For the second year in a row, AEG Live’s Goldenvoice (the team behind Coachella) will present Panorama Festival in New York City July 28th-30th, 2017.  The festival is the place to be this summer; with performances by Frank Ocean, Tame Impala, & Alt-J, it’s an interactive music experience that combines technology, artistry and design, with installations created exclusively by New York-based artists.


Mural by @cashone, @br163artwork, @armordtribe91, Photo: @juliusjulynyc


For those of you who went last year, the interactive art installation element is back.  For the newbies, it’s called The LAB, designed and curated by, placing experiential digital art at the heart of the festival with seven interactive installations and a massive 360º virtual reality theater. The LAB serves as a playground for music, art, and technology that ultimately demonstrates META’s specialty which is the “Art of Being There.”  META experiences are crafted to combine strategy and artistry with immersive and interactive technologies to create unforgettable moments and The LAB will do just that for year two.


Photo courtesy // Panorama 2016


It all started when AEG put out a request to a handful of creative production companies asking to pitch a “Future Lab” with the goal of bringing the creative technology community together within a music festival setting.  META put together a pitch that featured three main elements: a façade, a dome to create a sense of mystery, and an exhibition with seven different interactive installations. The concept’s nucleus was to create a META-narrative that produced moment after moment of self-discovery—to ultimately to bring spectators to that “special place in consciousness.” Getting to that “a-ha moment” where people get in the zone is what drives META, and ultimately that spirit coupled with execution won them the job for the second year in a row.


Photo courtesy // @panoramanyc Panorama 2016


In terms of participating artists, the festival puppeteers sent a detailed ask to 36 NYC-based studios and received over 70 pioneering artistic concepts. META winnowed the list down to about 20 and then brought it down to the finalists with the good folks at AEG.  Finalists were able to hone in on their crafts, budgets, and concept to make the final grade. The winning installations are all designed to be interactive for no less than eight people at the same time, really driving home the communal human connection side of the experience.  Some installations will require literal human energy just to power them, and some will feature futuristic artistic themes that explore light, reflection, emotion, and inter-connection.


Photo courtesy // @panoramanyc Panorama 2016


Art Zealous spoke with Justin Bolognino who is one of the curators of the experience over at META.  He believes there is an emergent class of creativity, of “Art Stars,” quickly rising in the artistic technology community.  At META, they call this incredible talent “Experience Directors,” those who combine design, story, technology, and artistry over time—whose work culminates in experiencing the “Art of Being There.”


The idea of The LAB at Panorama is to celebrate these creative geniuses with the same respect as the musicians and bands. First and foremost, it’s a celebration of a new and exciting form of artist.


Photo courtesy // @panoramanyc Panorama 2016


In the art world, we are experiencing technology redefining art in innovative and new ways, so the idea of baking tech into the core DNA of the festival itself is innovative on many levels. When asked how placing interactive digital art at the heart of the festival scene enhances the music festival experience, Bolognino reflects on a Frank Lloyd Wright quote, “Architecture is frozen music.” In his opinion, The LAB could be viewed as tangible music as it manifests visually and interactively at Panorama.


It seems quite difficult to combine technology, artistry, and design in order to curate an avant-garde exhibition like this one. Bolognino thinks many curators get too caught up in the theme or the meaning of the art, especially in the creative technology space, and often times the work falls flat.  His tip for success: lead with emotion and wow with the tech, not vice versa.


Photo courtesy // @panoramanyc; Panorama 2016


In addition to the incredible LAB experience, for the second year in a row American Express is set to deliver the ultimate music, fan and Card Member experience at the festival, featuring a two-story tent space for all attendees and Card Members to enjoy.  We definitely don’t want to miss out on any of the following AmEx activities.

  • The Card Member Club: An exclusive Card Member lounge area on the second level of the American Express hospitality space will have an exclusive uninterrupted view of the festival grounds and main stage as well as food and beverages available.
  • Interactive Consumer Experiences: On the first level of the American Express Experience, all attendees are welcome to explore how NYC gives life to music, and how music brings the city to life – they can swing from the Brooklyn Bridge, find their inner subway dancer, discover the ultimate mic drop, and make NYC their ultimate playground through a variety of interactive vignettes.
  • Milk Makeup Bar: In partnership with Milk Makeup, attendees will also be able to stop by the American Express space to test out Milk Makeup products and get a quick makeup refresh from Milk’s makeup artists before they head to see their next artist.
  • Festival Essentials: Attendees will also be able to utilize the water refill and phone charging stations within the American Express space.
  • Panorama App Integration: American Express will be integrated with the official Panorama app so guests that enroll their AmEx card will receive the popular spend $10, get $10 experience and can become eligible for additional access to more rewards throughout the weekend. Integration is available on iOS + Android. Download the app here.


Photos provided by American Express.

Walter Frye, Vice President, Sponsorships and Branded Entertainment at American Express says, “The combination and tech, music and art is what makes Panorama a truly cultural New York moment. We invite all festival-goers to the American Express onsite experience to capture their best weekend ever through New York-inspired interactive and socially shareable moments. Our experience is designed to complement the unique nature of the festival while giving Card Members and fans a differentiated and unforgettable experience.”


As humans, we are often times searching for an escape into a deeper reality. The LAB gives us one to poke, prod and explore all while enjoying the artistic element to it while AmEx’s interactive experiences allow us to celebrate NYC culture through a technology lens.


Calling all New Yorkers – check out Panorama this year and report back with your artistic thoughts! Buy tickets to Panorama Festival here.


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