In late September, news surfaced that AEG, the production company behind the Coachella and Firefly music festivals, was aiming to bring a similar festival to New York City’s Flushing Meadows Corona Park. The proposed date for that festival (allegedly called Panorama) was during the month of June 2016 — only a couple weeks after the city’s established summer festival, Governors Ball, was scheduled to go down on Randall’s Island. In mid-October, we reported that the team behind Governors Ball had petitioned the city to block such a festival, claiming, “The timing of this proposed event is an aggressive, greedy attempt by AEG to push a small independent company of born and bred New Yorkers out of business and out of the market.” Now, with the specter of Panorama still on the horizon, yet another competitor has emerged: The New York Post reports that Madison Square Garden has asked for permission to host a “major outdoor music festival” in the same Corona Park from Friday, June 24, 2016 through Sunday, June 26, 2016.
The details of the MSG fest are unclear, although per the Post’s sources, “[I]t will celebrate quintessential New York with food and entertainment as well as music.”
This festival would presumably present a considerable challenge to AEG — it’s hard to imagine Corona Park hosting two such events over two consecutive weekends — and in that regard, it might serve as an ally to Governors Ball. Of course, if it looks like the MSG fest might potentially poach talent from Governors Ball, you’re likely to see yet another petition emerge in the next few weeks. In this case, though, Team Gov Ball’s argument wouldn’t have quite the same impact: MSG is also, for all intents and purposes, an “independent company of born and bred New Yorkers.”
One thing’s for sure: If this MSG fest gets the green light, you can safely assume the company’s executive chairman, James Dolan, will have his own band, JD & The Straight Shot, included on the bill. And I don’t care whose side you’re on — that’s something we can all petition against!