Governor's Ball Music Festival
June 6-8, 2014
Randall's Island, New York City, NY
I have wanted to go to a music fest for a very, very long time, and living where I do, options for music festivals are few and far between. I could drive to Bonnaroo and deal with tents and hippies and mud and no showers and sitting in a car for ages just to get in and out, or I could fly elsewhere and throw down a lot of money for a hotel, a ticket, and travel.
This year, Outkast reunited. It's kind of a big deal. And while coachella got the first big OMG WE HAVE OUTKAST announcement, the group also announced on their website that they would be headlining at the 2014 Governor's Ball Music Festival. This was a new fest that I hadn't heard of before, and with somewhat good reason--it's only been around for four years. So I started doing research. The fest was three days, on Randall's Island, plum between Manhattan, Queens and the Bronx. It also took place on my birthday weekend, June 6th through 8th. Whoa. Did stars just align? And then they announced the lineup, which included Jack White, Vampire Weekend, Janelle Monae, Outkast (obv) and about a billion other bands that would be ridiculous for me to list but let me tell you I was stoked just reading the list.
It seemed like mostly a pipe dream, because Gov Ball took place at the same time as the start of summer reading at work, but I was APPROVED for time off for the fest and I sprung into action, grabbing a 3 day ticket and emailing my friend E., who lives with her husband in Park Slope, & who was deeply kind to offer to let me stay with them for free while I was in the city. It came together! I got a ticket for the shuttle, planned my flight so I'd have one free day before the fest to do with what I pleased, and started saving money. I had to buy some shorts because most of my shorts are officially barn shorts now, but here's what I wore on all three days. (I was probably the least hip person there. I don't care.)
Day 1 (June 6)
Top: J. Crew | Shorts: Walmart | Shoes: Toms
Bands: Outkast, TV on the Radio, Phoenix, La Roux, Bastille, Janelle Monae, Little Daylight
Food: mac and cheese (Beecher's), cheesesteak (Carl's)
Day 2 (June 7)
Top: Boden | Shorts: Boden | Shoes: Toms
Bands: Jack White, Sleigh Bells, The Strokes, Broken Bells, Fitz and the Tantrums, Classixx
Food: risotto ball (Arancini Bros), chopped beef sandwich (Mile End Deli)
Day 3 (June 8)
Top: Target | Shorts: Boden | Shoes: Toms
Bands: Vampire Weekend, Foster the People, The Kills, The Head and the Heart, Tyler the Creator, Frank Turner
Food: lobster roll (Luke's Lobster)
I have spared you all a shot of the aggressive Toms tan that I received while at the festival. But here's a look at what my poor Toms look like now that they've been through the ringer:
Gov Ball was wild. I will say that going alone probably wasn't AS good as going with someone, simply because I didn't want to make friends with groups of people, but it also allowed me to do whatever the hell I wanted, which was awesome. That's one of my favourite parts of traveling alone--you do you the whole time. It's pretty fantastic. One day I brought a book with me to help pass time between bands, and I found myself more than once by someone else reading a book. It's like a secret handshake for bookworms...except it's blatantly obvious. Whatever, you get the point.
I took my trusty green Jansport bookbag with me, and that thing more than paid its dues (I also used it when I was driving across America, so it's been all over). I was able to haul my camera (which stayed home after day one because security deemed it "professional camera equipment" which isn't allowed), a towel, sunblock, a book, my phone, my charger, a bottle of water, and anything else I wanted to lug with me.
I had a really awesome time at Gov Ball. I might go back someday. I have many tiny stories that I can tell--about charging my phone, about the people I met, the food I ate, and the bands I saw--but they're not interesting when they're all rolled into one. They might leak out bit by bit. But at least there's this post with all my clothes so I can remember it! (I will be writing an additional post about my free day in Manhattan, which...will be much different.) But for now...I'm glad to be home!