Several politicians have come out in support of Panorama Music Festival, a three-day music festival that Coachella promoters are hoping to host at Flushing Meadows Corona Park next summer.
Goldenvoice, a division of AEG Live, began discussing the possibility of the festival with city officials in late September, which would be one of the biggest events held in Queens since the 1946 World’s Fair. According to the producers, the Panorama Music Festival will “present three days of top-tier musical performances, dynamic art installations, and unique technology experiences honoring the park’s history as the site of the innovative and historic 1939 and 1964 World’s Fairs.”
U.S. Rep. Joseph Crowley, Councilwomen Julissa Ferreras and Karen Koslowitz and Councilman Peter Koo are all supporting the company’s decision to bring the festival to the park.
“The Panorama Music Festival will provide a fantastic opportunity for Queens to take its rightful place as a New York City showcase,” Crowley said. “I am excited to help bring a world-class music, technology, food and art festival to Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.”
Goldenvoice has presented a plan to city officials that includes providing a donation per paid ticket to the Flushing Meadows Corona Park Alliance, a commitment to local hiring for jobs in connection to the festival and a collaboration with local restaurants and food trucks to showcase the diverse food options the borough has to offer.
“Our detailed plan outlines benefits to the community, local businesses, institutions in the park, residents, and non-profit organizations and has factored in specific feedback from Queens leaders as well as community groups,” said Mark Shulman, festival producer for Goldenvoice. “We are grateful for the broad and strong support we have received and look forward to further announcements about Panorama in coming days.”
Madison Square Garden also submitted an application to hold its own music festival this summer. Queens Borough President Melinda Katz expressed concern that these proposals did not adequately outline how they would benefit Queens residents.
“Queens is increasingly becoming a premier destination for entertainment, culture and tourism,” Katz said. “While we encourage public events of any scale that enhance our borough, this proposal appears to raise significant concerns, especially the precedent it would potentially set. If the application is granted, this would be the first time ever for Queens to lend its treasured public parkland to a for-profit company for a charged-admission event.”
The creators of Governor’s Ball, the independent music festival started in 2011, created a petition on change.org calling for supporters to ask Mayor Bill de Blasio to reject the promoter’s proposal and force them to hold the festival at another time. Governor’s Ball is held on Randall’s Island on the first weekend of June. Panorama Festival would be held on the third week of June.
According to festival organizers, Panorama would also sponsor a three-day community medical clinic to provide free health, dental and vision services for 1,500 residents. Organizations such as Make the Road New York, Jackson Heights Green Alliance and Alianza de Ligas Latinas de Futbol, a soccer league that plays at the park, also welcome the festival.
“In keeping with the history of the park and the spirit of the 1964 World’s Fair, Goldenvoice has an excellent vision to bring a cultural and technology event into Flushing Meadows-Corona Park,” Koslowitz said. “I welcome this exciting and new event and I’m confident it will be a boon for Queens.”
The festival is named for the Panorama of the City of New York, a nearly 10,000 square foot to-scale model of the city located in the park’s Queens Museum.