Live Music

Governors Ball 2019: A Recap of the New York City Music Festival

From pop stars to rap stars to muddy shoes and evacuations, the 2019 Governors Ball really had it all this year. New Yorkers, and even fans from out of state and the country, crossed over the infamous RFK Triborough Bridge (and also let’s not forget, via ferry, for those who enjoy boats) to head to Governors Ball on Randall’s Island.

Walking into this fest, you know you’re guaranteed one thing, and it’s underage teens who were somehow gifted 3-day passes for the festival. It definitely makes you feel old as a mid-20s adult just trying to enjoy the festival and avoid getting run over by drunk teens who pregamed on the bridge.

Teens aside, a lot happened at this year’s festival. Cowboy hats were seen everywhere solely because of the only country artist there, Kacey Musgraves, performing on day two of the festival. Florence + the Machine not only their adult fans there, but even had the teens rocking out to their set. BROCKHAMPTON played their first show back in about six months and brought out the most insane production. They weren’t kidding when they rapped “best boyband since One Direction!”

Tyler, the Creator brought Igor to the GOVBALLNYC Stage but also brought it back to Odd Future days as well, playing hits like “IFHY” and “Tamale.” Tyler wasn’t the only odd one on the Island – The Internet AKA Syd and Matt Martians of OFWGKTA were part of the fun as well.

Tyler, the Creator

As this is the ninth year of the festival, by now we do know it’s not just about the music. Governors Ball always has some of the best food, activations, art and sponsors. One of our favorite activations was brought to the festival by Bud Light. This year, they transformed their setup into a dive bar, coining their section the Bud Light Dive Bar Sessions. Throughout the weekend, the beer brand had artists like Tylah Yaweh, Jeremy Zucker and Vincint. If for some reason you didn’t want to deal with the sessions, you could buy beer, play some games, dance along to the DJ’s beats, take photos and more! On day two of the festival, the dive bar turned into a Pride Fest. Everything was rainbow. They were selling rainbow commemorative beer bottles, and $1 from each case went to GLAAD.

The days leading up to the festival, Mother Nature was acting up and kept raining nonstop, leading festival grounds to be complete mud baths. Fans were literally slipping and sliding, especially at the Bacardi Stage. All we wanted to do was enjoy Lil Wayne, but unfortunately, our feet were sinking into the ground.

Sadly, due to Mother Nature being anti-the-9th-annual-Governors-Ball, most of day three was canceled. Initially, gates were pushed back to 6:30 p.m. and many acts were canceled. Understandably, Charli XCX‘s, fans were blowing up the Governors Ball’s social media accounts, practically threatening them. Charli and her team jumped and booked a last minute show for the same night at Le Poisson Rouge in the West Village. Although she stated she wished she was able to play the festival, she was “so overwhelmed” that her fans were able to show up last minute. The self-proclaimed “best pop star in the world” played an hour-long set to cheer her fans up—she even played a brand new song!

This year’s Governors Ball had some lows, but many highs. Due to the unforeseen later weather evacuation, the festival graciously apologized and later offered refunds to fans with 3-day passes and Sunday passes. We know we would have loved to see The Strokes and SZA, but there’s always next time. Here’s to next year, the festival’s 10th anniversary. Let’s hope for a crazy lineup and no rain!

Read our recap on the Bud Light Dive Bar Sessions here, and take a look at all of the Governors Ball’s best moments photographed by Sarah Waxberg here and here!

Featured Image: Sarah Waxberg

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Amanda Meyer

Artist Relations Manager for Soundigest
soundigestamanda@gmail.com for inquiries