Feature Photo by @jnsilva
Written by Sheila DeMoura and Alyssa DiCaterino
From the top names in multi-genre talent, to unique brand activations, to beautiful art pieces, and incredible lounges, Governors Ball outdid itself this year. Unfortunately, Sunday ended up getting being delayed and later cancelled. Many fans were caught in a pretty nasty storm on the last day, but outside of that, Friday and Saturday were ones for the books.
The Freeloaders Lounge was all the hype at this festival. Everyone was trying to figure out how to get inside. What made it so special? Everything was free, that’s right, free! A completely full bar, crafted cocktails, a Don Julio truck, Red Bull water bottles, Wi-Fi, clean air-conditioned bathrooms, and more! The lounge was modeled after a miniature golf course which was adorable. This lounge was a great place to go to socialize and network in between sets or just hang out and relax away from the crowd. It was only available to those with Artist, Media, or Freeloaders bands. We spent a decent amount of time in this lounge and am not sure how our experience would have been without it!
There were several secluded areas for attendees of age to hang out, relax, have a drink, and take part in some really fun activations. The “Best Kept Secret” Lounge was a strong second to the Freeloaders Lounge. Complete with craft beer, Tito’s, Jameson, Don Julio, Bacardí, Santo Ceviche, Aperol Spritz, coffee, ping pong tables, and beauty stations, this 21+ lounge was one of the best we’ve ever been to.
Mac Miller Tribute
Mac Miller’s death definitely still stings for a lot of us. The mural of the rapper had every Gov Ball attendee stop for a moment, whether it was to take a photo or to take a moment to remember the artist and his music. On the other side of the mural read lyrics from Mac’s song, “Live Free.”
“They’re gonna try to tell you no, shatter all your dreams. But you gotta get up, and go and think of better things.”
Statue Of Liberty
There was a giant art piece of the Statue of Liberty wearing sunglasses when you first entered the festival. The statue wasn’t a replica, it was more artistic and unique with graffiti on the arm and a rainbow coming out of the flame it was holding to represent Pride!
You could not miss it when you first walked into the festival and it was a great meeting point for people. It was also an extremely popular photo spot, people travel from all over New England, (and sometimes further) to come to famous and historic New York City for an incredible festival weekend. Governors Ball is one of the oldest and longest running festivals that continues to take place annually in New York so they always have to have some piece of art to showcase the importance of the city. The Statue of Liberty is one of the key historical monuments and symbols of New York City, so it was perfect.
The famous Balloon Chain, better known to appear at Coachella, was in attendance this weekend at Gov Ball as well. Different colored strings of balloons extending across the entirety of the festival with the city skyline in the background was something we’ve never seen before. It was beautiful. If you followed the balloons to the end of the string there were actually people holding the ends and they would allow people who asked to give it a try as well. Since humans were controlling the flow of these balloons they were ever-changing around the festival which was really unique and different. To top it all off, the balloons glowed at night as well.
There were so many activations at Governors Ball but one that truly stood out to me was the Honda activation. They made an art piece designed of neon seat belts handing from the ceiling of their booth so that people could walk through and take photos inside. I thought it was genius to come up with an art installation out of seat belts in order to sell the cars, it was a great marketing play and gained a lot of attention for Instagram.
American Eagle had a pretty interesting activation that had Gov Ball attendees lining up just to get a chance to check it out. You were first asked to choose some words on a touchscreen that describe how music makes you feel. Once you chose your words, a color was generated based on your answers. You were then directed to the coordinating color room. Each room had really cool decorations, some sort of activity to do, and you left with a fanny pack in your designated color. Then you got to head upstairs to decorate your new fanny pack. Super cute, super fun, and super creative.
The iconic festival wristband jacket made its Governors Ball debut on Saturday. Zhu always plays a set to remember with his saxophonist and electric guitarist to either side of him, while he sings in the melodic soprano key slowly bringing the crowd into a very special place.
We both had been waiting for this set, it was arguably one of our most sought after sets of the weekend. In his incredible costume Gesaffelstein took the stage by storm in his silver mask and costume. Bright white light was beaming from behind large panels and they were shifting in different motions to coincide with the beat. The performance was deep, breathtaking, and truly one for the books.
A fun little fact about The 1975. Frontman, Matty Healy, found what he described as “suicidal and mental,” scribbling in the back of a book given to him at a yard sale. At the bottom, it was dated, “1st June, The 1975.” They way the date read The 1975 really stuck with Healy, and that’s when he decided on the band name (which was previously Drive Like I Do). June 1st, then became a very significant day to the band and their fans. It couldn’t have been any more perfect that The 1975 indeed played on June 1st during Governors Ball weekend.
Florence and The Machine
An angel, a queen, a goddess, and a fairy. Florence is the most ethereal being we have ever seen take a stage before. Her strong, powerful, and confident dances and vocals were a strong contrast to the dainty, soft, and shy voice that came out when she was talking to the audience.
Tyler The Creator
With IGOR at #1, Tyler The Creator was on fire for the weekend. Despite the album being out for only about a week and a half, the crowd was yelling every single lyric back to the artist. “I couldn’t even perform that shit because I’m just overwhelmed…look at this…my eye is watering.” You could definitely tell he put everything he had into this album, and that he was pretty scared of what the reaction to it might be. It was really sweet to see how proud Tyler is of IGOR, and how excited he is about the success and response to it. Honestly one of our favorite live performances of all time.