What Ever Happened? at Governor's Ball 2016

Tuesday, May 30, 2017
The Killers, Leica Montano

How do you prepare yourself to see a band you've been dreaming about for 15 years? You don't. Nothing really prepares you for that kind of experience, that feeling of finally seeing you favorite artist live. But I can tell you, it's one of the best things ever.


My sister and I always dreamt of going to music festivals together. Every year, we'd anticipate the release of line-ups and then hope on seeing our favorite artists live. We'd say, we'd go someday and then last year, everything fell into place. We were set for our first (US) festival in New York.

I had been to a couple of music festivals in Manila and in Singapore before, so I thought I had a good grasp of what to expect. But boy was I in for a surprise.

Governor's Ball is one of those large scale festivals in line with Coachella, Sasquatch, Glastonbury, and etc. So everything I expected was multiplied by 10, or even 50. But that also made the experience 10x more fun and 10x more tiring.

It was a different world. A world full of girls in knit halter tops and cropped shorts, and boys in Supreme shirts and dad hats. Before noon, the grounds were visible and calm but a few hours after that, it went from a couple hundred people to a couple hundred thousand.

For hours, we were either singing along to Years & Years, MisterWives, or Catfish and the Bottlemen, or eating something from Luke's Lobsters, Spaghetti Incident, or Momofuku milk bar. Sometimes we'd rest, sit, and appreciate artists like Beck and Father John Misty from afar. Other times we'd squeeze in the crowd for Jamie xx and The Strokes.

It was exhilarating.

GovBall, Leica Montano


The Line-up
In my (very biased) opinion, Govball curates the best lineup during festival season. It's a great mix of top tier artists and rising newcomers, ones who'll surely be big in a year or two. It's a festival for people who are really into music, not just the ootds. [Though void of flower crowns, the space buns were a staple.]

The 2016 line-up was a dream - Kanye, The Killers, and The Strokes! I mean, who peeked into my diary and got my fantasy line-up draft?

But of course, with all of these great artists, it was heartbreaking to know that you won't be able to see them all, even if you try really hard. So, plan who you're watching ahead once set times are released.

We were a bit ambitious on our first day and wanted to watch most of the artists we liked. That meant moving from stage to stage. They had 4 stages in total and though they weren't too far away from each other, but with moving around the people to move to another stage (especially if going from Honda to GovBallNYC stage), it takes about 10 minutes at best.

We ended up being very tired from all the walking and standing, so for the second day, we made the painful decision to miss out on some artists so we could get a good spot for artists we truly loved.

This was one of the times wherein you wish there was two of you so you could both see Haim and Miguel.

Leica Montano
Olly Alexander of Years & Years

The Crowd
Different artists draw different crowds.

Like, a Marian Hill crowd in the main stage was very different from a Jamie xx crowd inside the Honda tent... that's if you can even squeeze in. I tried myself but could only hold out for a sweaty 15 mins. No thanks. I'll enjoy my "Loud Places" from a good distance.

The Food
New York has one of the best food scenes and GovBall's a good cheat to eat your way to all the best spots. You avoid the ridiculous wait in lines you'd normally get if dining in the actual restaurant. So, check out GovBall Eats for a list of food concessionaires. I recommend Luke's Lobsters, Spaghetti Incident, Momofuku, Tacombi, Roberta's, and Black Tap.

Also, bring an empty refillable bottle instead. There are water refilling stations around.

GovBall 2016, Leica Montano
Van McCann of Catfish and the Bottlemen

The Weather
It's usually warm and dry in the city during this time but the weather is still unpredictable. So, make sure to check out the forecast for the weekend so you can dress accordingly. But usually, it gets a little chilly at night so maybe, pack a sweater.

Last year was just one of those off years, I guess. Friday's forecast said it was going to rain but it didn't. So like most people, I took it as a sign that Saturday would give us even more sunshine. It didn't. It poured! So, if you end up sans umbrella, ponchos are sold for $5.

The Festival is Cancelled???
It happens. The weather was bad at Randall's Island so organizers cancelled day 3. It sucks because I was really looking forward to seeing Kanye... like REALLY, REALLY looking forward to it. I missed out on watching him in Manila because I knew I was seeing him in NY. But oy vey!

I was still in New York fucking City. Things could be worse.

The Venue & Travelling to the Venue
There are multiple ways to get to Randall's Island but the best option is to ride the X80 Special Event bus at 125th & Lexington. It only costs $6.50 (roundtrip) compared to the $25 water taxi. You can also walk the RFK bridge which is free, but by the end of the night, I'm sure you wouldn't want to walk anymore.

The only downside to riding the bus was it took about 30-45 minutes to get on a bus.

GovBall 2016, Leica Montano

Even though I'm not going this year, festival season still excites me. I'm missing out on some of my faves this year but next year, man. Next year! I'll definitely go back.

PS. Who are you dying to see in concert?

Post Comment
Post a Comment