Coachella organizers launch new NYC music festival

Coachella 2015

Around this time last week, Coachella unveiled its 2016 lineup, instantly sending shockwaves across the Internet by officially confirming the reunions of both LCD Soundsystem and Guns N’ Roses.

Just a week later, and the music festival’s organizers at Goldenvoice have dropped some more headline-worthy news on a Monday night, though this time it doesn’t involve Coachella.

Instead, the Los Angeles-based events and promotions company is taking its festival game to the East Coast, where it will host Panorama from July 22nd-24th in New York City.

The three-day music festival will bring “music, art, technology and local food offerings” to Randall’s Island Park, the same location where Governor’s Ball will also be held seven weeks earlier on June 3rd-5th. It’s a bold decision on Goldenvoice’s part, knowing that the Big Apple already has one well-established summer music festival, but a petition from the organizers at Governor’s Ball wasn’t enough to block Panorama from getting off the ground.

“We look forward to bringing Panorama to New York City and introducing a new festival that showcases today’s top music acts,” Goldenvoice’s Mark Shulman said in a statement. “We’re committed to creating an event that will provide significant benefits to New York City with the level of experience and meticulous attention to detail for which Goldenvoice is known.”

Goldenvoice also said that in addition to launching Panorama this July, it plans to continue working on bringing a music festival to Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens someday.

While Governor’s Ball boasts Kanye West, The Strokes and The Killers as headliners (not to mention Beck, whom Yeezy had some interesting words for after last year’s Grammys) in its sixth year this June, it’s hard to imagine it being able hold its own in the long run against a Goldenvoice-run event like Panorama.

Shulman says that “Goldenvoice has received tremendous support from the local community and elected officials,” so we’ll see if two, and potentially three, summer music festivals in the greater NYC area can co-exist over time. As we saw in Southern California last year, there may be a limit to how many music festivals are actually sustainable in one of the country’s biggest music markets, much like EDM promoter SFX experienced with One Tribe Festival.


Inaugural One Tribe Festival canceled just weeks before coming to Southern California

One Tribe Festival

One Tribe Festival //
Lake Perris State Park – Lake Perris, CA
September 25th-26th, 2015 //

In what came as some surprising news this week, EDM promoter SFX has canceled the first edition of One Tribe Festival after ticket sales failed to meet expectations.

The two-day, electronic-leaning festival located outside of Los Angeles in Riverside County was supposed to feature sets from Norwegian DJ and record producer Kygo, San Francisco ambient-techno outfit Tycho and glitch-hop act Gramatik. London-based house/techno DJ Damian Lazarus, Israeli DJ/producer Guy Gerber and renowned Detroit techno producer Carl Craig were also slated to perform this year, with the festival offering other activities such as camping, yoga, swimming and paddle boarding.

On Tuesday afternoon, One Tribe officials issued a statement on their website, Facebook and Twitter, stating that the event had been “postponed indefinitely due to a mix of unforeseen events and circumstances.”

However, Jacob Smid, managing director of SFX Live North America, revealed to The New York Times that it was low ticket sales that in fact put the kabosh on having One Tribe later this month at Lake Perris State Park.

“We had an ambitious plan to bring an innovative and unique experience built around the spirit of community, art and music to an amazing venue in Southern California,” Smid told The Times in a statement. “Unfortunately, disappointing ticket sales put us in a position of choosing between compromising our vision and the overall experience at One Tribe, or canceling it.”

As Billboard reported, SFX has fallen on hard times, with its stocks declining more than 80 percent in 2015. SFX chairman and CEO Robert F.X. Sillerman had plans to complete a bid to take the company private but recently changed course and announced that it would instead entertain minority offers from potential stakeholders. A parent company of Dutch dance promoter ID&T, SFX also organizes and promotes Electric Zoo, the three-day music festival which returns to Randall’s Island in New York City this weekend, along with TomorrowWorld, another three-day music festival that hits Chattahoochee Hills, Ga., outside of Atlanta later this month for its third straight year.

But One Tribe’s cancellation speaks louder to the music-festival market in California. With music festivals spread across The Golden State throughout the summer and into the fall, it’s worth asking if we’ve hit a ceiling point on how many are actually sustainable. Lightning in a Bottle and Symbiosis Gathering (one of our eight California music festivals you won’t want to miss before the end of 2015) are both multi-day festivals in Central and Northern California and already offer similar experiences, with camping, yoga and music all apart of the overall packaged deal.

If anything, One Tribe’s inability to reach a larger audience in one of the country’s biggest music markets throws caution to the wind for other concert promoters looking to tap into California’s festival scene. We’ll see if SFX gives One Tribe another shot in 2016 or conversely scraps the idea altogether.