Governors Ball, Year 7
Every year that I go to Governors Ball, I become the 19-year-old free-spirited, youthful version of myself—thrilled just to be standing in the middle of the pit waiting for a set to begin, excited by mic checks and stage lights. This year was no exception, especially with one of my all-time favorite bands headlining the show.
Now in its seventh year, GovBall’s 3-day music festival drew thousands (possibly 100K+) of festival-goers to Randall’s Island in New York City. Since its inaugural year in 2011, I can’t help but notice the trends I’ve seen through the years: bigger crowds and a younger demographic (except maybe for Tool fans), more elaborate "brand experiences" from festival sponsors, a shift in music genre, and women’s (almost naked) fashion.
I should listen to more hip-hop
Hip-hop and EDM dominated the lineup this year, with Chance the Rapper and Marshmello heading the pack. I remember when the likes of Modest Mouse and Grizzly Bear—bands who play actual instruments, filled top-tier festival lineups. Now, word play and multi-instrumentalists who can throw danceable beats win the game.
Phoenix’s impressive 90-minute set, playing “If I Ever Feel Better”, “Long Distance Call”, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix hits, and songs from their new album Ti Amo; Lorde’s green fireworks at the end of “Green Light”; standing very close to the stage for Local Natives' cover of "Ultralight Beam"; Car Seat Headrest’s entry into the festival; mac and cheese spring rolls; more 21+ only areas; Casa Bacardi, Bacardi's creative "brand experience", and Citi's cashless wristband transactions.
Regrets and sidenotes
Missing Chance the Rapper and the super talented Childish Gambino, and seemingly forgetting The Infatuation Village’s location.
Women’s (almost naked) fashion
While not entirely new, lace bralettes, short shorts, mesh shirts, fishnet stockings and fanny packs seem to be women's festival uniform these days. Not sure when the trend started, but it was quite everywhere the entire weekend, in droves.
Still New York's best
Despite its changing trends, Governors Ball remains to be New York's best music festival. The producers care about the attendees, coming up with a diverse lineup year after year, catering to as many fans as possible. They truly offer a uniquely New York music festival experience, Manhattan ferry trips included.
Until next year. <3