Long Islanders were in full force among the thousands who thronged Governors Island in early June for one of the region’s premier musical gatherings – the Governors Ball Music Festival.
For the third year, the Herald was there to catch the action.
Conveniently situated on Randalls Island, a just over 2,000-square mile land mass between Manhattan, Queens and the Bronx, the festival grounds are an easy commute from Long Island by way of the Grand Central Parkway or the Brooklyn Queens Expressway. Concertgoers unfazed by heavy walking can park in Astoria and enjoy a scenic stroll along the RFK Bridge walking path to the festival entrance.
For those who prefer the Long Island Rail Road — ferry rides to the island run every 15 minutes from Murray Hill, accessible from Penn Station.
As for the music itself, the festival, as usual, offered a diverse palate of artists, categorizing them nicely so selective listeners can personally line up their own schedule to align with their musical interests. Former White Stripes front man turned solo artist Jack White returned to the festival and fired up the crowd on Day 1, capping off his lengthy set with the crowd-pleasing Seven Nation Army.
Day 2 on Saturday offered a notable alternative headliner alongside main attraction Travis Scott: a reunion of the Gaslight Anthem, performing its first major show in years by commemorating the 10-year anniversary of its breakthrough record, the ’59 Sound. The New Brunswick-based band mixed in many of its hits around the signature album, doing their part to help distract the enthusiastic spectators from the heavy rain that fell at times during their set.
Hip-hop icon Eminem, who made his first headlining performance in New York City in 2010, electrified in the festival’s closing performance on Day 3.
Besides the Saturday late-night downpour, the weather held up beautifully for the festival, which once again provided many activities and displays to entertain festivalgoers needing a break from the music, as well as an assorted array of food trucks for all types of eaters.
Other artists of note included the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, CHvrches, Post Malone, Sylvan Esso, Damian Marley, Margo Price and Third Eye Blind, as well as a handful of lesser known artists who were able to showcase their talents to an enthusiastic crowd.