Governors Ball 2023: the Year for the Ladies

Well, well well… after years of Soundigest covering The Governors Ball Music Festival, one would think – how much can they really talk about year after year? The answer is: a lot.

As we have known for a while, the annual multi-genre music festival has moved a few blocks from Citi Field to Flushing Meadows Corona Park and it was quite the success! At first, we were personally a bit worried; I mean, who wants to deal with mud and grass when the festival notoriously always deals with rain? Let’s be real – if that’s the worst circumstance we have to deal with during one of our favorite weekends of the year, we’ll take it.

One of our favorite parts of Gov Ball is the diversity. One second you see a rapper, the next you see a pop star with full-blown choreography and then you can run into an alternative band’s 5-piece set. Between the broad musical choices, fans are never bored, as there’s nonstop experiential activations and food options galore.

Contrary to past lineups, this year was truly lead by the women of this year’s music charts. Three of our favorite sets were by Lizzo, HAIM and Ice Spice. As a last minute addition, New York local, Ice Spice, was added to day 1 of the festival where she played a mid-day slot and had a crowd go so far back, you would have thought she had a headlining slot on the main stage. Even Diplo had a massive security team escort him in the general admission crowd, that’s how important the Bronx-native’s set was!

To break up the chaos of some of the upbeat crowds, HAIM had fans vibing throughout their hour-long set. Whether you knew every word to every track, or just knew one song, or barely even knew them, their set was one of the best because 1. they are natural born rockstars and 2. their set can make you rock out but also relax at the same time. HAIM truly brings the best of both worlds for music fans.

Another favorite who closed out night one was Lizzo. Wherever you go and wherever you turn, you will almost always hear a Lizzo tune. Truly never a bad thing! From start to finish Lizzo sounded like the recorded version of her music but absolutely performed everything live. From her vocals, to the choreo, to the costumes and production – Lizzo brought what it means to be a true performer to Queens this past weekend.

Another fan favorite’s set was sadly somewhat ruined by Mother Nature. Kim Petras took the BACARDÍ stage by storm, quite literally, as the middle of her set was interrupted by a massive hailstorm! The new princess of pop carried through her set as if nothing negative was going on, despite countless fans running for shelter nearby (no worries – the real Bunheads made sure to be front and center of her stage!).

From running back and forth between all 3 stages, we had to stay hydrated and fed, and we definitely did thanks to the love and support of Dunkin’, Liquid Death and funky colored grilled cheese sandwiches! When we had some down time, we even got to hang out in the Dunkin”s Rhythm Room and in Red Bull Unforeseen: New York Under Construction’s subway station popup! This year had a lot more adventurous and creative popup experiential components and we were so happy we had some time to explore. Another favorite addition was Halsey‘s about-face Beauty Stop, which provided fans with complimentary makeup looks and exclusive discounts for festival makeup bundles.

Each year we really wonder, how can this year get better? but Gov Ball always tops it each year. We’re excited to see what happens in 2024!

For more photos, head to our photographer Dana Gorab’s photo gallery here!

Featured Image: Amanda Meyer

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