The Insider's Guide to Governors Ball 2015

Article by: Angela Giacchetti|@AGiacchetti

Wed May 20, 2015 | 00:00 AM

It’s Wednesday morning in Brooklyn. I’m sitting inside my favorite coffee shop, wildly distracted by the warm breeze coming through the wide-open door. The sandwich board outside declares, “IT’S SPRING.” It sure is...finally. And, you know what that means? It’s festival season.

In a town dominated by things to do, there will always be a few standout favorites worth the time, money, and hassle pretty much everything requires here. Let’s take a moment to talk about one of my personal faves: Governors Ball Music Festival (or just GovBall, as it’s known). The reason I dig it so much? Basically, it’s a one-stop-shop for summer fun. The lineup is always solid—usually a good mix of up-and-comers and massive names. It’s now in its fifth year, so you know the organizers (Founders Entertainment) have it to-ge-ther. Plus, there’s food, beer, and hangin’ with friends on a grassy island in the middle of the East River. It’s the closest thing most of us will get to a tropical getaway all year.

Governor's Ball 2014 Art Gimbel  15

Photo by Art Gimbel

Thinking about attending? Here are some insider tips for doing GovBall right:

DO make a plan: If you’re anything like me (i.e. a Type A New Yorker with a penchant for rallying friends), you’ll want a plan of attack. This means getting together with your festival-going pals and figuring out logistics, like what kind of tickets you want (there are lots of options), how you’ll get there, and what acts you most want to see. GovBall has a really cool tool on their website where you can create your own schedule. Do it.

DON’T wait to get tickets: They will sell out thanks to an excellent lineup this year that includes: Drake, Florence And The Machine, The Black Keys, Deadmau5, My Morning Jacket, SBTRKT, Chromeo, Flume, Rudimental, Hot Chip, Charlie XCX, Lana Del Rey, and more. What are you waiting for?

DON’T have a wardrobe malfunction: While it’s tempting to wear your cutest summer outfit, opt for something that is going to withstand an entire day of standing in the sun and close contact with a bunch of strangers. This rules out pretty much anything you wouldn’t walk a mile in NYC wearing, like flip-flops, bathing suits, etc. Also, pro-tip: Rompers and floor-length skirts don’t mesh well with port-a-potties. Trust me on this.

Governors Ball Eventbrite 2

Photo courtesy of Eventbrite

DO pack light: Again with the standing all day. Unless you’re a VIP (which I highly suggest as someone over the age of 21), you’re going to wish you hadn’t brought anything you don’t absolutely need. Things you will need? Sunscreen, hand sanitizer, cash, sunnies, hat or visor, an extra battery pack for your phone (service on the island is crappy and it drains your juice), and a ziploc bag. Put your phone inside the bag to protect it from potential rain or spilled beer—cheap and easy!

DO give yourself some time: There are three stages at GovBall, plus a tent with more dance-y, high-energy acts. This means that at any given time, there will be (at least) two performers in action. If there’s a band you just. can’t. miss, you’ll want to arrive at that stage right after the previous act is finished to get a good view. And, expect big crowds. Give yourself enough time to get from point A to point B—whether it’s the next stage, grabbing a bite or drink, or using the bathroom.

Governor's Ball 2014 Art Gimbel 20

Photo by Art Gimbel

DO eat your face off: Yes, you can have a burger with that beer. One of the best things about GovBall is they have an excellent lineup of eats curated by one of NYC’s favorite food blogs, Infatuation. Consider this an opportunity to ditch your diet.

DO pace yourself: GovBall is a whirlwind of a weekend if you plan on attending all three days. You don’t want to burn out early, so be kind to yourself through the experience. Drink lots of water, get decent sleep, protect your neck from sun, and don’t drink all your booze in one day…you know the drill.

Angela is Eventbrite’s Curation Content Manager. She's written for publications such as Women 2.0 and Daily Kos, and has spoken at the BizBash Event Innovation Forum, SoundCTRL FlashFwd Awards, Indie Media Camp, Social Media Week, and more. She's a proud resident of Gowanus, Brooklyn and mom to Gloria the cat.

Want to hear more tips from Angela and the Eventbrite team? Check out Eventbrite Rally.