Music festivals often have a knack for reflecting the places they are convened. This is evident in the relaxed beach feel of Coachella, or the rustic utopia feel of Burning Man. One of New York City’s youngest music festivals, Governors Ball, represents its venue in much the same way. With an eclectic lineup that boasts every genre from old school hip-hop to dubstep, the variety of the Big Apple can be seen and heard everywhere. Governor’s Ball masters blending the hustle and bustle of city life with a laid back festival feel. During the day, shows are relaxed and harken to Bonnaroo, where sitting barefoot on the grass is more than acceptable, it is encouraged. However, just like nights in the city, dusk signifies a complete change of face. Crowds grow denser and light shows illuminate the New York skyline peeking above the main stage: a true nightclub outdoors. A narrow path from the stage breaks through the crowd allowing artists to practically brush shoulders with their fans.
Headliners for the upcoming festival, which takes place this June 6 to the 8, include; Outkast, Jack White, Vampire Weekend, The Strokes, Phoenix and Skrillex among many others. Not bad for a festival in its third year. Located on Randall’s Island along the East river, the venue can be just as exciting to travel to as the festival itself. The island may be accessed via subway, bus, car, Manhattan ferry, or the Brooklyn shuttle. The ferry, though somewhat congested at the height of festival hours, offers a chance to see the city from a whole new perspective, showing parts of NYC not easily accessed by vehicles.
A stellar lineup and unconventional travel is not the only thing Governor’s Ball has to offer. The venue provides local dining options from all over the city ranging from gourmet burgers to creative empanadas. When taking a break from eating or listening, festival-goers can enjoy photo booths, lawn games and face painting. The only thing that can rain on this festival’s parade is rain itself. Last year, a tropical storm almost completely destroyed the venue’s grounds, leaving anyone without rain boots feeling rather uncomfortable. This festival demands proper planning for inclement weather, but with a little effort and foresight, Governor’s Ball is bound to be the highlight of anyone’s summer.
Written By: Haley Monahan