I had a great time and would repeat. Although next time, I would either go with a larger group of around 4 or go solo. I went with my wife, which was fun, but the festival is not really an ideal couple's experience. It lends itself more to a group party or a solo vibe.
My wife and I only went on Sunday and got the VIP package. I chose Sunday because I got to see Tiesto and Major Lazer and because the weather was ideal. Notwithstanding the music, the people watching was the most fun part. On the ferry, we got to see all of the youngsters preening in their costumes. Some of them introduced themselves to us and told us about their favorite DJs.
The vibe was excellent, the crowd was mostly cool, and I never had a problem reaching the bathrooms. I actually liked the system of adding $ to the bracelet and then paying with the bracelet. It beats the ticket system of Caribana and other similar festivals because it cuts down on lines.
My personal experience was very positive, but I have to address two huge issues: the Friday closing and the Sunday rejections.
The organizers did not have the venue ready on Friday, which was a huge mistake. If I paid thousands of dollars for a three-day pass, I would have been angry. The refunds are a nice idea but they will be incomplete. I don't how they will calculate the value of the Friday VIP or Select attendance plus round trip ferry, but I know the customer will not get all of the money back. I don't know that they will reimburse for the ferry but I know they cannot reimburse for the opportunity cost of coming to NY on a Friday morning. People came from as far as Brazil and from all over the country for this festival, will the refund incorporate that fee? Their excuse, global supply chain issues, was vague enough to mean nothing and seemed like a way to pass the buck.
On Sunday, the staff turned away masses of ticket holders because they would have overcrowded the venue. This led some of the angry ticket holders to rush the entrance. Luckily, no one was hurt. Can't blame that on the supply chain: the organizers got greedy and sold too many tickets. The Sunday fiasco makes the supply chain story less believable.
The vibe, my experience, the music, the people, the staff, the easy access to bathrooms.
Expensive, badly planned.