Mania at the Meadows


Kanye West performing at the Meadows concert.

Whether it’s in your friends’ Instagram photos, ads all over the internet, or billboards in NYC, one thing is clear: music festivals in New York are impossible to ignore.

On October 1st and 2nd, 2016, thousands of New Yorkers and residents from the tri-state area attended the inaugural Meadows Music Festival, otherwise known as The Meadows.

New-York based Founders Entertainment, the long-time organizer of the popular NYC festival, GovBall, has created a first: a hip hop, rap, and alternative music fall festival in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. The Meadows broke the barrier as the first festival to not take place in the summer, expanding new opportunities to make money from these events.

For more and more high school students, festivals represent an opportunity to see many of their favorite artists in one weekend. Tickets were set at a reasonable price, approximately one-hundred dollars. This is relatively inexpensive in comparison to the price of seeing separate concerts for each individual performer.

“They’re fun, they bring artists to the area, they make it possible to see more artists for less money,” Joseph Moser ’19 said, reflecting on the positive aspects of the increased number of festivals.

The festival featured many well-known artists such as Chance the Rapper, Kanye West, The Weeknd, Kygo, Cage the Elephant, and many more from a myriad of music genres.  A majority of people were most excited to see the headliners for Sunday’s show: Chance the Rapper and Kanye West.

Despite the hype surrounding the fall festival, there were many complaints. One of the most common faults people found was the large crowd present during Sunday’s performances. Having a large crowd in such a small space affected people’s cellphone service, lines for food and the bathroom, and overall enjoyment of the concert.

In order to get a view of their favorite artists, fans spent hours in line, waiting patiently. “To get a good view of Chance the Rapper and Kanye West,  my friends and I had to stand in the same spot in the crowd for seven hours. During this time, we couldn’t get food or leave to go to the bathroom,” Charlie Robinson ’17 said.

The biggest surprise of the weekend came thirty seconds into Kanye West’s famous song, ‘Heartless.’ Suddenly, the music cut, the lights shut off and the audience heard,  “I’m sorry. There’s a family emergency. I have to stop the show,” before West abruptly left the stage. “I thought it was justified. If anyone in his or her right mind has a family member in jeopardy, they should come to their aid immediately. On the other hand, it would have been really nice for someone like Kygo to replace him,” Aidan Gibbons ’17 said.

Hopefully, The Meadows will return next year with several improvements in organization and communication, but with a similar line-up of stellar musicians.