Before we get too far into it, please note that there is no actual “Governor’s Ball.”
The festival’s action will be spread between four stages, dive bar sessions and after-dark shows around Randall’s Island — having outgrown Governors Island, its original location.
This year’s lineup is impressive — there are solid headliners and diverse enough talent that even the most pretentious indie fan will be satisfied.
Friday — May 31
Headlining the first night is Tyler, The Creator, whose set is going to be swamped with folks wanting to hear songs from his new album IGOR. He’s joined by Lil Wayne, who is as prolific as ever, and Brockhampton (multiple people have threatened me with physical harm if I don’t go see their set).
Saturday — June 1
Saturday night’s headliner is Florence + The Machine, though I imagine Major Lazer will draw a bigger crowd. The former is touring in support of the 2018 High as Hope, while the latter (well, maybe just Diplo) is surely hitting a peak. Of the big names that night, though, The 1975 might be the most worth checking out. Their third album, A Brief Enquiry Into Online Relationships took them to a whole new sonic level.
Sunday — June 2
Saturday night will see The Strokes, Nas, SZA and a lot of other top talents. I was genuinely surprised that Vampire Weekend wasn’t going to be rolling up in their sweaters and polos … I guess the Strokes will have to do.
What To Watch For
Gov Ball is definitely heavy on rap and hip hop — with Vince Staples, Joey Bada$$, Sheck Wes, Playboi Carti, Ty Dolla Sign, and others adding depth to the festival schedule. It makes a lot of sense for a festival in the City to showcase East Coast talent.
Watch for Kacey Musgraves, whose alt-country album Golden Hour rightfully won the Grammy for Album of the Year, is on top of the world and is somehow still underrated. And keep an eye on Jorja Smith, the English R&B singer that has collaborated with Kali Uchis, Drake and Kendrick Lamar.
Along with these two, the sets I’m most looking forward to are the more lowkey ones — maybe because I like being close enough you the stage that I can actually see the artist. Here are five other artists you shouldn’t sleep on this weekend:
Still Woozy: He’s of the most underrated artists in the lineup, but his chill songs make for a good listen.
Hippo Campus: Listening to these guys just makes me really fucking happy
Mitski: This woman is a force of nature, like Captain Marvel in Endgame level of power.
Clairo: She made a name for herself with lo-fi, bedroom pop jams, but I’m curious how her music will translate to the stage.
Kaytranada: Definitely check out this guy’s complex and catchy electro-hip hop beats.
Noah Harrelson is a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences. He can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org.