Governors Ball has always been something to look forward to in regards to New York music lovers – after all, it is one of the markers of summer music festivals along the East Coast. Last year, the festival saw the third day cancelled by rain after an already water-logged second day. In the spirit of New York, there were pop-up shows from artists like Two Door Cinema and Vic Mensa. Plus, a rather monumental Kanye West show rumor that led thousands of fans to gather outside of Webster Hall.
The festival landscape is a little different – provided that now Live Nation owns majority stake in Founders Entertainment. Governors Ball now faces competition not only to the tune of AEG-backed Panorama Music Festival which is held in July, but from itself with the new The Meadows Music and Arts Festival that takes place on September 15-17th in Queens.
For one, the Governors Ball lineups in the past have been a cross section of acts that try to appease to a younger fan base. Especially in New York, younger fans would be more apt to endure the beginning of summer humidity to listen to music in a three-day sitting. There are some artists that have long-awaiting releases from each of their devoted fan bases. Lorde is coming back into the spotlight with her first album in four years, Melodrama. Tool last played New York in 2006 at the Nassau Coliseum, but return to a headlining spot where fans anxiously wait any slitter of hope for the long-awaiting follow up to their 2006 album, 10,000 Days. French band Phoenix makes a return to the NY area as well which would be right in time for the release of their upcoming album, Ti Amo.
Throughout the three day lineup, there is a heavy hip hop presence. Chance The Rapper is coming off a monster year around his third release, 2016’s Coloring Book which seems to continue the momentum of the Chicago-born rapper becoming a mainstay at the top of festival lineups. Acts like the west coasts own Schoolboy Q to YG reaching out to London grime artists like Skepta and Stormzy. Legends like Wu Tang Clan will surely gain some older festival goers. Governors Ball tried to incorporate some electronic acts like Marshmellow, Flume, and even Phantogram can be considered in that form, but most of the lineup is free from any EDM influence.
If you are looking for acts to discover that are not necessarily the headliners, there’s a good amount that will satisfy everyone from Canadian R&B duo, Majid Jordan to the eccentric-pop flavors of Charli XCX and Frances And The Lights. From the grunge rock duo, Royal Blood making their return to what will surely be a memorable, chaotic performance from Mac Demarco.
Looking at the overall picture, Governors Ball could have went the easy route and made a lineup that was extremely top heavy and lacked real overall depth. Like the San Antonio Spurs roster, you start out with your key stars and build a roster where every player can contribute.
Tickets to Governors Ball Music Festival are on sale now and can be purchased here.