Downtown Music Festival Causes Some Terminal Insanity



With an expectedly racy performance by Major Lazer, a hauntingly beautiful show by Miike Snow and an almost three-minute-long set by Santigold, there was no shortage of surprises at the Downtown Records Music Festival. The record label celebrated its fifth anniversary at Terminal 5 on Saturday, March 5, and colorful lasers, fog lights, and killer dance beats were all to be found in abundance.

Major Lazer (and a female dancer dressed as an officer of the law) got the crowd crazy, while Diplo managed to remix Ace of Base, Far East Movement, and Bob Marley seamlessly in one set. Major Lazer’s performance involved grinding with random girls from the audience on stage and crowd surfing. His performance with Santigold, “I’ll Make Ya,” was hyped up, but featured less than three minutes of Santigold the whole night through, much to the crowd’s disappointment.

This wasn’t the most extreme moment for Major Lazer on stage; he told Interview about a time when “Skerrit Bwoy slung a fire hose over a lighting tress in Sweden and swung over the crowd like Tarzan. Then 30 girls rushed the stage, and he flew back into them like bowling pins.”

The show culminated in Miike Snow’s entrance, the band wearing silver masks and surrounded by a thick, white fog. A ten-minute long performance of “Silvia” with a guitar breakdown was one of the most memorable parts of the evening. The band ended the concert with an elongated version of “Animal.”

Caroline Kennedy might not be the celebrity you’d expect to run into at Terminal 5, but she was on hand for the festivities in her role as Vice Chair of the Fund for Public Schools (she also recently visited a local public school with Santigold to discuss the importance of music education). “We’re especially interested in reaching out to NYC public school alumni to get them involved,” Kennedy said. “So we’re really grateful to Downtown and their artists for getting the word out to their fans about the importance of literacy and of volunteering.”

The sold-out event was the culmination of work by Downtown Music and its joint venture partners RCRD LBL, Mad Decent, Fool’s Gold, Mercer Street and Dim Mak. A portion of the profits went to the New York Fund for Public Schools. Commemorative T-shirts by Rag & Bone and Helmut Lang were sold to benefit the FPS.