Eleven a.m on Saturday morning and the Robert Kennedy Bridge is packed with excited music lovers ready to experience the second day of The Governors Ball Music Festival on Randall’s Island. From its inception in 2011, Governor’s Ball has been New York City’s biggest and best loved music festival and 2016 was no exception. This year’s lineup featured The Strokes, The Killers, and Kanye West as headliners, as well as popular artists Haim, M83, and Catfish and the Bottlemen. Among the many food options were vendors from the famed Black Tap Craft Burgers and Beer, The Nugget Spot, and Asiadog.
Along with the amazing performers, Governor’s Ball also featured a silent disco, the opportunity to meet some of the performers for a signing, and various lawn games. Of those, the giant Jenga set was my favorite, but there was also a beanbag toss and a brand new mini golf course. The photo booths proved popular as well, with people lining up to get little snapshots of themselves in fun poses.
And if all the excitement tired you out, there was plenty of room to spread out and chill on a blanket or the grass in between performers. Volunteers frequently walked around handing out energy bars and water, demonstrating Governor’s Ball commitment to the safety and well-being of festival goers.
One of the best things about music festivals is the ability to get close to your favorite artists without paying an ungodly amount for a front row ticket. As a huge fan of The Killers, hundreds of other people and I took advantage of this, and although they weren’t set to appear until 9:15 p.m, many of us crowded around the GovBall stage as early as 5 p.m trying to get spots as close to the stage as we could. Even when it began absolutely pouring for a few hours we all stood our ground, determined to see our favorite band. In a true testament to the community that Governor’s Ball attracts, much of the time in the rain was spent singing songs together to pass the time and talking about how excited we were for the band to appear. Although a few people gave up by the end, seeking shelter and warmth, I believe being so close to one of my favorite bands was definitely worth it. When they came out, starting off the set with “Mr.Brightside,” the crowd absolutely lost it, and their performance has become one of the best nights of my life.
Unfortunately, due to severe weather, the final day of Governor’s Ball was cancelled, with refunds distributed to those who had bought tickets. Many people, myself included, were disappointed, but in the end the safety of ticket holders and the artists had to come first. Still, come next year I’m sure the line up will be equally as fantastic and completely worth the trek out the Randall’s Island. If you’re a music lover, this event if definitely for you.