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Governors Ball 2016: Not a Total Washout

By Anthony Bauer, September 13th 2016 — with 1 comment

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When you’re a music festival organizer/promoter, you’re hoping & praying that the chosen weekend will zero chance of rain or severe weather. It’s a huge risk, and as we’ve seen in the past… it can literally go either way. This years Governors Ball Music Festival literally had its fair share of both good and bad weather, but that didn’t stop it from still being a memorable weekend at all.

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Beck

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M83

Day 1 and day 2 were chock full of outstanding performances, and the standouts for me were Black Pistol Fire, Christine and the Queens, Action Bronson, Big Grams, Father John Misty, Beck, Block Party, The Strokes, Torres, Lord Huron, De La Soul, Miguel, Miike Snow, The Killers and M83. Were things started to get a little complicated was during Haim’s set on the main stage when the weather decided to finally turn from questionable to dreadful in literally a split second.

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Let me set the scene: I was standing in the crowd with my raincoat on as well as the rain fly already snapped around my camera bag. A guy standing near me tapped my shoulder and goes “hey man, why are you all decked out in rain gear, the weather is fine! You’re a big baby!” Not even 10 seconds later, the sky turned dark grey and decided to open up and let out a mighty downpour. As I stand there comfortable and 100% dry, I look over to the guy who tapped my shoulder earlier and realized he was gone as he was running sprinting for cover wherever he could find it.

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Silent Disco

The rain didn’t let up one bit, and when it did… it was only for a brief moment. It continued into the 8pm – 9pm sets of Miike Snow & Purity Ring and didn’t let up or stop until about 10 minutes into The Killers/M83’s day closing sets. People were scrambling for cover anywhere – under trees, sponsor tents, the Silent Disco, the Bacardi House Stage Tent and even in port-a-pottys (yes, this really happened). Even though the rain let up, it left some not so desirable conditions all over the festival grounds but there was still hope that day 3 would be rain–free.

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Now, for those of you who did not attend this years GovBall or hear what happened, day 3 of the fest got cancelled due to the threat of very severe thunderstorms (w/severe lighting) looming within the tri–state area. This was very disappointing because for me, day 3 was the sleeper day of the festival that was full of amazing acts. Whitney (who has one of my favorite albums of the year) was in an early day kickoff slot, there was Bat For Lashes, Cold War Kids, Vince Staples, Eagles of Death Metal, Chvrches, Courtney Barnett, Galantis, Prophets of Rage, Two Door Cinema Club, Gary Clark Jr., Death Cab for Cutie and of course Kanye West. The day was LITERALLY full from beginning to end of non–stop greatness… and none of it would happen (at least on festival grounds).

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Courtney Barnett

With the announcement of the cancellation of day 3, everyones natural reaction was to jump right online and check venue schedules to see who was open and could take a day 3 performer on as a last minute show. Low and behold, several venues were wide open all day and could accommodate a number of the bands that were scheduled to play day 3. While several shows got booked throughout the city, I converged onto North 9th street in Williamsburg and hopped on line at Rough Trade as Courtney Barnett announced she would be playing a 100% FREE show (no festival wristband required).

Well, I’ll keep this short and sweet: even though she had a good timeslot at GovBall, het set at Rough Trade made up for day 3 and then some. For a free show, it was everything you could have imagined. She played literally everything you wanted her to play, she even threw in and mixed some covers!

For more photos, see below:

Day 1:

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Day 2:

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Day 3 (Courtney Barnett at Rough Trade):

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Governors Ball 2016 Day 2 Recap

By Will Oliver, June 25th 2016

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M83 at Governors Ball 2016

After a great day 1 of Governors Ball 2016, we arrived bright an early with a whole day ahead of us. Although we lucked out with minimal rain on day 1, our luck ran dry on day 2 with the 2nd half of the day plagued by some heavy rainfall that would go on to be a bad omen for the final day of the festival, which would eventually get cancelled altogether.

We started the day off with an early set from Holly Miranda whose band eased us into the day with a graceful set full of different stylings. Things got a little bit harder with punk rockers Nothing, who weren’t too happy with Miranda’s set time somewhat leaking into theirs. I could’ve down without the aggressive comment about her set, as there’s not much to be done with so many sets happening so close to one another. Things got back on track right after with a typically powerful performance from New York’s very own Torres, who always leaves me in awe with her raw intensity that is second to none.
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Governors Ball 2016 Day 1 Recap

By Will Oliver, June 25th 2016 — with 1 comment

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The Strokes at Governors Ball

For me, summer is officially in full swing with the arrival of the Governors Ball Music Festival, a staple of our summer here for the last few summers, although it’s hard to imagine a time without the festival. This year the festival was once again plagued by the ominous threat of rain and storms (with day 3 unfortunately being cancelled altogether), but we still made the best of the two great days that the festival gave us, and saw many different bands and artists across all genres.

We kicked off Friday, Day 1, with a set from young New York rockers Public Access T.V., who are definitely ones to watch, along with hot rising pop singer Meg Mac who performed right after.
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Who To See At Governors Ball 2016

By Will Oliver, June 2nd 2016

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Ready or not, Governors Ball is tomorrow. I don’t know when 2016 decided to throw the summer at us, but it’s happening whether we like it or not. Unfortunately the weather may bring us a weekend of rain, but even so, there’s enough great talent at the festival to make us excited to battle the elements. This year, I decided to do a little breakdown of who to see each day, in case you’re not sure on who to see, or a little torn on a conflict or two (although there’s not too many this year, at least for me). Find the list posted below, and be sure to return next week for our coverage.
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Governors Ball 2016 Single Day
Last month the 2016 Governors Ball Music Festival lineup was announced, and it’s another exciting year for the hometown New York festival. We’re excited to return this year and can’t wait for June to get here.

