2016-06-15 / Front Page

Governor's Ball Proves Huge Sucess

By Jon Headlee With Nicollette Barsamian

The first day of Governors Ball was an odd mixture of older acts like Beck and The Strokes, talented up and coming acts like Of Monsters And Men, mixed with groups I'd never heard of doing a variety of originals and fresh covers of old songs. You'd think hearing covers at a festival of this nature would be annoying, but then you hear a talented artist such as Elle King do cross-genre covers of songs like "My Neck, My Back," and it's worth every penny to see all the women in the audience suddenly empowered to get up and dance, while provoking their significant others to do all manner of things I can't write about here.

With four stages and a packed lineup, there was something for everyone. The four stages also meant a lot of walking to experience the entire event. And naturally, with all that walking, the event was ripe for people watching. The diversity of music ensured a wide variety of people in attendance, from frat boys with their popped collars and $13 cans of beer to old rockers sipping on the whiskey they snuck in, from Manhattan socialites dressed to impress an art gala on a summer day taking selfies with the various art installations to out of towners converging on our city because "where else are you going to see so many great acts in one place?"

"I just love how there's so many different types of people here, except, you know... poor people," said the college student from Pennsylvania who came to NYC to catch up with friends and enjoy the festivities at Governors Ball. Given the price of a ticket, the exorbitant food and drink prices, and the cost of taking one or more days off from work, she was right. Governors Ball is not for poor people, and because it's held on Randall's Island, there was an odd scene in Harlem on the walk to the festival.

I found myself in a sea of frat boys listening to hip hop I normally would hear in a strip club wondering how to reconcile the lack of true diversity. Obviously cost is a huge factor here, as only those with significant disposable income would even consider an event on the scale of Governors Ball. Is this just the nature of the beast that we must accept when it comes to large-scale music events, or is there a way to be more inclusive with the impoverished communities who can still hear the music blasting from the island?

These questions hounded me the following day as I jammed out to Mac Miller, got the blood pumping with Against Me!, zoned out with M83, and got a little nostalgic with The Killers.

The energy and the crowd was definitely notched up from Friday, but I really wanted to see if Kanye would bring out a more diverse crowd on Sunday.

The rain ensured that wouldn't happen, as the threat of thunderstorms forced the cancelation of Sunday. That led to a lot of last minute scrambling as artists sought other venues to play.

Eventually Kanye would show up to Webster Hall, causing so much of a scene that the Police had to come in by the dozens to shut the block down. It was pure madness and pandemonium watching hundreds of twenty somethings race down 3rd Avenue after an SUV supposedly carrying Kanye. I guess they just wanted to get their money's worth.

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