Blog: I Survived the Governor’s Ball (Memo)

A crowd of thousands with their hands up and their shoes sinking further into the mud didn’t seem to care about anything except for the stage in front of them.

For three days I, too, spent as much time as I could on Randall’s Island dancing it up with other attendees from around the country as we experienced Governor’s Ball.

Thanks to more than 50 artists set to perform, every concertgoer could get a taste of hip- hop, electronic, rock and alternative all in one day.

Throughout my time in New York, I kept up a live blog to try and document the beautiful chaos that comes from music lovers.

Thursday, June 4

9:42 p.m.

We arrive at the Bronx apartment and, right when I think I can finally drop my bags off to relieve the pain in my shoulder, the key doesn’t unlock the door. My sister looks around at me and I decided to take a seat on the pale green steps.

I’m already tired and the festival hasn’t even started.

9:55 p.m.

For a split second I’m scared my sister is jamming the key into someone else’s apartment door until she pushes it open. Score one for those boxing lessons she’s been taking.

10:35 p.m.

The Harris sisters and Boakye sisters are in the Bronx building ready to take over.

Friday, June 5

12:00 p.m.

We run around the apartment for a bit to get ready to leave. In between the shoving through the doorways and poking mascara wands in our eyes, while Drake played in the background to prepare us for tonight.

2:20 p.m.

I stare up at the sky as the rain falls. I should’ve brought a rain coat or something. Regardless, we walk across the bridge and hear the faint music coming from Randall’s Island.

2:35 p.m.

Upon entering the festival I realize I may become claustrophobic. Girls with long flowy dresses push past me, holding up their drinks high to keep from spilling. Over in the corner I hear a group of teenagers laugh loudly. Up ahead, I find a couple of stages and artists performing.

The four of us cheering loudly on the first day of Governor's Ball in the front entrance.
Featured are the four of us cheering loudly on the first day of Governor’s Ball. (Photo courtesy of Naomi Harris/Bloc Reporter)

3:35 p.m.

The closer I get to GovBallNYC stage, the more I smell cannabis. But I hardly concentrate on it and run after my group of friends to get closer to Future’s performance.

4:02 p.m.

Rudimental members shout into the crowd with their British accents. Despite the lack of a hyped crowd, my sister and I dance to their familiar hits. After a while we leave to find the others and eat something. I can already hear my wallet weeping.

5:05 p.m.

Looks like we can’t leave.

The guards yell for audience members to head back into the venue or leave and not come back until tomorrow. After we calm down from dealing with unnecessarily temperamental volunteers, we find a tent titled “Silent Disco.” Before long we’re dancing with wireless headphones as the DJs get the crowd excited.

When someone starts a circle pit I immediately leave.

7:30 p.m.

Florence & The Machine perform on the big stage. Florence Welch, her flowing red hair bouncing, jumps around the stage even after she admits she recently broke her foot.

7:40 p.m.

Florence notices a girl crowd surfing and asks her to make it to the stage. Once the girl is over the barricade, Florence runs over and gives her a huge hug while the crowd cheers.

8:30 p.m.

Too many concertgoers are pushing to get to the front once Florence ends her set. I latch onto my sister’s hand and we endure more over-privileged teenagers pushing past us.

9:30 p.m.

Drake emerges from the smoke as the crowd cheers for him. Looking over the audience, he puts the mic close to his mouth and starts his performance.

9:40 p.m.

Soon enough he starts to perform selections from his new album, If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late, and I start jumping around like a mad woman. Throughout his set he consistently entertained the crowd.

By the end of his set, fireworks shot up into the sky and the crowd let out one last roar of appreciation.

Saturday, June 6

8:00 p.m.

My sister’s best friend and I push past others in the crowd ready to hear Flume. Lasers shoot out from the stage and the screen lights up as he plays songs from his album Flume.

We jam out to the bass despite the onlookers.

8:40 p.m.

I find myself paying for a deliciously overpriced Philly cheesesteak. To pass the time in the long line, I talk to a couple behind me as they tell me about all the hashtags they heard throughout the day.

Indeed, I think Governor’s Ball should maybe put an age limit on the festival and keep out all these babies.

9:24 p.m.

With my cheesesteak in my hands I find my sister and friends. We decide to sit up on the hill and not deal with another crowd of avid pushers to see Deadmau5.

9:40 p.m.

I cringe for Deadmau5 as his set goes in and out, usually right when the bass is about to drop. We come to find out something went wrong with his gear. People start to leave by the dozens as his set goes out again.

Even with a shaky beginning, we hear him play his set successfully but soon enough we get up to avoid the huge crowd.

Sunday, June 7

3:14 p.m.

My friend and I finally make it to the entrance and hear Logic performing. Dodging the blankets strewn across the lawn, we find a good spot.

3:30 p.m.

Logic pauses his performance to interact with the crowd. He asks one girl her age. She proudly yells she’s 16 and Logic double backs to the other side of the stage.

4:45 p.m.

We wait to meet Hot Chip and get a shirt signed for my sister’s best friend.

5:30 p.m.

My feet truly hurt and I’m ready to share a blanket with someone.

5:35 p.m.

Hot Chip arrives and the line cheers in relief.

I chat with members of the band. For a moment they think we just brought a white T-shirt. However, we flip it over to reassure them we actually did buy their merchandise.

5:45 p.m.

I catch the end of A-Trak’s set and mentally applaud him for his insanely talented scratching skills. But with feet crying out for mercy and stiff legs we decide to head out for the evening.

Photo courtesy of user anax44 via Flickr. 

headNaomi Harris is a sophomore journalism major and can be reached at

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