Ah, EZoo. Both the love and bane of New York City over Labor Day weekend. While I have never gone for all 3 days of the festival (or even all 2 during the 2 years when the final day was canceled), this was my fourth (!) year attending at least one day of the zoo, so I feel like a pro by now. Just like with Mysteryland, this is my second year posting about Electric Zoo. Continuity!
Pretty standard for a festival at this point, now that they’ve recovered fully from the year 2 people died and they no longer borderline assault you as you enter. My friend had eye drops in her purse and they actually made her put the drops in her eyes to prove they were real, and my other friend had not one, but two lip glosses taken. But overall, not too bad.
Do you love butts? Then you’d love the zoo. I try not to judge people on their outfits but there were so many butts hanging out of shorts I just couldn’t handle it. I’m so glad I did not come of age in the era of shorts-that-are-smaller-than-underwear. Otherwise, though, the zoo had the standard kind of obnoxious crowd that it always does. Maybe slightly more well-behaved than usual, even. Zoo people are not really my people but I can certainly hang with them for a few days.
The zoo theme always runs rampant at EZoo (obviously), and I like the animal-themed stages and art. Electric Zoo isn’t rife with fun stuff the way other festivals are with their rides or other interactive elements, but hey, you don’t go to festivals to ride the ferris wheel anyway. Unless you do, in which case, might I suggest an actual amusement park.
One water station had a crazy line, but the other did not. Water was not a problem, and I was a happy camper.
EZoo is a small festival, which I love. My main problem with the layout is that one of their stages is basically a huge tent, though not nearly huge enough for the crowds. Because the zoo is so small, if you leave the tent you can’t really hear the music from inside, only from the main stage, which isn’t too far away. But there are so many people that it is legitimately kind of hard sometimes to get into the tent. They need more space, somehow.
As I always do with Randall’s Island, I forgo paying for a ferry or bus and walk across the 125th St. bridge because it’s free and there’s no line. This year, I accidentally went home over the 103rd St. bridge, which was fairly empty and really beautiful. It was such a nice, peaceful walk that it was a strange, sudden change from the craziness of the festival. I will probably never intentionally do this walk again because it’s much easier to get home from the express trains at 125th street, but I was happy to have stumbled upon it accidentally.
I got a free VIP upgrade one of the days this year, and the other day I went through Jukely, so I cannot complain about ticket price. What I can complain about, and which I also complained about last year, is the “EZ Bucks” cashless payment system. You load money onto your wristband, which EZoo conveniently changes into a different currency to disguise that they’re ripping you off ($20 = 9 EZ Bucks). You then pay an exorbitant amount of money for food and drinks, i.e. a beer for 5 EZ Bucks, which, when you include tip, is around $11. Then, if you have any money left over on your wristband at the end, they return that amount to your credit card MINUS a $5 fee, just for good measure.
Such a ripoff. Boooo hiss.
(I really do love EZoo though, despite this. Maybe because I get to see some of my favorite artists so close to home.)
Next up: music recap!