Governors Ball Music Festival

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Governors Ball Music Festival
Governors Ball Music Festival 2015 lineup poster.png
Genre Indie rock, Alternative rock, Hip hop, Electronica
Dates June 3–5, 2016
Location(s) Randall's Island, New York City, United States
Years active 2011–present
Attendance 150,000 [1]

The Governors Ball Music Festival (commonly known as Governors Ball, Gov Ball or Gov Ball NYC) is a multi-day music festival held on Randall's Island in New York City. Launched in 2011, the festival features an array of genres and styles of music, including rock, electronic, hip-hop, indie, americana, pop, folk, and more. It is produced by Founders Entertainment, an independent festival promotion company based in New York City who also produces The Meadows Music & Arts Festival. Aside from the wide variety of music, the festival features a multitude of popular NYC restaurants and food trucks, as well as a slew of activities, such as a Silent Disco, ping pong, photo booths, mini golf, and lawn games.

Governors Ball 2011[edit]

Governors Ball 2011 was the inaugural year of the festival and was held on June 18, 2011, on Governors Island in New York City. The one-day lineup featured Girl Talk, Pretty Lights, Empire of the Sun, Big Boi, Neon Indian, People Under The Stairs, Mac Miller, Das Racist, Passion Pit (DJ set), Miami Horror, Outasight, and Reptar. Governors Ball 2011 amassed the highest attendance of any event in the history of Governors Island, outselling Dave Matthews Band Caravan, and Bassnectar's Bass Island in 2011. Reviews for the 2011 festival were positive, with Flavorwire saying, "As many area festival attempts often fall flat due to poor execution, the Governors Ball was a pleasant exception to the rule, leaving us looking forward to its return next year,"[2] and Gothamist saying, "A gorgeous day at Governors Island...everyone seemed to leave sunburned and happy."[3]

Governors Ball 2012[edit]

Governors Ball 2012 was the 2nd year of the festival and was held on June 23–24, 2012, on Randall's Island in New York City. Expanding to a two-day event, the festival featured a more diverse array of acts, including Beck, Passion Pit, Kid Cudi, Modest Mouse, Explosions In The Sky, Fiona Apple, Chromeo, Major Lazer, Phantogram, James Murphy, Atmosphere, and Cults. Randall's Island was chosen as the venue due to the event's growth, and looks to be long-term home to the festival. Food offerings at the 2012 event included Coolhaus ice cream, Luke's Lobster, Waffles & Dinges, Mexicue, Food Freaks, Philz Steaks, Ports Coffee, and Pie for the People. Activities at the event included lawn games such as cornhole, ladder golf, and croquet (sponsored by Zog Sports), ping pong (sponsored by SPiN New York), and silent disco. Reviews of the 2012 festival were positive, with Time Out NY saying that "[Governors Ball] has all the necessities of a first-class music fest,"[4] and Vogue saying, "The summer music festival New Yorkers can finally call their own."[5]

Governors Ball 2013[edit]

Kanye West headlined the festival in 2013

Shortly after the 2012 festival, Founders Entertainment announced that the 2013 festival would take place on June 7–9 on Randall's Island.[6]

It rained heavily on the Friday, June 7, the opening day of the festival, which caused massive transportation delays to and from the island. The festival was also forced to shut down early on Friday evening due to weather-related safety concerns, and several performers were cancelled including headliner Kings of Leon.[7] Much of the green lawns sprawled throughout the grounds for the festival had been mushed to mud by Saturday morning, leading to extremely muddy conditions for most of the festival.

Lineup: Kanye West, Guns N' Roses, Kings of Leon, Nas, Pretty Lights, The Avett Brothers, Grizzly Bear, The xx, Feist, Beach House, Kendrick Lamar, The Lumineers, Thievery Corporation, Animal Collective, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, Young The Giant, Cut Copy, Erykah Badu, Bloc Party, Beirut, Of Monsters and Men, Foals, Crystal Castles, Local Natives, Azealia Banks, Yeasayer, Gary Clark, Jr., Best Coast, Dirty Projectors, Portugal. The Man, Cold War Kids, Dinosaur Jr., Holy Ghost!, Japandroids, Twin Shadow, Divine Fits, Alt-J, Deerhunter, The Vaccines, Poliça, Steel Pulse, Dillon Francis, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, Paper Diamond, Fucked Up, Wild Nothing, Icona Pop, Foals, The Knocks, Haim, St. Lucia, Freddie Gibbs, Robert DeLong, GRiZ, Ms Mr, Reignwolf, Solid Gold, Bear Mountain, Swear and Shake, Cherub, Pacific Air, The Rubens, The Revivalists, Roadkill Ghost Choir, Moon Hooch, Ruby Velle & The Soulphonics, ON AN ON.

