It’s official — Meadows Music and Arts Festival is not returning in 2018, capping off the months of speculation about the two-year event near Citi Field in Queens, New York.
Created by Founders Entertainment in 2016, the same promoters who developed the successful Governor’s Ball festival, the multi-day event was headlined by J. Cole and Kanye West in 2016 (Cole filled in for The Weeknd who dropped off the gig to appear in Saturday Night Live) and JAY-Z, Gorillaz and Red Hot Chili Peppers in 2017.
While the festival earned critical acclaim for its electric performances by headliners, its location in the parking lot of Citi Field did not make for the most dynamic live music experience. Long term, Founders Entertainment’s Jordan Wolowitz and others wanted to stage the event in the nearby Flushing Meadows park but it’s currently not possible to get a permit for a multi-day event at the site and staging a one-day festival in Flushing Meadows simply isn’t financially viable.
“After careful consideration, we have decided to take 2018 off and focus our efforts on returning in 2019,” a statement on the Meadow’s website reads. “Our goal from day one has been to create a marquee, multi-day, fall music festival in Queens. After two great years at Citi Field, we were excited to shift our venue focus entirely to Flushing Meadows Corona Park — the location we always hoped to move to in year three. However, after review of our application by NYC Parks, we were not able to obtain a workable multi-day permit for a 2018 festival in the park. Our sights are set on The Meadows in 2019, and we look forward to working together with all city partners and agencies.”
Founders Entertainment, which was purchased by Live Nation in 2016, isn’t the only promoter that wants to hold an event in Flushing Meadows. AEG-backed Goldenvoice had planned to stage its New York festival Panoroma — named after a completely-to-scale model of New York created for the 1964 World’s Fair and housed at Flushing Meadows — at the location after the company said city officials had given the green light. But after a high profile political battle and opposition from Founders, the event was moved to Randall’s Island, which is also home to Founders Entertainment’s Governor’s Ball event.