The Worst Lineup Conflicts At Electric Zoo – And How To Handle Them

Posted by on August 22, 2013


Waiting for festival schedules to drop is always a funny thing. On the one hand, you’re antsy for set times because you want to start planning your weekend. On the other, you know that when the announcement comes it will invariably serve to confirm all your worst fears about lineup conflicts — terrible, unspeakable conflicts which will surely force you to choose between two or more of your favorite artists. Such conflicts have been known to divide friend groups, start arguments, and lead to tears. Okay, we’re being dramatic, but you know you totally feel us. Electric Zoo is no different, so check out what we think are some of the most glaring and painful conflicts of the weekend — and our advice for dealing with them — after the jump.

(Note: one thing we do know is that those who enter Sunday School Grove probably won’t be racing out to hit the mainstage at many junctures during the weekend, so there aren’t too many conflicts to contend with there. Not bad, eh?)

4 PM FRIDAY: Otto Knows vs. Showtek vs. Jack Beats vs. Skream vs. Scuba
Friday afternoon is quite the pitfall. There is a ton of talent on parade and for whatever reason everything seems to stack up between 4 and 5:30. Otto Knows has great productions and his career is just starting, but he is green as a DJ and will be back again, and again, and again — so maybe skip him this time. Showtek tour the US a lot; however, they also put on a great show and are unequivocally the staple of every big room set nowadays. If you haven’t seen them before and want to hear “Cannonball,” “How We Do,” “Hell Yeah,” “Slow Down,” and “Booyah” live, then this is your chance. If that’s not your cup of tea, then look to the other three choices. Scuba would be your most adventurous choice, thanks to his increasingly popular brand of house, while Jack Beats and Skream hold down Hilltop and Riverside, respectively. Skream has been one of the chief innovators and founders of not just UK dubstep, but the whole genre, and if you are into bass music you should definitely plan on checking out his set because he does not get stateside often. Jack Beats always brings something different with an eclectic mixture of bass music, trap, and electro, and his set will definitely keep you on your toes. What to do here? Perhaps look to the people up in the next slot — if you’re into trance and want to get a spot for John O’Callaghan, then Jack Beats is your obvious choice. If you’re planning on posting up in BNR/OWSLA for the day, then definitely stick around for Skream. And if house is your poison, then this decision isn’t difficult at all — Cassy is up after Scuba in what is already proving to be one of the most hotly anticipated sets of the weekend.

8-8:45 PM FRIDAY: Above & Beyond vs. Dog Blood
I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that these are two of the biggest (if not most different) blockbuster acts of the entire weekend. Dog Blood have spent the duration of the 2013 festival season garnering accolades for their relentless, unpredictable, and high energy sets, and Above & Beyond are, well, Above & Beyond. Both sets really deserve to be experienced in full, which is why it’s unfortunate that there’s even the slightest bit of overlap between them. Our recommendation? Accept that you won’t be able to get the full monty and split the difference. The two stages are located close enough together to make this transition doable.

3:15 PM SATURDAY: Fehrplay vs. Oliver vs. Cazzette
So begins the two and half hours of pure agony of schedule dilemmas on Saturday, the worst day for conflicts but the strongest single day of the whole weekend. Cazzette’s brand of dub-house has been to America plenty and will be back again, and while it is unique in its own way, it is not a massive deviation from the rest of the the lineup — like Oliver and Fehrplay are. Part of the festival experience is hearing many different styles and sounds — and indeed, the goal should not be to hear “Animals” twenty times, but to get a taste for new genres and discover new artists in the process. Oliver and Fehrplay are not new, but they’re certainly more novel than many other acts on the lineup and their compartively early set times mean that you’ll have plenty of room to dance. Plus, you can count on lively, interesting sets from both.

4:10-4:30 PM SATURDAY: Madeon vs. Mat Zo. vs Claude von Stroke
On the heels of the conflict you just resolved comes another equally challenging decision. Dirtybird Don Claude von Stroke will be giving you the best from himself and his label in Sunday School, and for underground aficionados and casual underground fans, this will be a must see. Remember, however, that he will be at Output that night for a massive after party until 6 am. Mat Zo will be rocking the funky beat and hopefully, maybe (probably not) bringing out some new material, but either way he is always a good time. Finally, Madeon will give you quick mixing, upbeat French house melodies, and a sharp, crisp blazer. Whether or not you choose to follow Mat Zo’s recommendation, you really can’t go wrong here.


8 PM SATURDAY: Boys Noize vs. Gesaffelstein/Brodinski
Ugh. Ugh. This is a truly thoughtless and terrible conflict, for two reasons. First, lots of very obvious overlap between Boys Noize fans and Gesaffelstein/Brodinski fans (dark, techy, acidy, yeah). Two, neither Boys Noize nor Gesaffelstein and/or Brodinski tour the US that frequently — especially Gesaffelstein and Brodinski. So to Electric Zoo, I say: this is downright cruel. Handling this conflict will thus require a cold and calculating approach that preferences empirical thought over the fickle passions of the heart. So, let’s examine the evidence: you can catch Boys Noize with Skrillex as Dog Blood on Friday night (not the same, but better than nothing), and you’re probably more likely to see him cruise through this neck of the woods in the next six to nine months than you are to encounter the two notoriously Parisian Parisians. Especially if you aren’t from a major US city. Therefore, the Oscar must go to G and B. Sigh.

9:15 PM SATURDAY: A-Trak vs. Bassnectar
Two different but quite exceptional DJs who are known for leaving it all on the road in their live sets. This one’s going to depend mainly on personal preference, but if you want to be ruthless about it bear in mind that Bassnectar has a gigantic US tour scheduled for the fall and will likely be coming to a city near-ish you. Moreover, Bassnectar is playing down at Main Stage East, which appears to only be accessible by a super dicey looking staircase that’s guaranteed to turn into a nasty choke point by the end of the night. Thus, if you’re impartial, we’d advise getting a good spot in Fool’s Gold and letting A-Trak jack up your heart rate for 90 minutes. And if you’re a diehard Basshead…well, this wasn’t even a choice to begin with.

12:30 PM SUNDAY: Myon & Shane 54 vs. Alex Metric
Alex Metric is an explosive up-and-comer with a very distinctive sound, and Myon & Shane 54 are tried and true trance veterans who know how to work a crowd. Both are acts that we’re looking forward to seeing, but yet again we’re faced with a tough decision. In truth, we’ll probably wind up catching Myon & Shane 54 (as all the trance artists a few tiers down from Armin/Ferry/Markus tend to hit the U.S. sparingly), whereas Alex Metric’s career is just heating up and he’ll surely be playing small to medium clubs around the country in the fall and winter.

Spice contributed heavily to the writing of this post.

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