Governors Ball 2024 Recap – Day One

Flushing Meadow's Park really like the return of Governors Ball....
Governors Ball 2024 Recap - Day One
Governors Ball 2024 Recap

Just under a decade-and-a-half ago, New York City ended its drought of music festivals with a small one-day electronic fest on Governors Island (QRO recap). The following year, it expanded to two days mixing electronica & indie on Randall’s Island (QRO recap). The next year in expanded to three days, though one was cancelled due to torrential rain (QRO recap). Since then, it’s shifted to a decidedly more pop-friendly line-up, as well as moving to the parking lot of CitiField after COVID (QRO recap), and finally to neighboring Flushing Meadow’s Park last year. And on June 7th-9th, Friday-Sunday, Governors Ball returned to Flushing Meadow’s for another big party.

Governors Ball 2024 Recap - Day One

Ryan Beatty

For all the aged hipsters’ complaints that Gov Ball has gone all teen pop mainstream, ’24 actually started with some good ol’ fashioned indie-rock (albeit of the more recent variety, because this ain’t a nostalgia fest…). Blondshell started with the great “Veronica Mars, 2004”, even if much of the crowd hadn’t been born then (and only know Kristen Bell from Frozen…), with singer Sabrina Mae Teitelbaum noting that she used to go to this festival, the last time wasted as hell and with mono. Arcy Drive also provided some energy early on under the sun, accessible and not relying on visuals that’d be invisible early on under the sun. Durry was shades of Kings of Leon (QRO photos at Governors Ball ’13), albeit from Minnesota and not the South. It wasn’t quite Gov Ball 2014 (QRO recap) – but also of note was being much closer to gender parity, because this also ain’t 2004…

Yung Gravy
Teezo Touchdown

As the first day shifted into the meat of its line-up, the artists did shift to more contemporary sounds. Qveen Herby brought gangsta rap in a goth queen package at the gopuff Stage, while later on there it was Soundcloud rap star Yung Gravy bringing rhymes the crowd knew well. Ryan Beatty was soulful & beautiful on the main stage, though everyone on that stage seemed to be sitting down, so maybe a bit too soothing if you were wilting under the heat. Goth Babe brought back some of that indie-rock to the big stage for the first show in eight months (as well as being joined by [a cardboard cutout of] headliner Post Malone). The more distant IHG Stage was both harder to reach and running late, leaving Teezo Touchdown to touchdown twenty minutes behind the schedule.

Goth Babe

One trend across music festivals has been them finally embracing Latin sounds, and Gov Ball was no exception. The gopuff Stage hosted Farruko spitting beats & spitting fire, and later Rauw Alejandro brought hip-shaking Puerto Rico to a big crowd. Meanwhile, it was energetic Gen Z indie-pop to his own big crowd for Dominic Fike at the main stage.

Dominic Fike

Post Malone might be the perfect pick to headline a festival nowadays. He’s got a wide sound & appeal, with rock, rap, pop, and even country, having surprised guest-appeared the day prior at Nashville’s CMA Fest. But he’s also got a deep well of hardcore fans who were out in force. He’s even got a great public presence, lovable stoner (& drinker, as seen Day Drinking with Seth Meyers). In short, many, many people were saying, “I Like You”.

Post Malone

-words: Ted Chase
-photos: Joyce Lee

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