Music festivals have been rising in popularity all over the country. With events like Lollapalooza and Bonnaroo, they’re becoming a large source of profit for both artists and the companies running the festivals. Coachella—one of the most well known festivals—is run by the Anschutz Entertainment Group—specifically, their division AEG Live. Rumors have recently circulated that the management group is considering bringing a new massive event to New York City, with “Panorama” as the tentative name. It would take place in Flushing Meadows Corona Park—the site of the 1964 World’s Fair—and it would also take place two weeks after the local Governors Ball Music Festival, held the first weekend in June.
It’s unfortunate that a huge corporation would want to run a small, local company out of business for the sake of raking in more money. Holding a proposed event around the same time as the Governors Ball will likely bring popular acts away from it, drawing crowds away from the festival.
Every year, the Governors Ball employs city residents and brings in local food caterers—a great way to contribute to the economy. It would be a shame for all of that wonderful effort to be erased by corporate-backed greed that—besides getting permission to use city-owned property—likely wouldn’t care nearly as much about giving back to the community.
I vividly remember standing in the Governors Ball crowd last June and watching The Black Keys perform their headlining set. Being able to sing along to my favorite songs—as well as listen to some that I hadn’t heard yet—was only one of the many factors that made the day as great as it was. Along with eating from the food trucks, admiring the artwork and meeting fellow Geneseo freshmen, the festival was definitely one of the most incredible experiences of my life. As I was leaving Randall’s Island to return home, I couldn’t wait to return the next year. The mere idea of having that opportunity taken away is very upsetting and I’m sure that many other Governors Ball fans would agree.
The Governors Ball has fought back against the notion of Panorama, starting a petition to ask New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to reject the event, with a possible solution of holding Panorama at a different time in the year. That way, neither event would cause a conflict with the other.
Hopefully, Governors Ball gets the signatures and support that they deserve and a larger corporation doesn’t overshadow this thrilling music festival.