It used to be that New York City was the deadzone of the major festival experience. Festival organizers/conglomerates would attempt to organize a festival here in the city, and then all of the logistical hurdles of setting something up within the city limits would hit them like a brick to the face. And few of these festivals ever lasted more than a year. But then a crazy thing happened. Governors Ball turned into a mega-success, drawing headliners that rivaled some of the country's premier festivals like Coachella & Bonnaroo while being conveniently located in NYC's very own Randall's Island.
And now the NYC landgrab for pieces of the music festival pie is officially on. Governors Ball is the undisputed king for now; it has the established name and built in audience, and this year's lineup isn't lacking
. It's most notable competition is the inaugural Panorama
festival, the NYC offering from Coachella organizers Goldenvoice. Goldenvoice's problem -- and we suspect that it's going to have major repurcussions for the festival -- is that it's charing the same price as a major festival like Bonnaroo or Coachella with about half the lineup options (though its headliners of Arcade Fire, Kendrick Lamar, and LCD Soundsystem make our mouths water).
But this year, if you want a festival that offers an actual alternative to the homogenous lineups that are dotting the landscape as every company with a deep pocket and enough land to rent for a weekend tries to put on a new "major" festival in each corner of the country, Brooklyn has managed to provide an honest to god unique festival experience this year. Ladies and gentlemen, let's thank god for Afropunk Brooklyn 2016.
The Brooklyn institution has delivered its best lineup yet with a top bill that is so stacked it's putting most of the other festivals this year to shame: Ice Cube, TV on the Radio, Flying Lotus, Janelle Monae, Tyler the Creator, and others. And it's undercard isn't half bad either with George Clinton (!!!), Earl Sweatshirt, a superjam with members of Bad Brains & Living Colour (!!!!), Shabazz Palaces and a host of the best alternative acts in hip-hop, the blues, R&B, and every other genre under the sun. And the best part is that tickets for the weekend only cost $75 (which you can buy here
We don't know about the rest of you but we're pretty sure we're going to be at Commodore Barry Park come August. Afropunk 2016 can't be missed.