I embarked on the journey that was Governors Ball 2019 knowing good and well that I already missed the greats that are Igor (Tyler The Creator), Major Lazer and The Internet among others. However, I was still intent on covering the festival while basking in the likes of Kaytranada, Noname, and SZA. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen.
To start, Governors Ball Sunday events were delayed from an 11:45am gate entry to a 6:30pm gate entry due to weather. I was extremely puzzled when I received this notification due to the fact that the sun was blazing at the time, but was more confused as to how the festival coordinators planned to slate all of the artists to perform in such a short amount of time.
I continued to be perplexed when I noticed that between 11:45am and 6:30pm, there was light rain ONE TIME that stopped almost as fast as it started. In either case, I was still excited and attempted to arrive at 6:30pm. However, given the mess that was thousands of people ascending on Randall’s Island at one time, I wasn’t able to get inside of the festival until 7:45pm, and to my dismay, I missed Noname’s set.
In addition to missing Noname’s set, my question relating to the lineup was answered with a ‘reduced’ lineup that only had 16 acts scheduled to perform. While this was a let down, I still had every intention to enjoy my time at the festival.
Let’s call this section: “The Calm Before The Storm”
The “Calm”, included plenty of activations from a 21 plus arcade area of sorts with a Bacardi Bus and Aperol Spritz photo activation, to plenty of people expressing their love for music festivals and cannabis.
As you all will see in our Governors Ball Coverage Video, the general consensus by festival attendees is that cannabis and music festivals make the best pairing ever, and anyone who objects, simply hasn’t smoked the right weed.
All in all this was a peaceful time. The chaos didn’t start until around 30 minutes before Kaytranada was about to kick off his set.
The rain came quick and started pouring, however it stopped fast enough to give festival attendees some false hope. Unfortunately though, right as Kaytranada took the stage, a loud and alarming announcement was being played on every stage alerting festival attendees to evacuate immediately due to severe weather.
People kicked, screamed, and boo’d, but begrudgingly made their way out of the venue. The only issue was, with the amount of people on Randall’s Island, there was really nowhere to go. Thousands of people tried to walk back across the Randall’s Island bridge to safety, but that wasn’t before the rain and the wind came hard.
It was like a scene from Noah’s Ark meets Fyre Fest. People boarded the ferry frantically, people fought to get seats on an already crowded bus, and people (myself included) held onto their friends and useless umbrellas for dear life as they made the long terrifying trek off the Island and to some semblance of shelter.
What was funny though, was that the general consensus seemed to be that if Governors Ball started on time, the festival simply could’ve ended early and all of this could have been avoided.
Oh well. Better luck next year. From the reactions I’ve received, plenty of people still had a great time getting stoned and enjoying Friday and Saturday’s events. Sunday simply couldn’t live up to the standard. This is most likely because you shouldn’t hold a festival on an island if you don’t have space to accommodate everyone on the island, as evidenced by Fyre Festival.