Like all other in-person experiences, the pandemic put a hold on the Governors Ball music festival’s 10th anniversary, but this year, it’s back and better than ever. Let’s take a look at the music lineup, food and beverage vendors and points of interest for Gov Ball 2021 in preparation for The Daily Campus’ coverage of the event this weekend, Sept. 24 to 26 at Citi Field.
For the past year and a half, the unpredictability of the pandemic has led us to expect experiences of all kinds to be rescheduled, moved to a virtual format or canceled altogether, despite the tiniest bits of hope quashed by our understanding of health and safety. However, live music events have perhaps felt the impacts even more keenly, and epic experiences like music festivals perhaps the most. Fortunately for our health and safety – and the part of us that thrives off of the energy of concerts – vaccination has facilitated large-scale outdoor events again. Thus, Gov Ball found a way to host the New York City staple, albeit a bit later in the year than its usual June dates at Randall’s Island.
How can someone feel comfortable in the throng of singing, sweaty strangers ever again? Well, you never might – and that’s completely valid – but at least you know for Gov Ball, a full COVID-19 vaccination or negative COVID-19 test result will be required to enter, according to the event’s FAQs.
The headliners for all three days seem more than capable of putting on the show that is necessary to close out a day of festivities: Billie Eilish on Friday, A$AP Rocky on Saturday and Post Malone on Sunday. Notable acts on Friday include Portugal. The Man, Earthgang, Kehlani and Leon Bridges; J Balvin, Megan Thee Stallion, Phoebe Bridgers, King Princess, Bleachers and ARIZONA on Saturday; and Ellie Goudling, Carly Rae Jepsen and Dominic Fike on Sunday.
Sure, when I first saw the lineup, I wasn’t super impressed compared to the first time I went in 2019, which had heavy hitters at almost every time slot of each day. However, it’s a feat in itself that the festival and a respectable lineup was able to come out at all this year, and I’m looking forward to seeing how the setup of the stages in this new location work out.
The festival moved to Citi Field because of its accessibility and the event planners’ idea to create a “one of a kind 360 degree festival experience,” that makes the walk from one stage to another only five to seven minutes, according to the Gov Ball website. The centering of the four stages in the middle is supposed to prevent sound bleed between stages. Gov Ball’s reason that the location’s easy access “allows for more flexibility with potential weather events” is notable, considering last time they hosted the music festival, the final day was stormed out, causing many angry would-be attendees.
Like always, the food lineup is positively overwhelming. I feel like you have to go more than one day just to try all the foods that will no doubt catch your eye. There are the classic New York and festival choices that have attended in years past, such as Doughnuttery, Hebros Kitchen, Takumi Taco, Aracini Bros, Big Mozz and Van Leeuewen. I am determined to try to eat from at least one dessert place, one taco place and one place that serves a melty cheese. We’re trying to cover all of our bases.
In terms of experiences, I’m excited to visit the “OGX’s I Love My Hair Fest,” which will have photo opps, free goodies and complimentary festival hair styling, according to the website, as well as stopping by Casa Bacardí, a Bud Light Seltzer Session and, of course, the Babe Bus Terminal with Babe canned wine, now being of age.
Seeing how Electric Zoo, another music festival, was wildly popular with attendees for a return to live concerts, especially music festivals, I’m more than excited myself to experience Governors Ball in its latest form.