Tickets have been on sale for about a month now, but it wasn’t until today that single day passes went on sale. You can find the entire single day lineups posted in the image above (as well as a written out version below), making it easier for those who are only interested in a certain headliner or group of acts to get in on the action.

Head here to buy single day (as well as 3-day passes), but don’t wait too long on it, the single day passes are more limited than the regular 3-day passes, so they won’t last nearly as long.
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Governors Ball Announces 2016 Lineup

By Will Oliver, January 8th 2016 — with 1 comment

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It’s that time of year again already, the lineup for this years edition of our hometown festival Governors Ball is here. The festival will return to the comforts of Randall’s Island during the weekend of June 3-5, as usual.

This year sees a bunch of old Governors Ball favorites returning to headline the fest. Returning for the 2016 edition of the festival is Kanye West, The Strokes and Beck. Also joining them this year are The Killers, Robyn, Death Cab for Cutie, M83, Haim, Of Monsters and Men, and CHVRCHES.

There’s a lot of great groups and artists rounding out the midcard, such as Two Door Cinema Club, Miike Snow, Father John Misty, Courtney Barnett, Jamie XX, Bloc Party, Gary Clark Jr., Matt and Kim, Purity Ring, Lord Huron, Eagles Of Death Metal, Cold War Kids, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Albert Hammond Jr., Day Wave, Against Me!, Bat For Lashes, FIDLAR, Miuel, Joey BadAss, Thundercat, Torres, Bully, Black Pistol Fire, and Public Access T.V. The lineup does favor “indie rock” this year, with no big EDM headliner this year, which is ok with me (and Ryan Adams).

We have covered the festival for the past four years, and are looking forward to our fifth year back on Randall’s Island taking in some great sights and sounds once again. Summer can’t get here soon enough.

Tickets for the festival are on sale now at the Governors Ball website, and you can find our coverage of last year’s edition of the festival here.

Recap: Governors Ball 2015

By Will Oliver, August 17th 2015 — with 1 comment

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(Taken by Anthony Bauer)

There was plenty to love at Governors Ball 2015 this past June, featuring triumphant performances from headliners such as My Morning Jacket and Ryan Adams, to unforgettable performances from big groups like Hot Chip, St. Vincent and Weird Al, to up and comers like Royal Blood and The Districts, as well as the always unforgettable Future Islands. There was certainly something for everyone.

Since I strung together individual posts of photo sets and recaps, here’s a handy recap giving you everything all in one place. I’ve included a running list of all the recaps/photo sets in order of each day and set times, as well as my top 10 favorite sets of the festival. This year we also got a featured post from our very own Anthony Bauer, who offered a recap of the happenings from his perspective. Find all that good stuff posted below, along with some of our favorite photos taken from the weekend.
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Governors Ball 2015 – A Different Perspective

By Anthony Bauer, August 11th 2015 — with 1 comment

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The Governors Ball Music Festival has taken place in New York City every year since 2011, and every year since I’ve thought about going but never committed to actually going. It’s never been due to the lineup, but mostly because I’ve ended up being busy whenever the festival is in town. All of that changed this year though as I found out that I had the opportunity to go and without any hesitation, I immediately said absolutely.

I was thrilled as the lineup this year was amazing, but at the same time very stressful (I’ll explain in a minute). The lineup featured almost everything I’d want to see, all in one easy to navigate location. The stressful part about the lineup is the stressful part with most any festival lineups – you have to compromise at one point. The real struggle is when you’re watching one band but you want to check out another band that is playing across the field. Or, you want to get a good spot for another band at a different stage so you keep asking yourself, “do I leave, or do I stay?” It’s an absolute horrible feeling having to leave one band to get a good spot for another band, but all in all, thats what festivals are all about – making compromises. They’re necessary compromises in order to see everybody you wouldn’t normally get to see all in one place. Read the rest of this entry »

The Black Keys at Governors Ball 2015

By Will Oliver, August 11th 2015

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By now I’ve nearly lost count of how many times I’ve seen The Black Keys, although it’s certainly getting close to double digits. Throughout the years I’ve seen the Akron, Ohio duo of Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney play shows during various points of their career: before they blew up, during their rise to fame, and now their comfortable state as one of the bigger “arena” bands in rock and roll. Although the stages have got bigger, the group’s live performances have usually been a good time.

But I was a tad underwhelmed with their performance at Governors Ball, the final headlining spot of the weekend (they played against Lana Del Rey). The band sounded fine musically, but it was pretty much the same set I’ve seen time and time again, only you could sense that they too were fatigued by the Turn Blue run. It seemed like a good portion of their set was spent asking the crowd to help get amped up, instead of them just doing it by rocking out harder. They were on autopilot.

It wasn’t a bad show by any means, but it seemed like a bit of a let down considering how big of a band they are, and that they were closing out the festival. Hopefully the next time I see them they’ll be refreshed and recharged to put on the show that we all know they’re perfectly capable of.

Find some more shots from their performance posted below.
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