throughout this list, you’ll get to relive a few of our favorite moments of Electric Zoo throughout the years, and those special moments that you’re probably still daydreaming about yourself if you were there.
Gareth Emery Gave Ezoo The Trance Sunday We All Needed!
For the 2016 edition of Electric Zoo, we were graced with a special Trance line up at the Riverside stage. Gareth Emery was chosen to do the illustrious closing duties that night. While conflicting with hometown boys, The Chainsmokers at the Main Stage — Gareth knew he had to deliver to the crowd. Bringing his A-game, Emery delivered the perfect closing Trance set that night. Playing his mashup with Above and Beyond ‘On a Good Day (Metropolis)’to closing off with ‘Reckless’. Whoever attended this set was rewarded musically for this one, making it the perfect set to close out with for any Trance music lover.
This Closing Set Caused Some Commotion.
On the final day of Electric Zoo 2017, we were graced with a special Deadmau5 b2b Eric Prydz set. Formerly this set was exclusively done in Miami for Miami Music Week or in Europe for such festivals as Tomorrowland. Fans were blessed with this special set and what happened within that hour and a half was quite the opposite of what many fans were expecting. This set was filled with deeper tracks throughout the entire set, from Maceo Plex’s famous ‘Solar Detroit’ track to several Cirez D tracks. Many will say this set should’ve been labeled Cirez D b2b Testpilot, which led to controversy. Regardless if you loved it or hated it, this was one moment for the ages.
Dirty South Gives NYC The D.
Dirty South’s return for the 2015 edition of Electric Zoo was glorious as they were unable to play in 2014 due to being scheduled on the canceled day. It was exciting to see what the famous Serbian-Australian producer was going to bless the Main Stage with. Playing to a packed crowd, it was great to hear the sounds of Dirty South at full throttle. Playing such classics The Temper Trap track ‘Sweet Disposition’ to closing off his set with his known collaboration with Alesso, ‘City Of Dreams’. This veteran DJ showed New York City that it is okay to play emotional music for emotional people at festivals, hitting us with all the feels.
Hometown Boys Play The Main Stage For The First Time!
In the dance music world of 2012, big names such as Martin Garrix, Marshmello or Illenium weren’t Main Stage headliners just yet. Today’s roster of artists for festivals was much different compared to what it used to be. Hailing from Long Island, 3LAU and Brooklyn’s own, Pierce Fulton — these two talents were able to play home on the Main Stage and show New York City’s premiere electronic music festival just what they were made of! Both local kids played amazing sets and were able to show everyone in attendance that they were born for this! Both artists have gone on to work on amazing projects and have played some of the biggest festivals in the game. Pierce Fulton released his new single with Martin Garrix, ‘Waiting For Tomorrow’ as 3lau worked on melodic tracks such as ‘Is It Love’ and collaborated with Emma Hewitt on ‘Alive Again’. These two artists have evolved and grown so much since that fateful day. Their sets are some of our favorite moments as it was a time and place where these two guys had their humble beginnings.
Armin’s Return To Ezoo Is Heartfelt.
This moment will always have a special place in the hearts of many Electric Zoo fans as he was scheduled to play the 2013 edition but was unable to due to the cancellation of Sunday that year. Armin Van Buuren returned to Electric Zoo to close out Saturday of 2014 and boy was it a set to remember. Gracing us with a heavy-hitting trance set and his typical Armin energy on stage was contagious. Towards the end of the set, Armin took a moment to speak to the fans saying “I’m so happy to be back here at Electric Zoo with you guys, you know I cried hearing about what had happened last year”. Moments later Trevor Guthrie joined Armin on stage and we all sang everyone’s guilty pleasure track ‘This Is What It Feels Like’. As the fireworks lit up the New York City skyline, a memorable moment was imprinted into our minds. My favorite memory during this set was at the end as we watched Armin wave at fans and stay on stage for a moment to take it all in. It was clear Armin wasn’t ready to go and was loving every moment.
The Stars Aligned For Alesso.
In 2013, Electric Zoo celebrated its 5th anniversary, and all over social media in the preceding months, Alesso expressed his excitement for his set. When it came time for him to grace the decks on Friday, we witnessed Alesso’s silhouette rushing to the stage. The next hour and 15 minutes was pure bliss as he graced us with brand new mashups and tracks. From the fireworks blasting off while the sun began to set as he played Don Diablo’s track ‘Starlight’ to singing his new single at the time with Calvin Harris, ‘Under Control’, everything aligned perfectly for this set. Iit was clear we were losing our minds with Alesso for this one.
Axwell Shows NYC ‘Heart Is King’.
In the year of 2012, the world of dance music was conflicted. A few months before Electric Zoo, Swedish House Mafia had recently announced that they would be breaking up and doing one last tour ending at Ultra Music Festival in 2013. It was unclear what would happen after this tour. Luckily for us in New York, Axwell graced us with a powerful and emotional headlining solo set in 2012. This set was filled with all of our favorite Swedish House Mafia songs as well Axwell own productions such as ‘Heart Is King’. It was clear that Axwell came to dominate the zoo that year and gave us a special message afterward by saying, “I guess everything is going to be alright — in New York at least. It’s fucking alright here every time, thank you for giving me this here tonight. It’s a gift and I will always remember this!” He then closed off his set with all the feels, making this unforgettable moment our favorite Electric Zoo moment.
So what were your favorite Electric Zoo moments from years past? Let us know, and grab your tickets below to witness the magic of New York’s best electronic music festival.
*Featured image via Electric Zoo*