Photo of Governors Ball Music Festival in Randall’s Island Park
Coachella producer AEG/Goldenvoice is moving ahead with its planned New York City music festival. The first Panorama Music Festival will take place July 22nd – 24th at Randall’s Island Park.
A lineup announcement for Panorama is still forthcoming; however, CoS has learned that reunited hometown favorites LCD Soundsystem are among the headliners. As previously reported, the band signed a three-festival deal with AEG/Goldenvoice which will also see them play Coachella and FYF Fest.
Goldenvoice and its parent company AEG originally intended to stage Panorama in June at Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens. Organizers for NYC’s other major music festival, Governors Ball, petitioned the mayor’s office to block the initial Panorama proposal, arguing, “The timing of this proposed event is an aggressive, greedy attempt by [AEG/Goldenvoice] to push a small independent company of born and bred New Yorkers out of business and out of the market.” Now in its sixth year, Governors Ball takes place annually in June at Randall’s Island Park.
Ultimately, New York City Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver turned down AEG/Goldenvoice’s proposal, but for different reasons. He explained to the NY Daily News, “While we are heartened by the interest in one of Queens’ most historic parks, our primary concern is ensuring the park is available for the many New Yorkers who call Flushing Meadows Corona Park their backyard.” Silver added that the city has never held a large-scale, multi-day festival in the grassy parts of the park.
In a press release announcing Panorama’s 2016 details, Goldenvoice producer Mark Shulman said the company is “committed” to producing a “world class event” in Queens. For now, though, they’ll be staging the festival on Governors Ball’s home turf.
Not surprisingly, the move has irked Governors Ball organizers, who called the decision a “short-sighted and disappointing solution.” Governors Ball co-founder Tom Russell told the Daily News, “The city needs a long-term strategy for approving music festivals that ensures it is maximizing the economic and community impact of these events. Scheduling two same-genre festivals on top of each like this makes it difficult for either to provide the maximum benefit to its fans, its neighbors and taxpayers.”
Asked to respond to Governors Ball’s concerns, Shulman said in a statement, “We don’t share that viewpoint. New York City has 12.5 million residents, plus an enormous number of domestic and international visitors, who keep our many sports arenas, music venues, museums, theaters and restaurants at capacity each night.”
Shulman added, “NYC sustains multiple music festivals and Panorama will add one additional entertainment option over the summer. We believe all the many festivals here can coexist, thrive, and have long term success.”
While it is true multiple music festivals do currently exist within New York City’s limits, they’re primarily of the hip-hop and EDM variety. The city is a graveyard for countless alt rock festivals, including All Points West, Vineland, and Field Day. Promoters of these festivals have blamed a competitive market that includes three major arenas, a football stadium, and nearly a hundred clubs. While Governors Ball has managed to find success, it remains to be seen whether it’ll be able to complete with a corporate juggernaut such as AEG/Goldenvoice.
Governors Ball, set to take place June 3rd – 5th, boasts a lineup that includes Kanye West, The Strokes, The Killers, Beck, Robyn, Death Cab For Cutie, M83, HAIM, CHVRCHES, Father John Misty, and Jamie xx.