New York City is generally considered a mecca for all things music (see: Glasslands, Saint Vitus, Webster Hall) but once the East Coast heats up, it becomes a spot for Teva thongs and boyfriend shorts. GOVERNORS BALL NYC welcomes all trends and even though it has only been around since 2011, it’s arguably matured into the major festival that was born to kick off another one of those hot summers. With sun rays in effect, this weekend will showcase everything from reunions to returns to Vampire Weekend’s hometown closer, so without further ado, here are some of the highlights you can look forward to if you’re venturing over to Manhattan for a ferry ride across the water.
For all things Gov Ball, make sure to keep an eye out for our interviews + photos and visit the festival’s website
OUTKAST’s FRIDAY NIGHT SET AT THE GOVBALLNYC STAGE
It’s no secret: Boi and Dre are on every bill this year. Coachella didn’t feel right and bystanders will still pretend they know the words to “Rosa Parks” and “Elevator (Me & You)” but Outkast have performed at more than five festivals since the desert which means they have a few more sets under their belt. Plus, this is New York City and Killer Mike and Janelle Monae just happen to be doing their own thang before the duo’s SpottieOttieDopalicious night cap.
HIP-HOP’s ODD CROWD PLEASERS
While the 2013 lineup got eclectic (Azealia Banks, Freddie Gibbs), this year’s edition is a curveball with Gov’s hip-hop section being steered by the likes of Childish Gambino, Tyler The Creator, Earl Sweatshirt, and Chance The Rapper. All the above are unorthodox poets, not invisible pull-up pushers, and that leaves a lot of unanswered questions. Will we finally see EarlWolf? Will Gambino cover “Duck Tales”? Will J. Cole troll and play the new Yeezy album?
UNDERCARDS THAT WILL MAKE YOU FORGET ABOUT THE HEADLINERS
Outkast, Jack White, Vampire Weekend, and The Strokes are worth your time but the same can be said for some of the mid-day performers. Deafheaven seem to be crushing souls wherever they go; Ratking are doing a hometown set that will define NYC for life; and BANKS‘ visit to the East Coast looks set to preview this year’s version of Pure Heroine. If you find all of the above hard to believe, then look up Tanlines, Skaters, Classixx, and Diarrhea Planet.
LANA DEL REY FLOWER CROWNS
We’re not endorsing them but Randall’s Island is set for a sunny weekend and with everyone about to cry along to LDR’s new album in less than two weeks, it’s inevitable they’ll be in full force. They go hand in hand with crop tops, shorts, and Shwoods, so don’t hold back if you YOLO and take selfies to Ultraviolence. Don’t ever hold back.
THE (WHAT DREAMS ARE MADE OF) MIXOLOGY TENT
Along with Corn Hole set-ups, art installations, and Sennheiser’s Silent Disco, the Food And Shade Oasis will also feature a Mixology Tent. According to the festival, it will be “a dedicated area where you can get delicious and hand crafted cocktails, curated by the folks from Fort Defiance, of Red Hook, Brooklyn fame”. In other words, bottoms up.
JACK WHITE’s SATURDAY NIGHT JAMBOREE
We say “jamboree” because you never know what to expect from Jack White. His new LP, Lazaretto, is an expansive collection of material and it rarely exhausts your ears because its detailed. His closing set at the GovBallNYC Stage will likely top 20 songs as it is and if it’s anything like his performance at Houston’s Free Press Summer Fest, then it will be a documentary of how one man can stack songs on top of songs and – **ahem** – cut you like a buffalo.
THE RETURN OF GRIMES, SPOON, JENNY LEWIS, AND THE STROKES
Grimes is playing three new songs, Jenny Lewis and Spoon have albums on the way, and The Kills, Run The Jewels, TV On The Radio, and The Strokes are “maybes” when it comes dropping new material on our heads. In short, every new song you hear will make you stumble like Jennifer Lawrence at the Oscars – just don’t attempt to make sense of it all. The last image you come across could be of two Dad bros crying to some new Britt Daniel slow jamz.
FOOD, FOOD, AND OH YEAH, FOOD
Gov Ball’s food lineup aims straight for the arteries. It’s not as multifaceted as Bonnaroo’s but it’s the right amount of trendy which is perf for anyone that steps foot on the Island. Mile End Deli, Beecher’s, and Coolhaus (above) lead the pack and right next to it is Pomme’s Frites, L’Apicio, Porchetta, Morris Truck, Pizza Vita, and Arancini Bros.
YOUR NEW BEST FRIEND: THE VAPORIZER
Short shorts are still “in”, but portable vaporizers are like “waaaaaaaay in”. They’re a common necessity in the NYC area so expect to see them out in the wild, especially the PAX by Ploom. The miniature loose-leaf acquaintance is another sidekick for your pocket and it’s an A-list device that won’t have you looking like Drake on a shisha grind.
EVERY OFFICIAL GOVERNORS BALL AFTER SHOW
1-800-Dinosaur at Output. Damon Albarn at Irving Plaza. Diarrhea Planet and Total Slacker at Glasslands. OWSLA at Webster Hall. Washed Out at Brooklyn Bowl. EarlWolf at Irving Plaza. Do we really have to say anything more?