All photos by Everynight Charley

Past Gov Ball Favorites

There’s always a lot to see when it comes to music festivals – food trucks, people watching, unexpected collaborations, muddy mosh pits, photo ops, the list goes on and on. Over the years, from Randall’s Island Park to Citi Field, the Big Apple has experienced all of this and more. We have been lucky to be present at almost all of the annual fest weekend, covering the music and thrills across the board for all of you. Below is a few highlights from the last decade of write-ups on the beloved Governor’s Ball Music Festival. (#GovBallNYC, for short.)

It’s 2023, the 10th annual Gov Ball is rolling into town, and fans near and far are preparing for beautiful weather and live music all weekend long. Phones are being put down (for the most part), screenings of Spider-Man and The Little Mermaid are on hold, and every other concert set for June 9, 10, and 11 is just about falling to the wayside (if you’re a tri-state festival-goer). The entire scope of the industry will be taking the stage at Flushing Meadows in Corona Par; Lizzo has the R&B and pop world covered, the HAIM sisters have folksy storytelling and lots of fun on the way, and our girl Suki Waterhouse has the sultry alternative songstress vibe down pat. It’s not all powerhouse stars and talented girls, though! Diplo has a riveting DJ set ready, Lil Nas X is surely preparing a rap spectacle for the city to love, while Kendrick Lamer’s soulful hip-hop is going to bring the (outdoor) house down. We’re ready, are you?

Now, let’s look back…

2012: “Between acts, you could enjoy games like beer pong and croquet or put on headphones in the ‘Silent Disco’ and dance around to a rotating mix of DJs. If you were one for dancing, then the festival’s first day was for you.”

2013: “Guns N’ Roses saved the night and possibly the fest with an incredible set. Axl Rose even made it on time, bobbed, weaved and shimmied like the old days, leaving the crowd howling for one more encore.”

2017: “Lorde’s main stage performance featured a duet with Bleachers’ Jack Antonoff on a cover of Robyn’s “Hang with Me,” as they had done this past December during the Ally Coalition Talent Show at Webster Hall’s Grand Ballroom. On the smaller stages, Charli XCX was joined by rapper Cupcakke for a song, […].”

2018: “The Gaslight Anthem performed a complete, 10th anniversary play-through of the band’s The ’59 Sound in the rain.” Also, we have to highlight: “Mosh pits, normally the staple at punk and metal shows, were all the rage at rap performances — starting with Post Malone.”

2019: “Back at the main stage, Kasey Musgraves was larger than life. Truly captivating an all-age crowd with “Slow Burn” (a track birthed of an LSD trip), the single ‘Wonder Woman,’ and the ode to love and dysfunction, ‘Family Is Family,’ her band, whom she lovingly introduced one by one, commanded the space like they’d be playing in it every day of their tour. Psychedelic kaleidoscope imagery on the screen as balloons printed like globes released into the masses, the sunset held the spotlight on the luminous songwriter, reminding everyone why she is one of the most interesting musicians in popular music right now.”

2021: “Participants had many food options, astroturf for relaxing, medical assistance, and 12-step meetings. Several corporations sponsored free ‘experiences,’ including hair styling, temporary tattoos, gifts, selfie backgrounds, and lounges with phone-charging stations.”

2022: “[Halsey] also covered the currently-trending ‘Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God),’ a song Kate Bush recorded in 1985 that recently became a hit after being included in an episode of Stranger Things. ‘I just had to do it! I’m sorry, guys, I just had to do it!’ they told the cheering audience.”

Photo by Everynight Charley