The Governor’s Ball music festival is a three day festival that takes place on Randall’s Island, New York June 5 through 7. With a lineup filled with underground gems and well-known names, the weekend is sure to be a memorable one. Check out the rundown I did on five of Governor’s balls biggest artists right here. If you’re like me, you like to know as many details about a music festival as possible before you go. Well look no further. The Governor’s Ball team did an AMA (which stands for ask me anything) on the website Reddit. An AMA is basically a big question and answer session, with anyone from the community able to ask a question. The Gov Ball team let some crucial information out in this session, and I read through the hundreds of questions and answers so I could show you the highlights right here. Questions come from the Reddit community, answers come the from the Governor’s ball team.
Governors Ball bills itself as purely a music festival (whereas Coachella and Bonnaroo bill themselves as a "Music and Arts Festival"). Do you ever think one day you'll make that jump?
We could bill ourselves as a "Music and Arts" festival, as we feature art installations, graffiti murals, etc., and we have various dancers and performance artists busking around the grounds, and we feature more of these each and every year. I think we just bill ourselves as a Music Festival because that's our main draw - our music and lineup. The rest is just on top to surprise and delight you good looking folks.
What changes are being made in the infrastructure / site of the fest? Are the grounds being expanded? Is the production of the stages changing?
3 of our 4 stages are getting an upgrade - The Gov Ball NYC Stage, The Honda Stage, and the Gotham Tent. Expect bigger stages, more elaborate production, more video, more lighting, and more "Wow". The grounds are not being expanded from 2014, but we are making tweaks to the layout to make it flow better (e.g. moving some tents around, opening up some areas more, etc.). We are adding more water stations, more cell phone charging stations, more art installations, more entry/exit gates for quicker entry, and an additional enclosed liquor lounge in Honda stage field.
What improvements or additions will there be this year in any aspect of the festival?
Biggest thing I'm most excited about is that we're doing all RFID wristbands this year. And we're offering the option to do cashless. So to be clear, it's only an option to do cashless - we'll be accepting cash and credit too. The goal here is to make the experience better for people by reducing lines and just making it easier. There'll be no Gov Ball bucks or anything silly like that - plan is to just attach a credit card to your wristband and create a 4 digit pin for additional safety.
Are there any plans to do a livestream this year?
Always in the plans. Super expensive to pull off (properly) and significant clearance / rights issues to overcome and deal with. Fingers crossed that 2015 is our year! Stay tuned.
Are there any changes to VIP this year?
We have hired a new VIP decor company this year in an effort to make the VIP experience more special. While in past years we have featured simple decor and seating, this year we are making an effort to make it much more high end and classy, while also featuring the important features that people want like clean air conditioned bathrooms, comfortable seating, etc. As with past years, each stage will have a dedicated VIP area, and each of those areas will have incredibly close stage viewing, choice food vendors, cell phone charging stations, and more.
What’s the biggest thing people usually miss at this festival and are sad about later?
I think the thing people miss at the festival and are sad about later is the lesser known artists that play earlier in the day. We are huge music fans over here and we carefully pick artists to play at the festival. LOTS of times the bands that play earlier in the day go on to blow up and become huge (e.g. Haim). So we advise that people listen to all the artists playing at the festival in advance and see who is definitely worth getting there early for.
Are there any surprises that we can expect for this festival?
Yes, and we're continuing to think about what else we can do to surprise and delight attendees. Without giving too much away, we're using a whole new performance tent that will wow and awe, more surprise busking performances that will get people shaking, bigger and better art installations that will impress and/or confuse, more delectable food offerings that will make people salivate, and much much more.
Besides the lineup, what do you think separates governors ball from nearby festivals such as Firefly or Bonnaroo?
NYC. The greatest city in the world, which is at your fingertips to explore. Plus comfort. You can sleep in a much more comfortable environment. We like comfort.
Well there you have it, there were some juicy details in there. It is clear from this AMA that the Governor’s Ball team is passionate about music, and about bringing a world class music festival to New York City. The Governor’s Ball team are actually a group of young people who all worked for different festival companies in 2010, and when they realized that the New York City festival scene had a void, they all quit their respective jobs and began working to fill it. Governor’s Ball 2011 was the fruit of their labor. Now it’s 2015 and they are ready yet again to bring you an unforgettable weekend.
By Dominic Thomas