Governors Ball 2014[edit]

Outkast performing at the festival in 2014.

On January 8, 2014, dates were announced for the festival's 2014 edition. It took place once again over three days on Randall's Island from June 6 to June 8. On January 9, Rolling Stone announced that Outkast would be one of the headliners; the lineup included The Strokes, Disclosure, Vampire Weekend, Jack White, Skrillex, Interpol, and others.[8]

Governors Ball 2015[edit]

Governor's Ball 2015 took place June 5–7, 2015. It rained during the second day, but, unlike previous years, the festival was not cancelled. Ponchos and umbrellas were sold, at the festival carried on, albeit a bit delayed.

Governors Ball 2015 had a lineup of; Florence and the Machine, Lana Del Rey, Björk, St. Vincent, Marina and The Diamonds, My Morning Jacket, Ryan Adams, The Decemberists, Death from above 1979, Vance Joy, Gorgon City, Benjamin Booker, Priory, Black Pistol Fire, Clean Bandit, Atmosphere, Flume, Ryan Adams, Royal Blood, Drake, The Black Keys, Deadmau5, Rae Sremmurd, , Charli XCX, DIIV, Weird Al, and other artists.

Governors Ball 2016[edit]

The sixth iteration of Governors Ball took place over June 3–5, 2016.[9] All three days of the festival sold out.[10] Saturday evening, the festival grounds were subject to heavy rains, but the event was not cancelled.[11] However, Sunday was cancelled due to heavy rain and safety concerns, and fans received refunds; festival management wrote "The safety of fans, artists and crew always comes first."[11]

Friday Lineup: The Strokes, Beck, Robyn, Of Monsters And Men, Jamie XX, Matt and Kim, Bloc Party, Father John Misty, BIG Grams, Action Bronson, Duke Dumont, Years & Years, Christine and the Queens, Bob Moses, Elle King, Bully, Meg Mac, Boogie, The London Souls, Black Pistol Fire, Public Access T.V., Transviolet.

Saturday Lineup: The Killers, M83, Haim, Miike Snow, Miguel, Purity Ring, De La Soul, Lord Huron, Mac Miller, Against Me!, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Misterwives, Albert Hammond Jr, Thundercat, Jon Bellion, Marian Hill, Torres, The Knocks, Louis the Child, Nothing (band), Holly Miranda, Eliot Sumner.

Sunday Lineup (cancelled): Kanye West, Death Cab for Cutie, Chvrches, Two Door Cinema Club, Chet Faker, Gary Clark Jr, Joey Bada$$, Courtney Barnett, Eagles of Death Metal, Thomas Jack, Cold War Kids, Vince Staples, Galantis, Vic Mensa, Bat for Lashes, Betty Who, Fidlar, Whitney, Whilk & Misky, Day Wave, Blank Range, Tor Miller.

The cancellation of Sunday's shows led to some bands' announcing pop-up shows. That night, Two Door Cinema Club played the Music Hall of Williamsburg,[12] Courtney Barnett played a free show at Rough Trade,[13] Prophets of Rage played at Warsaw Brooklyn,[14] and Vic Mensa (tag-teaming with Galantis, who had a scheduled "After Dark" performance) played a sold-out Webster Hall.[15] Late Sunday night, Kanye West announced he would hold a 2am show somewhere in Manhattan - anticipating this, crowds began to gather at venues across the city. Musician 2 Chainz posted that they would be at Webster Hall - pursuantly, over 4,000 fans rushed to the venue, blocking streets and causing an NYPD response. Kanye arrived at the venue but didn't perform.[16]



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