Along with Governors Ball and Electric Zoo, Panorama rounds out the trio of NYC festivals that take place on Randalls Island. The walk across the RFK Bridge at 125th Street feels like a second (or third, or fourth) home to me by this point, but it was still exciting to go to yet another festival in the same spot and see how things were different. What was also interesting is hearing people’s Panorama horror stories – the first night got completely rained out, and a few other artists canceled. But none of this affected me the day that I went and I had a really great experience.
The line to get into Gov Ball this year was kind of long, so I got to Panorama pretty early to make sure I had plenty of time to get in before my first set of the day. Yet Panorama had no line and getting in was easy peasy.
The crowd at Panorama felt a little less young than Gov Ball, which was great, though it was still largely basic festival people (I mean “basic” in the derogatory way, not just…normal festival people). I was mostly indifferent to the crowd.
Panorama is an event with a really high fun stuff per capita, or so it feels. There was the HP lounge mentioned in my last post (with a secret Macklemore DJ set) as well as an entire HP village with enclosed domes containing different interactive technology activities (none of which were as cool as I wanted them to be, sadly), some kind of cool AmEx lounge that I didn’t go into, a 21+ area with different liquor tastings and activities including an air conditioned whiskey hut where you could smell the different whiskey-flavored smoke rising up from these giant round-bottom flasks, a shaded grove area for relaxing, and more. The best thing, though, and I mean the BEST THING, was the Sephora area, where they were doing holographic makeup and either hair braiding or space buns. And let me tell you something, friends. I went to Panorama straight from 2 days at another festival and I thought I’d be able to shower in between but I didn’t and I felt truly disgusting. Going into the Sephora lounge and having someone do my hair and put makeup on made me feel almost human again. It was the best thing I could have had at that time and it was glorious. Plus, there was no line when I went in and when I came out the line was probably 50+ people long. DOUBLE PLUS, I got a cool SPACE BUN.
I also got a lot of glitter, as you can see.
I wanted to bring a small purse to Panorama so I did a thing I almost never do, which was, NOT bring a water bottle. I ended up having to buy water but it was super easy to find places to refill my bottle.
Randalls is pretty small to begin with, and Panorama really made the space tiny. They didn’t utilize all the areas that the other festivals do, and they made the parts they did use even narrower by pushing some stuff inwards and cutting off the outer areas. It was mostly great because I love a small festival, but I will say that the main stages were wayyyy too close together. I was shocked. Acknowledge the sound bleeding!
Yet again, I will never pay for a bus or ferry to Randalls. Walking is free and easy.
A one-day pass was significantly cheaper than a single day pass to really any other event. What probably helps a little bit is the fact that Panorama doesn’t give out wristbands for single day attendees, just an e-ticket that you print or scan from your phone. While there’s no way this accounts for the total $40ish difference between this and, say, a Gov Ball pass, I’m all about it.
The port-a-potties never had a line and always had toilet paper in them! I don’t know how this is even possible, but again, I’m just gonna chalk this up to FESTIVAL MAGIC. I could tell you all sorts of port-a-potty horror stories from the past few years of my life, so a pleasant bathroom experience really just makes life so much nicer. It’s the little things, friends.
Panorama is supposed to be the “east coast Coachella.” I’ve never been to Coachella but after experiencing Panorama, this seems like an overstatement. The events are run by the same people but the scale is so vastly different that they just don’t seem comparable right now. Which, to be honest, is a good thing. I’m not looking to go to Coachella any time soon. Or ever.
Panorama was such a great day for me, I’m sad it’s over. But in just ONE WEEK I will be in Denver seeing Pretty Lights at Red Rocks (!!!) and to be honest, this feels like the perfect way to cap off my summer. Even if it involves missing Elements, my favorite NYC event of the year.