5 Ways The Meadows Music & Arts Festival is as New York as It Gets
When you think about New York, what comes to mind? Besides the hustle and bustle and the crowds and all those skyscrapers, it's likely the tastemaking music, the vibrant culinary scene, the sports teams, and the nightlife culture indigenous to the City That Never Sleeps.
The event that captures the inimitable, multifaceted energy of New York and combines it all with an effervescent festival atmosphere is The Meadows Music & Arts Festival. Launched last year by the folks who also bring Governors Ball Music Festival to life, everything from its musical lineup, to all the food begging to be eaten, to even its namesake venue, bursts with New York flavor. Below, we break down how The Meadows brings you the best of the Big Apple before you even enter its gates.
1. Its Lineup is Filled with New York Natives
Some of the best music ever created has come from the five boroughs – and guess what? A healthy dose of it is on deck at The Meadows 2017, whether its classic stuff or hits from rising stars. It goes without saying that Brooklyn native Jay-Z – whose overall festival appearances are rare, to say the least – might be the most anticipated act this year. Other Brooklynites set to perform this year are Joey Bada$$, Sleigh Bells, Flatbush Zombies, TV on the Radio, and Antibalas. Ghostface Killah will rep Staten Island, while De la Soul will turn up for Long Island. Jordan Bratton, Public Access T.V., and Dreamers will show up for Manhattan, and repping for Queens (where Citi Field, The Meadows' venue, is located) is Nas, Action Bronson, LL Cool J, Swet Sop Boys, and Heems. A third of the 2017 lineup is homegrown – that's hometown pride, y'all.
2. The Gorgeous Fall Weather
Everyone knows that fall in New York, much like spring, is a magical time of year. Temps have finally cooled enough to where you're not dripping from every inch of your body with sweat, the foliage is on the brink of (if not already) bursting into all those glorious autumnal hues, and you can finally comfortably enjoy all the fruits of this mighty city. Fall's mild weather is the ideal antidote for festival-goers who've already battled the heat all summer at festivals, and really for anyone who's looking for an amazing time without the risk of heat stroke.
3. The Incredibly Diverse Culinary Lineup
If you're not coming to New York ready to eat, you're doing it wrong. Like its hometown, The Meadows offers a cornucopia of food options to fulfill all your tastebuds' desires, whether it's the perfectly charred and bubbly pies from Roberta's which basically put Bushwick on the foodie map, fluffy, sugary doughnuts from Dough, the mythical Ramen Burger by Keizo Shimamoto, totally Instagrammable Van Leeuwen Ice Cream, and everything in between. Cuisine from all over the globe will be hot and ready, from Hong Kong Street Food to falafel, to Jewish deli treats, to Chinese, to Italian bites from Arancini Bros., and good old-fashioned American burgers from Astoria, Queens-based Bareburger (aside from beef, chicken, turkey and veggie, they cook up bison, elk, ostrich, and wild boar patties!).
FEASTival of Queens is an area dedicated to the most culturally diverse borough, and its open to all festival-goers this year. Folks from all over the five boroughs regularly flock to Queens to enjoy locally owned, often under-the-radar gems like Kurry Qulture (Indian), Dumpling Galaxy (Chinese), JoJu (Vietnamese), Arepa Lady (Colombian), Pata Paplean (Thai), Tortas Neza (Mexican), La Esquina Del Cameron Mexicano (Mexican), and Sugar Club (Thai). These places are so beloved, they've earned their own spots on The Meadows' 2017 culinary lineup. Just remember to pace yourself.
4. It's Held Where the Mets Play
The Meadows is named after the historic Flushing Meadows Corona Park, and its where Citi Field, the home of the New York Mets and where the 1939 and 1964 World's Fairs were held, is located. It features several of the City’s most recognizable landmarks such as the Unisphere and the State Pavilion, the park is also home to the Billie Jean King Tennis Center (US Open), the NY Hall of Science, the Queens Zoo, the Queens Museum of Art, the Queens Theatre in the Park, and so much more. In other words, there's a lot to explore beyond the festival grounds; it's the City's second-largest park (behind Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx)! and has twice played host to the World’s Fair, first in 1939 and again in 1964. And on top of being in the geographic center of the five boroughs, it is easily accessible by Subways, the Long Island Rail Road, a myriad of buses, and multiple Interstates. What's more New York than taking public transportation or a cab to your destination?
5. There's Tons of Street Art
Graffiti and street art as we know it basically owes its existence to the streets and subways of New York City. Since its birth in Philadelphia, it quickly migrated to NYC in 1970 and has gone on to wield international influence. Paying homage to the art form's colorful and controversial roots makes perfect sense at a New York festival, so The Meadows makes a point to feature New York-based street artists who best bring this aesthetic to life and transport street art's innate spirit, beauty and culture to Citi Field. Paint leaps from their surfaces to take on 3D qualities, and designs pulsate as audibly as the music around you. Graffiti’s tetradic colors practically match a festival stage’s light projections, colorful vendor wares, attendee attire, and fireworks.