The Governors Ball Music Festival is an annual multi-day music event that takes place at Randall's Island in New York City. It features top performers from different musical genres including hip-hop, rock, indie, pop, electronic and more.
The first Governors Ball Festival took place in 2011 and was held on Governors Island in New York City. It is produced every year by Founders Entertainment, a New York City-based promotion company which is also behind The Meadows Music & Arts Festival. Governors Ball started as a one-day event and was headlined by bands like Empire of the Sun, Girl Talk, and Pretty Lights.
The inaugural festival was a tremendous success and went down in history as the event with the highest attendance ever held on Governors Island. Thanks to its success it was expanded to a two-day event in 2012 and was stretched to three days in 2013.
Past performers include Mac Miller, Beck, Fiona Apple, Phantogram, Walk the Moon, Kanye West, Guns N' Roses, Kings of Leon, Of Monsters and Men, and The Strokes. In addition to the music, you can also enjoy other entertainment activities, games and a ton of delicious food from food trucks and well-known New York restaurants.
At Governors Ball Music Festival guests have the option to choose from General Admission, VIP, VIP Plus or Platinum tickets. They range in price from $110 (General Admission single-day tickets) to $2100 (Platinum Passes). The Platinum Passes give you access to a separate entrance lane, onsite concierge services, access to an exclusive front-of-house viewing area, on-stage viewing and many other perks.
Admission is free for children under the age of five as long as a ticket holding adult accompanies them. You can also purchase tickets to luxury suites, cabanas, and transportation passes. Check out the official festival website for up to date details on tickets and pricing.
Driving all the way through to the Governors Ball Music Festival is not recommended since there is no parking available on Randall's Island. You do have the option of getting dropped off at the venue. There are routes to get to the grounds from Manhattan, Long Island, The Bronx, Brooklyn, New Jersey, Queens or Westchester. Check the festival website for detailed driving instructions.
Parking is not available on Randall’s Island, and overnight parking or tailgating is prohibited. So driving your car or RV to the venue is not an option. Your best bet is to take public transportation or get dropped off at one of the designated entrances. Patrons with disabilities are encouraged to use accessible public transportation or have a friend drop them off at the venue.
You can get to Randall’s Island by subway, bus, Manhattan ferry, Brooklyn shuttle, or a taxi service. There are several subway routes that will take you directly to one of the entrances. Special festival ferries will be traveling to and from the island several times on the days of the event. You can also walk or bike to the park from Manhattan by crossing the RFK bridge.
Camping on the Island is not permitted, so you’ll need to book a spot at a campground or RV park on the mainland and travel from there to the Governors Ball Music Festival.
Travelers will find a few RV parks and campsites under an hour's drive away in various directions. These are well-equipped and come with facilities like water hook-ups and toilets. You can camp at one of these state parks or private campgrounds and take a ferry to the venue on the days of the festival. Because the area teems with historical landmarks and natural features, you may also appreciate throwing a few extra days into your trip for some added fun.
Scooters, skateboards, or personal motorized vehicles will not be allowed into the venue. The park consists of moderately hilly terrain, some paved pathways and large areas of mowed glass. Patrons with disabilities will be allowed to use mobility devices like three and four-wheeled scooters, manual and motorized wheelchairs, crutches, canes, walkers, and braces.
Use the Governors Ball Music Festival as an opportunity to bring out your most on-trend ensembles. You can’t go wrong with summer staples like cropped shirts, flared pants, bandeau tops or matching two-piece sets. Be sure to dress in lightweight, breathable fabrics and wear a pair of comfortable shoes.
Small bags and backpacks are allowed in, so make sure you carry a few essentials like sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat, earplugs, and a phone charger. You’ll need to produce a valid driver’s license for will-call or to purchase alcohol. It’s a good idea to carry a factory sealed or empty refillable bottle of water to stay hydrated.
Water stations providing free drinking water will be located all over the grounds. Be sure to use these to stay hydrated and also apply plenty of sunscreen. Illegal drugs are strictly prohibited, and alcohol will not be allowed to enter with you. If you’re with young children, it’s a good idea to borrow a pair of earmuffs for them from the ADA access center or bring your own.
Cooking at the venue or bringing in outside food is not allowed. RV parks and campgrounds on the mainland permit cooking. However, there may be a few restrictions regarding the type of cooking appliance used or the amount of fuel allowed. So, it’s a good idea to check if there are any restrictions when choosing your campsite.
Travelers can hardly leave the state without trying a slice of authentic New York pizza and other Italian classics. If you’d like to experiment with different cuisines, you’ll have plenty of options like Indian, Mediterranean, Japanese, and Spanish. Whatever you’re in the mood for, you’ll find no shortage of options to choose from just across the water from Randall's Island in several directions.
At the Governors Ball Music Festival, you’ll find some of the best eats in town. Every year the top food trucks and restaurants are selected to be a part of the event. You’ll also be able to find plenty of vegan, gluten-free, and vegetarian fare. A few food options are available only in VIP areas.
Security personnel will operate all of the entrances. All bags will be inspected, and you be may be subject to an airport-style pat down. Guests carrying any prohibited items may have them confiscated. If anyone is seen breaking the rules, they will be escorted out of the venue.
The Governors Ball Music Festival is a rain or shine event. The climate is likely to offer sunny and pleasant days in late spring, but it can turn unexpectedly. Parts of the festival have been canceled in the past due to severe weather conditions. It’s a good idea to carry an umbrella or rain poncho to be prepared.
Clearly marked medical tents will be located all over the festival grounds. You’ll be able to spot these from afar for easy access. Trained EMTs will be available at the tents and will also be making rounds. Service animals will be allowed in and so will certain medications as long as they are in a prescription bottle with the user’s name on the label.