It would be an understatement to say that New York’s Panorama Music Festival decided to make their first breakthrough event a bit different!
The festival organizers had been teasing crowds by promising them something new and fresh in terms of immersive art and newer stages for better experiences.
1. The Stages
The Panorama Music Festival decided to team up with technology-tinged stages to bring about a new angle to the exhausted music festival scene. This resulted in 2 stages that were complete examples of production prowess.
The LAB, as described by the festival is an interactive experience that combines artistry, technology and design. The stage had seven interactive art installations curated as well as created by 7 NYC artists coupled with a massive 360 degree virtual reality theater. And we have to say, it seems nothing short of magical!
The MAIN stage, which was the biggest crowd puller aka The Panorama Stage was nothing short of breathtaking. Complete with a 30 feet tall HD video screen and a 170 feet screen that wrapped around the stage, made sure the audio video experience was completely immersive.
Now coming down to the main stuff, the music. The line-up for the Panorama Festival was pretty well balanced. It consisted of headlining acts like Arcade Fire, LCD Soundsystem, SIA and The Alabama Shakes. Also on the line-up were hip-hop connoisseurs Kendrick Lamar, Asap Rocky and Schoolboy Q. The EDM front was headed by Major Lazer, Flosstradamus, Rufus Du Sol and Kaytranada among many more. The line-up was very highly appreciated by a lot of people for including almost every genre that there is to stand out as one of the most diverse line-ups in a long time.
So let’s get right down to business!
2. The Music
The festival started out in amazing fashion but the heat was something no one expected. People were finding comfort in the shade provided by the stages although not everyone was that lucky. Rousing sets by Alabama Shakes and FKA Twigs kept the crowd going.
Schoolboy Q boasted of a huge crowd pulling set on the Pavilion stage. He performed new songs from his recently released Blank Face LP. He closed out his set in true fashion by performing his hit songs “Collard Greens” and “Man of The Year”.
Major Lazer bought their infectious energy to the main stage to pump up the crowd with their dance hall and trap hits! They also premiered their new song “Cold Water“. But the main event for the day had to be Arcade Fire taking the main stage by storm.
It’s been almost three years since Arcade Fire’s last album Reflektor came out. The Montreal rockers offered up a two hour powered pack set for festival goers which comprised of all hits from their 4 album strong discography. They paid tribute to David Bowie who was an inspiration to them as well as provided guest vocals on their track “Reflektor“. They were joined by The Preservation Hall Jazz Band to perform the classic “Wake Up” and then proceeded to perform other hits like Suffragette City and Heroes. To put it in a sentence, the first day of the Panorama Music Festival definitely took expectations to a new high.
Day 2 of the festival had some big names coming up. One of the earliest sets of the day was Flosstradamus. Catering to the EDM thirsty fans of the crowd they mashed up songs of their own with the most unexpected tunes. One of them being a hip-hop trap mix of “Macarena”. Yup. That happened.
At the main stage, English indie rock band Foals took over the crowd and gave an energizing performance, one that will go down in the books. They performed their usual hits right from “What Went Down“, “My Number” to “Mountain At My Gates“.
The final day of the festival was undoubtedly the hottest of the three. Which only meant that acts would have to bring their A game to get the spirits up. And they did just that!
RUFUS DU SOL was responsible for starting out with one of the mellower sets of the day at the Parlor Stage belting out their tracks from the album “Bloom“.
ASAP Rocky dropped some grime numbers at the Pavilion Stage to a packed crowd. His sets have always been known for being adrenaline pumped and he delivered.
At the main stage, Run The Jewels were handed the responsibility of making the crowd forget the heat for a few hours. They’ve become the go-to hip-hop act for festivals all over because of their fast paced tracks and their on stage antics. Killer Mike and El-P fired all their latest right from “Blockbuster and Lie”, “Banana Clipper” to “Lie, Cheat and Steal”.
SIA was next up in line and crowds were pretty curious about how she would perform given that she doesn’t ever show her face. Sticking to her guns, she safely took a spot to the side of the stage while soulfully enchanting everyone with tracks of hers that have become global anthems. Dancers, comedian cameos, artists impersonating on-screen actions were just some of the acts going on with the music. It was more of a dance recital combined with a pop-up art show. But nevertheless, it was a moving experience.
LCD Soundsystem were the closing act for the three day festival. Given the legacy the band has had, there were fans who have been fans of their since the beginning and fans who have recently discovered them and want to witness them before they part ways. Seamlessly mixing new with old, keeping in mind the crowd they delivered a spectacular set under a huge disco ball. At the end, everyone generation in the crowd walked away with a smile on their face having witnessed a bomb of a closing set to a three day spectacle.
3. The Vibe
The Panorama Music Festival 2016 was hands down a huge hit with everyone. Apart from the stellar artists rocking out over a span of three days, there were several blogs by attendees who were very satisfied with the overall crowd and atmosphere at the festival. The festival supposedly had a majority of 25-above crowd and people that were polite for a change.
Festival-goers were happy with the fact that they were actually surrounded by people who knew and respected the legacies of bands like Arcade Fire and LCD Soundsystem and not hyper drug-fueled teenagers. This is a welcome change to anyone who has been to the other mainstream festivals that happen every now and then.
After the success of the first edition, the organizers have definitely bought something new to the festival circuit. Which only means one thing, bigger and better versions in the future!