Now, anyone whos ever read my writing (so like, my mom and the festival PR reps who check up on me to make sure I actually deliver what I promise) know that it may have been my first Gov Ball, but it was not my first rodeo. It was not even my first festival on Randalls Island. That being said, Gov Ball was a whole new beast. Perhaps because Im older
and wiser. Perhaps because the crowd was younger. Whatever the reason is, this festival was not like any other Id been to before. So lets break it down. Unlike some of my other reviews, Im trying to keep this one relatively short and sweet, because Im getting too old for this shit.
FOOD & DRINKS
What we liked: Shouts out to Titos and their lounge. Yall were the real MVPs of the weekend. ICYMI, Titos had a dope lounge right next to the Honda stage that was 21+ (the perfect place to escape my 17-year-old former campers who were at the festival *kills self because Im ancient*). The drinks were great. You could sit. You could watch the stage in a pseudo-VIP area. You could get a FREE MANICURE. It was lit, thanks to Jon and the Titos team.
Casa Bacard: Drinks in coconuts made Gov Ball feel classy and fun. Another fun area to escape the youths with a good space to hang out and eat (two very important activities).
Miller Lite Lounge: Another good lounge with beer and photo opps and shit.
What Was Meh: Don Julios activation was incredibly hard to findit was in an area that was literally called Best Kept Secret. Surprise, nobody knew where TF it wasnot even the people who worked at the festival. Once we found it, the area was actually very cool and we had some good palomas, but next time Im gonna need a detailed map with longitudinal coordinates or just like, dont put it in an area with a purposefully mysterious name that sounds made-up. Kthnx.
What We Disliked: I mean, I realize nobody eats at a festival but that was especially true at Gov Ball because THE LINES WERE TOO DAMN LONG. Kind of a bummer because it sounded like there would be good food, but only if you wanted to wait like, over an hour for it and miss every act you were trying to seeassuming they wouldnt have run out of whatever you wanted by the time you got there. Nobody goes to festivals for the food, myself included, but still.
Acts we liked:
ScHoolBoy Q: Bucket hats galore. Q (yes, we are on a one-initial basis) put on a solid performance that set the stage for Friday afternoon and evening. Very high-energy and I can never get tired of listening to the same hits from and . We love Schoolboy Q and have literally only great things to say, for now and forever until the end of time.
Marshmello: What an amazing set! Marshmello was, in our opinion, the best performer and performance of the weekend. His set was on point and engaging with the crowd. He played classic songs to get even the concertgoers who do not know his music engaged and interested, but at the same time able to put his on remix on the songs. Honestly we wish Marshmello had closed out the night instead of being in the middle of the evening which well get to later.
A$AP Ferg: Another fun set. I could see A$AP Ferg a solid like, two more times before the “Work Remix” starts to lose its effect. Actually, I’m not sure it ever will. TBD.
Flume: Flume was great as always. He was very intense and gave an energetic and upbeat show.
Acts That Were Meh:
Childish Gambino: Yes he played “3005”, but the rest of his set was slow and felt like a serenading. I know is mostly slow shit, but dude came on at 9:15pm. I was amped and ready to party. I did not want to be lulled asleep to the sounds of baby-making music and the song from (I know the name of the song, chill), which is what he did mostly. Literally, I was so mellowed out that I missed him hinting to the fact that his next Gambino album is going to be his last. Whoops.
Phoenix: I get WHY Phoenix would have headlined in terms of name recognition, I guess, but in terms of tempo I was not feeling it. They played a good set and they did their hit song twice, but IMO their sound is good for a mid-day break or to start the evening as a way to ease everybody into the festival. They make great music, but I was ready to get turnt, and…yeah. Phoenix and turnt do not really mesh. Wait, am I the problem?
MISCELLANEOUS THINGS WE LIKED
Good jobs on the bathrooms, organizers! I never had to wait like, more than two minutes and I think I only had to dip into my personal supply of toilet paper (#ProTip) ONCE. Which was honestly very impressive considering how many fucking people were there. We were v pleasantly surprised. There were also lots of places to sit (provided you are 21….suckaaaas!), which my old ass needed. It’s like they know me.
Waiting over 30 minutes to pick up our tickets because of Wifi issuesnever in my life have I experienced anything like that. Like, you are on an island, of course there is going to be bad wifi. Just print out a list and check IDsdont have people waiting for two hours to pick up their wristbands; thats insane.
The timing of the sets left a little to be desired. On the one hand, it was a small enough venue and easy to get from stage to stage. On the other hand, you had overlaps like Wu Tang Clan and Marshmello playing at the same time, and yet there was an hour in between sets before Childish Gambino/Phoenix with nobody on the main stages. Yah, other stages acts were playing other stages in the meantime, but I wish it was organized a little differently so my Saturday wasn’t one big Sophie’s Choice.