Governors Ball: The Experience

Governors Ball marked the beginning of what I believe will be a full and magical festival season. I had only been to this festival once before and only for one day, and even though I only attended for one day this year, I still have lots to say about it! So let’s get started.

Check-In/Security
As I approached the festival I got panicky because I saw a longgggg line. I mean long. It wrapped around in all sorts of ways and looked horrifying. I was pleased to learn that this line was for will call only, and if you already had your ticket you could proceed to the gate, which had no line at all. Victory! If you waited in that will call line – sorry, man.

Crowd
This crowd looked YOUNG. I’m talking high school young. Even the electronic festivals I’ve been to have never had an average age this low. The teenz were actually pretty well-behaved, but man did I feel old.

Fun Stuff
I give Governors Ball an A+ for their fun activities. They had a mini golf course, a candy bar (which consisted only of them giving out free sour straws, but whatever they were delicious), several 21+ areas with ping pong and lounges, many photo booth opportunities, and perhaps my favorite thing, a station to print your name (and a friend’s name) on a Coke can! I went to the festival by myself, so I printed my friend can for my friend Cody and it is now sitting in my fridge where I will probably drink it and not actually give it to him (sorry Cody). The can with my name on it will be a wonderful addition to my tchotchke shelf at work.

Water
It wasn’t super hot out so I only had to fill my water bottle once, and there wasn’t much of a line. I can’t speak to how the lines were later in the day when it was more crowded, though. Either way, bonus points for having those high speed faucets.

Layout
The layout of the festival was slightly different than I remember from a few years ago, but as with every Randall’s Island festival, I love that it’s never too far from any one point to any other point. I will say though that they put up some sort of pointless gateway/arch between two areas of the festival grounds that seemed to serve no purpose other than create a little bit of a bottleneck. There were also not nearly enough garbage cans – I carried my food garbage for awhile before giving up and just tossing it on the ground (sorry, environment!).

Transportation
Walking to Randall’s Island across 125th street is free and easy. GovBall always tries to sell you on a bus or ferry pass and have you ever seen one of those ferry lines at the close of a festival? No thank you.

Price
It could be cheaper, certainly. But they really pack a lot into a small space and a short amount of time (since it’s not a camping festival, it ends at 11pm each day). I would probably have a hard time wanting to shell out for a 3 day pass, though, considering this festival costs the same or more than festivals where you actually get to sleep there.

Want to hear about the music of GovBall day 1? While I would normally do a full recap of most of the sets I saw, I was so blown away by Lorde’s performance that I chose to only write about that. If you missed it, check it out now.

This coming weekend I’m volunteering at a teeny little jammy fest called Disc Jam, so stay tuned for yet another festival recap soon!

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