The Greatest Day Ever. Something that is often said by teenagers in a Dazed & Confused-styled movie at the end of the night. Living up to that name is a tough sell, but Adidas and Brunch Bounce attempted to do just that with their festival in the Bronx over the weekend. Reaching across the five boroughs and brought Coney Island to New York Expo Center in the Bronx. With a lineup over two days that included the likes of Anna Lunoe, Diplo, The Internet, Post Malone, Dillon Francis and Green Velvet, there was plenty of optimism for The Greatest Day Ever and they just about delivered on their promise.
Situated on the water in a shutdown factory with dormant smoke stacks and water containers marking the skyline, Greatest Day Ever brought some color to this otherwise drab backdrop. We outline some of the highlights from the festival including our favorite sets of the weekend.
1. Anna Lunoe: Seven months pregnant and all, The Greatest Day Ever got the two Lunoe’s for the price of one. If it weren’t for the large belly bump, you would have no idea she was carrying another human with the energy she showed on stage. Jumping and dancing around, Lunoe was the life of the party. She did not skimp on the song selection either, bringing a mix of jersey club, house and hip-hop to her set. The sun set by the time she took the stage and the venue really started to fill in for her. To her credit, unlike a lot of other acts that had trouble keeping people inside the venue or away from rides, she was able to keep them on the dancefloor with her. This was her last gig away from home for a while and New York showed the appreciation.
2. What So Not: The Australian producer and DJ had potentially the best set of the whole festival. He has his staple of big-time trap tunes such as “Jaguar,” “Tell Me” and “Waiting” that all get a great reaction and then the skilled DJ also threw in some good mixes between hip-hop and other uptempo bass tunes. He breezed through tracks from his Divide & Conquer EP and dove deeper into the discography with “Feel It” his collaboration with GTA & Tunje Ige, who performed earlier and came out to guest.
3. Rides: They created a carnival in the Bronx. Part of that were five free rides including a Ferris wheel and four things that spun you around really fast in different ways. Normally you have to pay-per-ride for this type of entertainment, but the thrills were endless on these if you wanted to just go on them over and over. Without them, the festival would have been pretty standard, but these brought the festival to a whole new level. The lines were never that long, so you didn’t have to worry about missing a set just to get on a ride. I probably rode the rides in total 15 times over the weekend in between sets.
4. Diplo: 11:30 on a Sunday night in the Bronx. The season premiere of Game of Thrones. Diplo is a major draw in dance music and pop music at this point, but Diplo had a lot of work to do to keep it going in New York. The Mad Decent boss did not disappoint. For his first time in the Bronx, he brought it for the “turn up, not twerk crowd,” with a frenetic mix of hip-hop, big-room, pop and house. Going from classics tracks like “Everytime We Touch” into a heavy tune like “Mosh Pit” was the norm and expected. Guest appearances by Flosstradamus and Post Malone helped.
At times some of the tracks could be a bit exhausting and over the top, but pushing into Monday morning, he still managed to keep people on their toes and engaged after a long weekend. People can give Diplo shit for his antics, music, etc, but he is an expert at reading the crowd and making sure it’s a party
5. Kyle: Super duper Kyle lived up to the name. Brimming with positivity and demanding the crowd turn up to a 10 (we only got to a 8 at the end of the night, not bad he noted for hard to please New Yorkers), Kyle’s stock is soaring right now. There was a pretty solid contingent of die-hards and some new converts as he and his DJ showed off the most impressive dance moves of the entire festival. He was there to put on a performance and with a growing roster of hits, a dynamite stage persona and limitless energy, Kyle was one of the best at Greatest Day Ever and will be around for some time.
6. Green Velvet: This was not an easy gig for Green Velvet. He was slotted for an evening set where the temperature would be perfect to be outside and not inside the warehouse where the stage was set up. As the only pure house DJ on the bill, he brought a different element to the lineup as opposed to those like Anna Lunoe and Tokimonsta who mix in other genres with house music. Though the crowd was not that big, people loved what Green Velvet was doing with dance circles being formed and shufflers dominating the back part of the crowd.
7. Diversity: If you go to a standard big dance music festival, the crowd is as white as the lineup. This time was much different, with people of various colors, creeds, genders and sexual orientations all under one roof dancing. The lineup helped dictate this, but it was nice to see so many different people getting down to a wide variety of music that would change drastically from one set to the next. For all of the purists in the world, there are still plenty of people who just appreciate good music no matter what it is.
Venue being Indoors: This may have been totally different if it rained all weekend and that is hard to plan for months out when picking a venue and dealing with permits. However, the fact the stage was contained in a warehouse, while it was beautiful, warm and sunny outside, created a stark separation between the two arenas for the festival. There was the carnival aspect outside and then the music inside. There was one ride inside, but the music did not carry outside – in fact some vendors were playing different music instead of getting a feed of what the artist on stage was playing.
Some people just spent time outside because they wanted to enjoy the weather and had to sacrifice on the music as a result. Some sort of way to bridge the gap would have been perfect.
Free Water: There was free vitamin water (though they did run out) and only 4,000-5,000 people there max, so it wasn’t too big a deal, but the free water promised came in the form of small Poland spring waters that you got uncapped from a bar tender. If it were a hotter New York weekend, more water would have been necessary to keep people safe.
Beyond these things, the festival lived up to its name -- all at a good price. Stay tuned for a more complete photo gallery.