Surprise: #GOVBALLSEASON is upon us. The three-day festival kicks off New York’s “Music Month” on Friday (June 2nd) and staying true to Founders’ DIY ethics, it’s not here to pull punches. In fact, the team behind Governors Ball have actualized spontaneous creativity in such a way that every layer of this year’s festival touches on art and how it makes us tick. It’s why their 2017 lineup boasts both Tool and Lorde, and offsets your everyday indie heroes with charged up takes on UK grime and internet pop — piecing together a perennial weekender that’s here for the good times. With that mind, here are some highlights to look out for if you plan on hopping the ferry to Randall’s Island Park later this week.
Tool’s Return To New York City
Tool’s headliner will be their first NYC date since 2006 and the heaviest 90-min run in Governors Ball’s history. Factoids aside, the prog metal legends recently destroyed Boston Calling — resurrecting “Schism”, “Vicarious”, “Ænema”, and “Forty-Six & 2″ — so it only makes sense that their Sunday night closer (9:15 p.m. at Gov Ball NYC Stage) will exude some sort of poetic chaos that barely feels real.
The Increase In Female Artists
Gender inequality is still an ongoing issue when it comes to festivals and the team at Founders are doing their part. This year’s lineup picks up where 2016 left off as it features the likes of Lorde, Kehlani, Beach House, BANKS, Charli XCX, Dua Lipa, Tove Lo, Phantogram, Warpaint, MUNA, and Tkay Maidza.
The Lessons In Oddball Hip-Hop
“The Worst Guys” Childish Gambino and Chance The Rapper will be on hand to make up for The Lost Kanye Set but there’s also Danny Brown, Schoolboy Q, Stormzy, Logic, YG, A$AP Ferg, Rae Sremmurd, Wiz Khalifa, and of course, the Wu-Tang Clan. Tip: You don’t want to miss Skepta’s set at Bacardi Tent.
Lola Sherwood’s Art Section
Arts curator Lola Sherwood returns and this year’s take on sun and street art will feature canvases by Baron Von Fancy, Greg Mike, Damien Mitchell, Hanksy, Magda Love, Morel Turgeman, Persue, Dmote, TomBob, Steffi Lynn, and more. In other words, prep your inner Bob Ross (and your camera roll).
The Heavy Indie Rock Vibes
Gov Ball has always had a knack for indie blog faves and this year is no different. The weekend is slated to feature festival vets (Phoenix, Cage The Elephant) and buzzworthy obsessions (Mark Ronson vs. Kevin Parker) — not to mention a strong supporting cast with Mac DeMarco, The Avalanches, Local Natives, The Orwells, Parquet Courts, Car Seat Headrest, Lo Moon, Blossoms, and Franz Ferdinand.
The Insane Food Lineup
Seriously. It’s insane. The Infatuation’s curated lineup of eats includes summer bod killers such as Roberta’s, Taiyaki NYC, DŌ, Magnolia Bakery, Mister Dips, Dough Donuts, John’s Juice, Mighty Quinn’s BBQ, Wowfulls, Tea And Milk, La Newyorkina, CoCo & Co, Farmstand, Friterie, Melt Shop, MatchaBar, and Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream. For more details, check out the full lineup here.
The Pro-Casual Drink Lineup
Where there’s food, there’s also libations. Governors Ball will have a Miller Lite Beer Garden and craft brew stations onsite (Lagunitas, Sierra Nevada, Ommegang), but there will also be 21+ GA hangouts for cocktail nerds — including the Tito’s Stillhouse Lounge where Tito’s Handmade Vodka will be hosting a mural photo opp and making donations to Musicians On Call.
Every Gov Ball After Dark Show
If the Friday through Sunday routine isn’t enough, then Gov Ball After Dark has you covered. This year’s edition of the late night concert series features Warpaint at Irving Plaza, The Orwells at Knitting Factory, Parquet Courts at Villain, Mark Ronson & Kevin Parker at Output, and a Zane Lowe showcase at Schimanski that’s headlined by YG and Charli XCX (click here for info).
Gov Ball’s Artist Signing Stage
The Honda x Waterloo Records Signing Stage is back this year and it remains the best spot to detour to for autographs and new vinyl finds. Attendees also have the opportunity to enter for a chance to win a brand-new Honda Civic or two VIP passes to Music Midtown or one of the Austin City Limits weekends.
Mini Golf (And Other Lawn Games)
There’s four courses, 36 holes, and a blue putter with your name on it.