The latest music festival in New York City has wrapped up after two days full of great performances and some controversy. The Meadows Music & Arts Festival 2016 took the parking lot of the Citi Field in Queens by storm this last weekend, featuring acts by J. Cole, Kanye West, Chance the Rapper, and many others.
The sold-out event brought more than 50,000 people to the iconic Queens venue on Saturday, October 1, and on Sunday, October 2. Both days were packed with several musicians and entertainers, starting as early as noon with low-profile acts to end each night with a bang featuring renowned headliners.
The Meadows Music & Arts Festival was born as an initiative from one of New York’s top specialized companies, Founders Entertainment. The promotion venture also produces the famous Governors Ball Music Festival at NYC’s Randall’s Island since 2011.
Day 1: J. Cole’s performance was his last, at least for a while
The first day of The Meadows included sets by J. Cole, Empire of the Sun, Pretty Lights, Damian ‘Jr. Gong’ Marley, Grimes, Zhu, Savages, Kamasi Washington, Yeasayer, Miami Horror, and Romeo among others.
The Fayetteville rapper J. Cole was the main highlight of the night, hopping on stage around 9 p.m. on Saturday. The hip-hop artist jokingly acknowledged the fact that he was a last-minute addition to the lineup as compensation for The Weeknd’s absence.
“I am not even supposed to be here,” Cole said at the beginning of his set. Before wrapping up, he surprisingly added “listen, before I get out of here, listen. This is my last show for a very long time.”
Ever since the announcement of the music festival’s lineup, The Weeknd was included and seemingly confirmed for the stellar slot of Saturday night. However, things quickly derailed a couple of weeks back when Founders Entertainment learned there was a schedule conflict between them and the comedy show Saturday Night Live.
The Weeknd himself went on and off about performing at The Meadows on Friday night, one day before the event. Finally, he desisted from showing up, and J. Cole was already on board as a platinum-album-winning backup.
Day 2: Kanye West ended his set early due to a ‘family emergency’
The second day of the NYC event featured acts by Kanye West, Chance the Rapper, Kygo, The 1975, Cage the Elephant, Mac Miller, Metric, Twin Shadow, Pusha T, Jack Garratt, The Temper Trap, Zella Day, and others.
Kanye West was set to close the second and final day of The Meadows, but fans only got 50 minutes of Ye’s act when he suddenly stopped mid-song and blasted off stage.
“I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I have a family emergency. I have to stop the show,” West said after stopping in the middle of performing ‘Heartless’ from his ‘808s and Heartbreak’ album.
Multiple sources later reported the emergency had been in fact a traumatizing episode in Paris involving Kanye’s wife, Kim Kardashian. The reality TV star was robbed by two men posing as police officers. They entered her hotel room in the French capital, tied her up, and stole millions of dollars worth of jewelry at gunpoint.
Luckily, Kardashian was not harmed at all, although a spokesperson for the family said she was “badly shaken” afterward in an official statement. The accident marks the second time that Kanye fans are left disappointed, following last summer’s Governors Ball Sunday cancellation due to heavy rains.
All in all, The Meadows Music Arts & Arts Festival was a unique experience for New Yorkers and, according to those in attendance, a better venue alternative to Randall’s Island and the Governors Ball. The event producers have not yet stated if the fest will return in 2017.