People of Electric Zoo
I’ll admit it right here: I’m in my early 30s. I’m at that age where everything my demographic was into has slipped into a "It was so much better back in the day" conversation, with no bigger offender than myself. So by all accounts I should have been baffled by the menagerie of party-centric punters at this weekend’s Electric Zoo, but it was just a logical progression that the colorful fanatic-like adornments seen as the sub culture originally found its way into the "Mad-chester" scene and Europe’s Love Parade, from its point of origin in Chicago’s mid ’80s acid house scene. And besides, it’s always fun to get mixed up in "what the kids are into." Whether it be rock, metal, hip hop or EDM. Or in this case, having your head pummeled by ear-splitting bass.
With tens of thousands teeming into Randall’s Island this weekend, the color palette was bright, the flesh bared aplenty and the more ridiculous was obviously the better. Kids jammed the barriers to pay appreciation to their favorite artists, notably sporting various identifiable apparel associated with their favorite acts. It is now almost a necessity for a DJ, duo or act to have a marketable image or logo — it pays to have some sort of catch. Dada Life had their bananas, and plenty of giant inflatable versions of the fruit made their way from the stage into the sea of outstretched hands. Punters also came as electronic music heroes who weren’t playing, such as Deadmau5 or Daft Punk. I was secretly hoping to see a quartet of guys in Kraftwerk-esque costumes, but no luck.
Many think Coachella has the most outlandish outer wear sported by an audience, but after covering that more fashion conscious festival, it’s clearly the EDM festivals, love it or hate it, that get the most passion put in. It may not be wholly trendy, and Urban Outfitters won’t be offering Electric Daisy Carnival or Ultra Fest looks or style blogs anytime soon as they did for the Coachella Festival, but the kids definitely make up for it in effort.
Photos by Andy Boyle