Through Firefly, I started using the app Socialladder to sell tickets to friends for festivals in exchange for rewards. After my work with Firefly was such a success, I signed up for the Meadows and ended up earning a VIP ticket. I wasn’t even sure if I was going to end up using it, but after seeing the lineup last minute – Minh decided to join and we drove up to New York for a day.
The Meadows (RIP – I am going to use the present tense because I hope it comes back) takes place in the park/parking lot adjacent to Citi Field where the Mets play. Despite the fact that it is basically a glorified parking lot, it was a great vibe and environment for the festival. We parked easily in a lot just minutes from the entrance and were some of the first people in line.
My earned ticket and Minh’s purchased ticket were easy to pick up and we were through security and inside within minutes. There were tons of cool things to see before the music started. Since it was New York – there were vendors there that we would have never seen at Firefly. We went into the VICE Channel Bus, played with Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm Flailing Balloon Men and grabbed tacos and a drink.
At Firefly, all alcohol is allowed everywhere within the festival. Not the case at The Meadows (or at any of the other festivals I attended this year). Beer and wine are free range, but hard liquor is only allowed in “cocktail gardens” or the VIP areas. So the tacos we grabbed were in the liquor area. Minh judged me for having a delicious drink before noon – but I judged him right back for being a grump. He also judged me when I knew the girl giving out the Tito’s swag from seeing her at three other festivals that year – whatever, more free stuff for me. After all the judging, we explored the VIP area (very nice – but got wayyyy crowded at night) and got ready for a great day of music.
It was Saturday (Day 2 of the Festival). We got to see youngr (probably my favorite of the day) he was phenomenal live (and ridiculously talented), Flatbush Zombies (I love rap, but did not love them), and Big Boi (great crowd, but it wasn’t packed yet).
LL Cool J was next and he brought out like every big name in “old school” hip hop. He also had an awesome stage presence. Probably my favorite festival moment of all time happened when LL brought out Tribe Called Quest’s Q-Tip and Jacobi White. Honestly, I didn’t realize what was happening, even once they started performing my all time favorite ATCQ song, “Award Tour.” All of the sudden I realized that they were actually there, and I have never run so fast in my life.
After that it was De la Soul, Big Gigantic and Gorillaz (Minh’s favorite). A few hours before Gorillaz set, the Meadows posted a guest list of all the special guests who would be joining them on stage!!!
So the one downside of a festival in a parking lot is that there is nowhere to sit and for us “old people” your knees and feet start to hurt after standing on hard blacktop all day. Gorillaz was amazing, but I was beat by this point and the VIP area was way over crowded. There wasn’t a chair, bench, step, or blade of grass to spare. The parking lot was littered with trash and I sat in it till it was time to go.
That said – we both agreed we would go back in an instant. The food was phenomenal, we loved the artists and had a fantastic day!!! We were sad when the 2018 lineup never materialized, but are still holding out hope it will be back and better than ever.
One other cool thing, after seeing Youngr’s amazing set – I also stood next to him in the VIP area. Yes, I attempted to take covert pictures of him and then tweeted him because I was too shy to say hi.
My takeaways from The Meadows:
- Music was great
- Food was great
- A lot more variety of music and great guest appearances
- That’s what being in NY will get you
- VIP needed an overhaul
- We hope the festival will be back!!!!
As always, I have included a few of my favorite pictures from the day and welcome any convo or questions.