Governor’s Ball, relatively new to the festival scene, is hitting Randall’s Island in New York City with force this coming weekend, June 6-8 2014. Growing from humble beginnings in 2011 as a one day festival with a dozen or so smaller acts, the 2014 festival is bigger than ever, having sold out while there were still just over two weeks to go before the show and is headlined by the likes of Jack White, Outkast, and the Strokes, among many other well known acts. Even in its beginning, Governor’s Ball has attracted more people than even Dave Matthews’ Caravan tour stop at Randall’s Island.
Several bands who have made or will be making other big festival appearances such as Coachella and Lollapalooza will be headlining each of the days, mixed in with smaller bands you may or may not be familiar with but promise to deliver a strong performance set against the Manhattan skyline. The four stages will have something for everybody, from indie/alternative rock to hip hop and electronica. With 68 bands scheduled at this time – and who knows what last minute surprises there may be – there were be plenty to choose from. has a few acts of note to see, both on the headliner and supporting band side.
Day 1 Headliners: Outkast, Phoenix, TV On The Radio
Outkast reunited this year after a seven year hiatus, taking the opportunity to celebrate their 20th anniversary (which passed in 2012 while on break). While they don’t have any new material since 2007 there is a bit of hype about their return. Try to be cool with Phoenix. The alt-rockers from France are still riding the wave of their chart-peaking 2013 release Bankrupt!
Don’t miss: Damian Marley, Bastille, Neko Case, Little Comets, Julian Casablancas & The Voidz
Day 2 Headliners: Jack White, The Strokes, Skrillex
The lineup for Day 2 is jam packed with festival goodness. Jack White and Skrillex both have sets going on simultaneously. Lazaretto, Jack White’s second solo album, will be officially released June 10, just a few days after the festival. What better way to get the ultimate live preview of some new tracks than in the company of thousands of others? Likewise, dubstep artist Skrillex released his latest album, Recess, in March.
Don’t Miss: Spoon, Broken Bells, Fitz and the Tantrums, The Naked & Famous, Sleigh Bells
Day 3 Headliners: Vampire Weekend, Interpol, AXWELL Λ INGROSSO
Governor’s Ball wraps up with the hometown talent of Vampire Weekend and Interpol along with Swedan-based house duo Axwell and Sebastian Ingrosso. Vampire Weekend released their chart-topping Modern Vampires of the City about a year ago.
Don’t Miss: Head and the Heart, Cayucas, Wild Belle
With Governor’s Ball’s strongest lineup yet this year, festival organizers have done a decent job with scheduling the four stages such that festival-goers can catch most of what they’d like to see. Since it is difficult to be in two places at once, there are a few overlapping sets where you may have a tough choice to make between stages (i.e., Jack White vs. Skrillex). We suggest looking at the full schedule posted at lineup.governorsballmusicfestival.com and making an itinerary in advance. The website makes this easy, featuring an interactive tool that allows you to make your own festival schedule and share with friends on Facebook and Twitter. There’s even an iOS and Android app to help guide you through the lineup.
The music doesn’t stop at 11pm. Well, Randall’s Island will hush to the chatter of the crowd at 11 but there are a number of after shows going on starting anywhere between 9pm and 11:30pm at venues in Brooklyn and Manhattan. Output Club, Brooklyn Bowl, Irving Plaza, Knitting Factory, and Grasslands Gallery will host several of the supporting bands along with others. Some after shows are sold out already, but the rest still have tickets available, and you can enter to win tickets to all of them here. The Strokes only recently announced a warmup show at the Capitol Theatre on May 31st, but tickets sold out rather quickly.
Location/Lodging: Nestled on the East River between Queens and Manhattan (approximately parallel with the northern end of Central Park/115th Street), there is certainly plenty to do on the off hours of the festival for those who would to spend the earlier part of their afternoon off of Randall’s Island, especially since there is no lodging on the grounds. Randall’s Island is easily accessible by subway, bus, Manhattan Ferry, the Brooklyn Shuttle, bike, and even car/taxi. Governor’s Ball has partnered with Hotels For Hope to provide brokerage services to help attendees find a room, and for every room booked through this service $2 is donated to Answer the Call, a charity benefiting the widows and children of fallen FDNY and NYPD service members. So, check out this hotel search tool before going direct to the hotel to help a great cause.
Governor’s Ball offers a wide array of activities suited for the whole family (and yes, the festival is quite family friendly). Art installations will be on display – “surprises are in store” according to the festival. A photo booth will be set up, taking both stills and motion GIFs set against a logo backdrop. Lawn games will be set up in a tailgate help-yourself setting, so grab some friends and meet new folks over some corn hole and bocce. A face & body painting station will be on hand to add to your festival flair. There will even be a silent disco – a dance party with a live DJ performance pumped through wireless headphones.
Hungry? So are we thinking about what’s on the menu. Hint: it isn’t your typical nacho and cheese concessions. Foodies will be in for a treat with over 54 NYC-area vendors – food trucks, caterers, restaurants – showcasing their grub. From specialty sandwiches to Lebanese and Asian goodies to coffees and Italian ice, just to name a few, the festival experience will be well rounded with this spread. Not to mention gluten free and vegetarian offerings.
Couldn’t get your ticket in time? General admission is sold out but there are a very limited amount of VIP and Cabana tickets available, but at a price.
Check out the Governor’s Ball Official Spotify Playlist to preview this year’s performers here or rdio lineup mix here.