I could tell New York City’s would be a mainly refreshing festival experience from the moment I stepped in, and I was proven right.
After Goldenvoice, the team behind , in New York City last year, curiosity ran high. The three-day event was ultimately successful and came back for a second round this year, so I decided to see what it was all about.
From volunteers being organized and well-prepared, to amazing designated VIP areas (hello, front row for the main stage) and more, the festival was a perfect weekend away from the typical hustle and bustle New York.
Day one the festival’s second year was a blast. After taking a beautiful ferry ride over to Randall’s Island, we were met with free (and delicious) cocktails and popsicles from the team at and . After enjoying all that Bai had to fer, including a Polaroid photo booth and personalized illustrations by , we made our way over to MGMT and Tyler, The Creator. Seeing MGMT perform with the beautiful New York skyline behind them was a sight to remember. However, a main highlight the night, and the entire festival, was Girl Talk’s performance.
The mash-up maestro put on what was pretty much a house party in the middle the festival, with an absurdly pristine selection throwbacks, current hits, underrated bangers, and more. Headliners Frank Ocean and Solange were slightly more disappointing, but most the crowd seemed to have a different opinion. The main downside my introduction to the festival was the cancellation acts like Breakbot after the , but the rest the impressive performances made up for the minor hiccup.
I stepped into day two with very low expectations (and a very strong hangover). After remembering that Vince Staples was on the bill, I drank as much Pedialyte as I could handle (which happens to be the ultimate hangover cure, if you weren’t aware) and made my way to Manhattan. Once we stepped into the hyped up crowd for Vince Staples, I knew I made the right decision. He performed just about all his major hits, like “Little Bit This” with GTA, and had an undeniably incredible stage presence.
Once the Parlor Stage was back in action, Hot Since 82 threw down a flawless techno/house set that made for one the weekend’s top performances.
A final highlight Saturday night was Alt-J’s stellar performance, who proved to me that I can enjoy alternative music as much as I used to. Panorama NYC had minimal sound bleed and incredible set-ups and visuals at each and every stage (from the panoramic main stage to the enclosed side stages), which made for a completely enhanced festival experience. We grabbed a quick and delicious bite at one the festival’s many food stands and were ready to go out with a bang on the most anticipated day, Sunday.
One the biggest, and only, flaws I saw with Panorama was the outsourced security company, who managed to set me f on the wrong foot on Sunday morning. When under-qualified employees in collared shirts think that they can do anything they want, you begin to wonder just how much the festival cares about their attendees. Luckily, I came back from some unacceptable encounters and made my way into Panorama for one the most exciting lineups that the city had seen all summer. Cashmere Cat absolutely dominated the Pavilion Stage, while Glass Animals and A Tribe Called Quest made the main stage one hell a party for their .
We headed back over to the Pavilion Stage for Justice, who (literally) brought a friend mine to tears. With a sound mishap that caused them to halt their set for almost 20 minutes, the French power-duo came back stronger than ever with a wicked live performance, featuring their signature golden cross and LED Marshall amps.
Finally, it was time for Nine Inch Nails. Trent Reznor brought back a whirlwind angsty teenage memories and even made a touching tribute to Linkin’ Park’s late . We headed out early and got a much-needed night sleep after three days under the Randall’s Island sun.
After hitting up Coachella for the first time earlier this year (check out my review ), I can wholeheartedly say that Panorama blew its sister festival out the water. For only being the festival’s second installment ever, it went f (almost) without a hitch and impressed me significantly. I would definitely attend Panorama 2018 and look forward to reliving my positive memories until then.
Top Sets Panorama NYC 2017:
3. Vince Staples
2. Girl Talk