By Naeisha Rose
The Meadows Music and Arts Festival, which will take place on Saturday and Sunday at Citi Field and Flushing Meadows Corona Park, got a little bigger following a scheduling mishap involving one of its headliners, The Weeknd, and the season premiere of “Saturday Night Live.”
The Weeknd’s original time slot would not have left him enough time to make it to 30 Rockefeller Plaza in time for the “SNL: broadcast, so it was up to Tom Russell, a partner and project manager of Founders Entertainment, the company behind the festival, to find a solution.
The solution he reached is one that should please many music fans. Not only did he arrange for the St. John’s University alum and rapper J. Cole to take The Weeknd’s original slot, he also managed to pull enough strings to get The Weeknd an earlier time spot, allowing him to meet both of his obligations. (Update: Acccording to a Friday night press release from The Meadows, “scheduling conflicts” will now keep The Weeknd from appearing at The Meadows on Saturday.)
“Managing schedules is incredibly, incredibly tough, and there are a lot of moving pieces” says Russell. “We are happy to have J. Cole, who went to St. John’s and is one of the best upcoming hip-hop stars of our generation.”
J. Cole is just the tip of the iceberg as regards the lineup for the two-day music fest. In addition to Kanye West and Chance the Rapper, The Meadows will feature a diverse array of acts. Saturday’s roster includes Empire of the Sun, Pretty Lights, Post Malone, Kamasi Washington and Lolawolf, while Sunday will bring Kygo, The 1975, Cage the Elephant, Mac Miller, Børns, Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires and many more to the stage.
The festival’s diversity extends past its muscial offerings. There will be a variety of ethnic foods to choose from, curated by Queens food scribe Joe DiStefano, aka the “Guy Who Ate Queens,” according to The Meadows spokesperson Kerri Lyon.
Plus, in a nod to the upcoming presidential election, reps from HeadCount, the voter registration site, will be there to help those who haven’t registered yet.
According to the festival’s organizers, The Meadows is meant to benefit Queens as well as provide entertainment for its audience. A portion of its proceeds will be donated to such Queens organizations as the Far Rockaway RBI Little League, Queens Public Library, and the New York Police and Fire Widows’ and Children’s Benefit Fund, according to Lyon.
“We always had the credo of supporting local community partners,” Lyon said.
This year the sixth-annual Governor’s Ball, which was held on Randall’s Island in June, and was also produced by Founders Enertainment, brought in an estimated $40 million to New York City, according to a company statement. Founders Entertainment has similar expectations for the economic impact of The Meadows.
On Saturday and Sunday, the box office for The Meadows will open at 11 a.m., gates will open at 11:45 a.m., and music starts at 12:15 p.m. The box office closes and the music should end by 10 p.m. both evenings.
For more details on tickets, transportation and activities go to www.theme