Students Mourn the Meadows — And Its Free Tickets


Anna Letson

Fans enjoying music by the stage at the Meadows on Sept 15, 2017. The Meadows festival will not be returning this year

Faith Marnecheck, Deputy Copy Chief

A music festival well-loved by NYU students, there will be no visit to Citi Field in Queens this year for the Meadows as the show’s organizers decided to cancel the weekend of big-name artists for 2018. Last year’s lineup — the second in the music festival’s short history — included artists like the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Jay-Z and Migos.

For last year’s festival, held in mid-September, NYU handed out free tickets in the Kimmel Center for University Life to students on a first-come-first-serve basis. This boosted excitement for the festival and allowed for attendees who may not have been able to buy tickets otherwise.  In this way, The Meadows became an introductory experience of sorts for NYU students who were able to attend with fellow first-years and cherish an experience truly unique to New York City.

Tisch sophomore Brian Cheng had a great time at last year’s festival and also loved that it accommodated people in wheelchairs like himself.

“I did get to bond with a lot of close friends at Meadows and overall, accessibility was very good,” Cheng said.

Mary Oliver, a sophomore in CAS, also attended the festival last year. Though the experience was fun, she said it wasn’t the be-all, end-all of her first-year experience. I enjoyed the Meadows Festival, but I do prefer much smaller and more intimate shows,” Oliver said.

“Of course, with the caliber of artists that performed at The Meadows, it’s nearly impossible to hold small shows, so festivals are a great opportunity for people to see a bunch of great, big-name artists in the same period of time. I can’t really afford to buy tickets this year, so I wouldn’t have gone anyways.”

The show was never supposed to be canceled this year. The organizers wanted to move to Flushing Meadows Corona Park for the third year, according to a statement on the festival’s website. However, there were complications which prevented this from happening.

“After review of our application by NYC Parks, we were not able to obtain a workable multi-day permit for a 2018 festival in the park,” statement reads. “Our sights are set on The Meadows in 2019.”

Since the move proved impossible, the festival decided to skip this year and possibly return next year. Journalism graduate student Levar Alonzo did not think that being denied one venue was a sufficient reason for canceling the festival altogether.

“New York has like endless venues,” Alonzo said. “They even have islands that they dedicate. They have like [Electronic Dance Music] festivals on Governors Island. A whole bunch of islands are just sitting there and nobody uses them. So I mean that doesn’t make sense … or give a good reason of why not to have the Meadows Festival.”

Tisch sophomore Julia Bogdanoff had heard that the festival was fun previously and agreed that the location issue was probably not a good enough reason to justify nixing the festival this year. Bogdanoff said she might have attended this year if the festival had occurred.

“I go to a lot of individual concerts, but what I like a lot about festivals is it’s a compact place to see a bunch of different artists that you like,” said Bogdanoff.


Email Faith Marnecheck at [email protected]