Last weekend’s Governor’s Ball music festival was fantastic. Everyone expects amazing music and exotic, quirky foods, but something very unique to this event is the attitude and the ambiance that can only be found on Randall’s Island. Governor’s Ball is admittedly not Coachella, the fashion week of music festivals, or EZOO the strange, beaded, bedazzled, acid trip of music festivals, but it does have a distinct look of its very own, and that look is- whatever the hell you want it to be.
While there was undeniably an abundance of flower crowns (myself included), FLASH tattoos and glittery accessories, we also saw sturdy workman boots, beautiful summery gauze dresses and every different look imaginable from the street savvy festival goers, to the artists themselves. You do not have to be a California hippie waif or a zonked out, neon pink, molly-popping tween. You can be either, or both, or anything in between.
Florence Welch looked like a 70s flower child while Liz Nistico from HOLYCHILD was wearing an all white ensemble with bright and electric Sephora-esque eyeshadow and lipstick. The ladies of Clean Bandit wore black and white leotards with beautiful cascading skirts, Charli XCX channeled her inner animal (100% zebra print), Marina Diamandis wore a bright purple latex body suit, and Bjork was dressed like a butterfly. No one cared that there was a guy walking around all day with a 50ft flag that said “MORE BASS”, drunkenly waiting for DEAMAU5, the exact same way nobody cared that every sad girl in the tri-state area put on their best pout and flower crown for Lana Del Rey.
This spirit was expressed in the lineup as well. Each headliner championed a different genre- hip-hop, electronic, pop and even old man country rock (I’m looking at you Ryan Adams). I personally have never experienced a better or more diverse crowd at another festival. The east coast’s answer to Coachella is not as large or as acclaimed, but maybe those factors work to its benefit. Where the expectations are not so rigid or expected and the lineup is so diverse and inclusive, every niche is welcome and every freak flag is flown. Governor’s Ball is easily the highlight of the NYC summer experience, and I cannot wait to see what it has in store next year.