The Meadows music festival blossoms with plenty of great performances


Anna Finkelstein

BORNS, the popular music group who sings the hit singles “Electric Love,” “American Money,” “10,000 Emerald Pools,” and “Clouds” performing at The Meadows. Fans sing, dance, eat, and enjoy themselves as the band performs.

Natalie Pacht, Contributing Writer

The inaugural Meadows Arts & Music Festival is an event run by Live Nation, the same company that was in charge of the well-known Governor’s Ball music festival earlier this year. The Meadows, a two-day concert packed with popular artists, in the parking area of Citi Field on Oct. 1 and 2.  It was filled with constant performances from 11am to 11pm.  In addition, the event offered a variety of food and activities.

The headliners for The Meadows included J. Cole, Kygo, Chance the Rapper, and Kanye West.  The Weeknd was going to perform on Saturday instead of J. Cole, but they were not able to make it due to scheduling conflicts. This was confirmed just two days before the festival, which upset many music lovers.

“I can’t believe The Weeknd did not work out their schedule ahead of time. I was very disappointed to hear that they couldn’t make it but at least J. Cole came to replace him,” said junior Dara Kaufman. “He exceeded my expectations and I’m glad he was the one who took The Weeknd’s place.”

On Saturday, fans were pleased when J. Cole and Kygo’s performances went off without a hitch, besides some scattered rain showers, although those who attended the festival on Sunday were not so fortunate. All of the performers from 11am to 8pm went very well, as the artists stuck to their designated time periods. However, headliner Kanye West did not meet this standard. No one was surprised that this pop culture icon showed up nearly thirty minutes after he was expected on stage.

“That’s classic Kanye,” said junior Sierra Robinson. “Of course he would show up late to his own concert.”

Once Kanye arrived, he sang for thirty minutes and then abruptly left. During the middle of his song, “Heartless”, Kanye looked down at his phone, and then said to the audience “I’m sorry, I’m sorry. I have a family emergency. I have to stop the show.”

The whole audience was extremely confused.  They did not know if the emergency was real, or whether he would come back on later in the day.

“I honestly had no idea what was going on. I could not hear what Kanye said right before he left the stage, and all I heard were the angry and confused reactions of everyone in the audience,” said junior Sally Fried. “It was crazy. I didn’t know whether I should stay and see if he would come back on the stage or leave.”

Festival-goers were especially upset because Kanye was supposed to have perfomed at Governor’s Ball a month earlier, but his performance got cancelled then, too.

“It’s ironic that Kanye West stopped his show during his 2008 hit ‘Heartless’ because that’s exactly how I viewed him while I was leaving Governor’s Ball,” said senior Max Kornyev.

Many people were outraged that he left.  It wasn’t until much later that night that the news came out that his wife, Kim Kardashian, was held at gunpoint and robbed at her hotel in Paris.

In addition to having great performers, The Meadows was filled with popular food vendors including Ramen Burger, Wowful, Gorilla Cheese, Pizza Nova, and more food trucks that are normally at Smorgasburg. The lines for the most popular places were extremely long.  Because of the way the stages were set up, people waiting for their food were able to hear and see the performances.

“I waited on the Ramen Burger line for a good half hour, and I was getting pretty upset because of how slowly it was moving.  Then Chance the Rapper came on and I had a pretty good view of him from the line so I could enjoy his concert wherever I was,” said junior Sarah Finkelstein.

There were four stages that made a square in the middle of the parking lot, all facing outwards, and the two stages facing opposite ends of the parking lot performed at the same time. This set up helped control the crowds and optimize the sounds.

Overall, The Meadows was a very well-run music festival. The staff was very helpful and tried to keep everything moving. All of the artists, aside from Kanye West, went on stage in time and performed exceptionally well. The food was delicious and there was no shortage of things to do. The Meadows never had a dull moment and was a great event, despite Kanye’s mid-performance departure.