Deep in the Hunt’s Point section of the Bronx, behind the Bruckner Expressway and along the rotting industrial wharves, was a party bigger than any other in New York this past weekend. The thousands of attendees that came uptown for Bang On!’s Elements NYC Music & Arts Festival at the New York Expo Center were treated to a private playground that featured a rustic waterfront and a 45,000-square-foot indoor arena.
While Sunday had the better weather, the festival’s strong Saturday lineup filled its five stages, and the parties raged till just after midnight. Headliner Griz tore up the indoor Earth stage for an audience that stretched back a football field and clung to his saxophone notes as they were joined with guitar riffs by his All Good Records label-mate Muzzy Bearr. On Sunday night, Flying Lotus and Zeds Dead closed out the Earth stage while, outside, DJ Jazzy Jeff of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air fame spun with rapper Dayne Jordan under the Fire stage’s pyrotechnics. Jazzy Jeff’s set attracted some of the festival’s major DJs, including Matt Sebastian, who was excited when I invited him to join Jeff for a portrait.
Other highlights of Elements NYC were the Air, Water and 5th Element stages, a Healing garden with free yoga, and a plethora of interactive art exhibits. From Babyslut’s colorful playroom, to the Connection Circle hosted by BAE’s Reem Abdou to DOMLO’s spy tower, there were plenty of aesthetic amusements amidst all the dancing and urban wilderness.
Click through our slideshow to see who turned up.