bill bodkin previews the second festival…live photos by maxwell barna…
One year ago Pop-Break.com walked onto Governor’s Island in New York City for the first annual Governor’s Ball Music Festival. The fledgling festival, headlined by Pretty Lights, Girl Talk, Big Boi and others, had drawn thousands upon thousands of hip kids. The sweltering sunlight didn’t deter fists in the air, frenetic dancing and an overall joy and happiness.
The first festival was a jump off point for two up-and-coming artists — Outasight (known for his ubiquitous hit “Tonight is the Night”) and Mac Miller (the ultimate Internet hip-hop sensation) blew the crowds up with their high energy hip-hop sets. At the time they were still barely blips on most people’s radars; now they’re some of the hottest names in the industry.
As the day progressed, the beer flowed and the crowd energy went to 11; at the end of the day, Governor’s Ball was what a good festival should be — memorably fun.
On the weekend of June 23 and June 24, The Governor’s Ball will be returning to New York City, this time to Randall’s Island. The two-day festival will feature performances by: Beck, Fiona Apple, Modest Mouse, Passion Pit, Explosions in the Sky, Kid Cudi, Duck Sauce, Chromeo and tons more.
Pop-Break, who will be attending the festival this year, recently spoke with Jordan Wolowitz of Founders Entertainment, one of the organizers of the event about what to expect from this year’s festival.
Pop-Break: When all the dust settled, how did you feel about the first ever Governor’s Ball Music Festival?
Jordan Wolowitz: We felt great. We were incredibly excited and grateful about the success of the first Governors Ball. The weather was outstanding, all the acts killed it, and most importantly the fans had a wonderful time. The vibe was awesome that day. We set a ticket sales record for a music festival on Governors Island. As a first year festival producer, we couldn’t have asked for anything better than that.
PB: What improvements, outside of a second day, have you made to the festival that you think is going to bring it to another level?
We’re improving every aspect of the festival this year. Bigger stages, better sound systems, more unique art installations, better selection of food and beverage, etc. We’re also bringing some of NYC’s best food trucks into the festival, which will be great. Our VIP areas will be much nicer, and fan sight lines will be improved. Our goal is to make Governors Ball NYC’s premier music festival, and we’re making every effort to ensure that happens.
Additionally, moving the event to Randall’s Island will give fans the ability to travel to the festival however they wish. Last year, fans could only access the festival via ferry. This year, they can take the ferry if they choose, but they can also drive, take a cab, subway, bus, bike, etc.
PB: The line-up for this year’s festival is insanely good. Who are some acts that you feel might surprise people — bands that might be under most people’s radars?
JW: First of all, thank you! We love the lineup too. We’re incredibly excited about the younger acts playing the festival, as well as the bigger headline acts. People should definitely get to the festival early to check out some of the killer buzz acts we have playing, such as Walk the Moon, Alberta Cross, Turf War, and The Jezabels. Walk the Moon are primed to be the next Killers, Alberta Cross are an awesome rock band in the vein of My Morning Jacket, and Turf War sound like Billie Joe from Green Day fronting the Ramones. These guys are all awesome, and we recommend fans get there when gates open so they don’t miss a note!
PB: Besides music, what are some other aspects of the festival that you’re excited for people to discover and enjoy?
JW: We’re putting a big emphasis on food this year. We’re bringing out some of NYC’s best food trucks – Luke’s Lobster, Waffles & Dinges, Asia Dog, Coolhaus Ice Cream, The Taco Truck, Hill Country BBQ, and many more. Additionally, we’ll be serving artisan coffee and better beer and liquor options. Our activities are vastly improved from last year. We’ll have a Silent Disco tent, ping pong, lawn games, beer pong, and so much more. Along with the incredibly cool art installations, there is a ton for the fans to check out, besides the amazing music.
PB: There are so many festivals happening in New York this summer — what makes The Governor’s Ball unique from all the others?
JW: There are many things that make Governors Ball unique from other events. The most important thing, in my opinion, is the quality and depth of our lineup. For example, Beck is playing in NYC for the first time in 4 years, Fiona Apple is playing her first major NYC show in 7 years, Passion Pit is returning to NYC for the first time since 2010 behind an amazing new album, and Duck Sauce is playing their first show ever in the Big Apple. I can’t think of another event in NYC that can boast a lineup featuring headline talent like this unique and strong, if I may say so myself. Gov Ball is primed to firmly establish itself as NYC’s premier music festival. We can’t wait for June 23 and 24!!