Sept. 15-17, 2017, the Meadows Music & Arts Festival returned for its second year in the parking lot of Citi Field in Queens, NY. The festival, produced by Founders Entertainment — which also produces the annual Governors Ball Music Festival on Randall’s Island — expanded to three days from last year’s two days, and featured more than 40 music artists on four stages from noon to 10 p.m. each night. Jay-Z, Gorillaz and the Red Hot Chili Peppers headlined the three days, and the rest of the roster was packed with many on-the-rise names in hip-hop, pop, dance and alternative music. The festival also showcased street art and interactive installations, along with dozens of local food and cocktail vendors.
The Meadows’ most spectacular highlights might have been in the surprises.
On Friday, Run The Jewels brought out Zac De La Rocha, formerly of Rage against the Machine. Later, and Jay-Z paid homage to Linkin Park’s late Chester Bennington with “Numb/Encore” from their 2004 collaborative set, Collision Course. “Sing it so loud he can hear it all the way in heaven,” Jay instructed the crowd. Later, Jay introduced Damian Marley for the 4:44 track, “Bam,” and Marley’s own, “Welcome to Jamrock.”
On Saturday, LL Cool J teamed with Q-Tip and Jarobi White of A Tribe Called Quest, Darryl McDaniels — who was the D.M.C. of veteran Queens-based rap duo Run D.M.C. — and Melle Mel and Scorpio of Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five. Future welcomed Yo Gotti, Nicki Minaj and Young Thug. Finally, Tory Lanez’s set featured an appearance from Busta Rhymes. The Gorillaz — who played in human form rather than in the band’s better-known cartoon and costumed forms — announced its guests earlier in the week, including Pusha T, Peven Everett, D.R.A.M., De La Soul, Little Simz, Jehnny Beth of Savages, Mos Def, and Del tha Funkee Homosapien.
On Sunday, Action Bronson promoted his new cookbook by tossing hardcover copies into the audience, even signing a few.