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Electric Zoo plagued with issues after first day axed

“This year has presented unparalleled challenges for everyone... and, sadly, our beloved festival has not been immune"

By Lisa Henderson on 04 Sep 2023

Electric Zoo, New York

Electric Zoo, New York

The first day of Electric Zoo in New York was called off hours before gates were due to open because the construction of the main stage was incomplete.

The electronic music festival, which is now operated by Avant Gardner, was scheduled to take place between 1–3 September in Randall’s Island Park.

The festival resumed late on 2 September but on the final day, concertgoers reportedly rushed the gate after organisers said that the venue had unexpectedly reached capacity and ticket holders would be turned away.

“It is with deep regret that we need to inform you that due to the challenges caused by Friday cancellation, we have reached our venue’s capacity earlier than anticipated for today, Sunday,” the organizers wrote in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

“For the safety and well-being of everyone on site, we will not be admitting any additional attendees today.”

The festival shared on social media that they would be providing refunds, though they did not address how the event could have reached capacity prior to all ticket holders entering the venue.

A statement from organisers about the cancellation of the Friday read: “It is with a broken heart that we deeply regret to inform you that, despite our tireless efforts and round-the-clock commitment, we have made the painful decision to cancel the first day of Electric Zoo.”

“This year has presented unparalleled challenges for everyone. The global supply chain disruptions have impacted industries worldwide and, sadly, our beloved festival has not been immune. These unexpected delays have prevented us from completing the construction of the main stage in time for Day 1.

“While words cannot fully express the depth of our remorse about Day 1, please know that this decision was not made lightly. Your safety and experience are always paramount, and we did not want to compromise the quality and integrity of the event you truly deserve.”

Friday ticket holders will receive a full refund, while those who hold multi-day passes will receive credit for the missed day. Friday ferry and bus ticket holders will also receive a full refund.

Blanke, GRiZ, Kaskade, ATLiens, Cloonee, Galantis, The Blessed Madonna, Chris Lake and Fisher, Madeon, Kx5, Excision and more performed at Electric Zoo.

The festival changed hands last year after Avant Gardner, a Brooklyn music venue and nightclub, acquired Electric Zoo promoter Made Event for a reported $15 million.

The festival was launched in the US in 2009, spawning international editions in Mexico, Brazil, Japan and China.


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