After months of speculation about whether it would ever actually happen or not, the New York City version of Coachella, Panorama Fest, is here, and holy s***, this collection is one of the strongest of the whole festival season. The festival, which will take place from July 22nd to July 24th on Randall's Island (also home of June's Governor's Ball music festival), is looking to become Coachella organizers', Goldenvoice, marquee festival establishment on the East Coast, and while this festival has fewer names lined up so far than those playing Coachella or Gov Ball, they make up for it with sheer concentrated quality.
The headliners alone should make Panorama sell out remarkably fast with Arcade Fire, Kendrick Lamar, and LCD Soundsystem topping the bill. Arcade Fire have been off the touring market (outside of a rare show here & there) since the end of their Reflektor
tour (aka the tour that I caught them which was an incredible rock spectacle) and with the rumors that the band are in the midst of prepping new music, it wouldn't be surprising to hear some new tunes this summer in advance of a potential new record for 2017. And, clearly, Kendrick Lamar has taken the hip-hop world by storm and if he's bringing the Kunta Groove sessions to a festival, Randall's Island is going to turn into a massive, politically charged, funky as all get out party. And, LCD Soundsystem? Sure, I'll be seeing them two other times that summer (Coachella and Bonnaroo) but if you think I'm going to complain about three LCD Soundsystem sets, you're crazy.
And while Panorama doesn't have much of an undercard in terms of quantity, the quality of those performers is through the roof (and not all of them are playing all of the other fests this summer). Here's a quick cross-section of the performers: Blood Orange, the National, Foals, Broken Social Scene (!!!), FKA Twigs, Alabama Shakes, Sia, Sufjan...the list goes on. The tickets seem expensive as hell ($369 for a three day pass) for a festival with such a small undercard, but it's hard to complain too much when there are this many great acts on the list.