In a world filled with hate, Logic preached one thing: “peace, love and positivity.”
The Maryland-born rapper's words on Sunday, June 4, were an echo, however, of other artists who performed at New York City's seventh annual Governors Ball Music Festival, artists who spoke similar messages throughout the weekend. For the artists, attendees and other workers who came together to make Gov Ball possible created more than yet another music festival.
The Governors Ball Music Festival was not only a party. Randall's Island did not only host a “ball.” The festival was also a temporary meeting place for people from all walks of life… a melting pot with one thing in common: a love for the music.
To quote a Francis and the Lights track that kicked off the weekend, at the Governors Ball, “We could be friends.” At Gov Ball, no matter the color of your skin, no matter the religious beliefs you may have and no matter what age you are,
“We could be friends. Put your head on my shoulders.”
And after artists such as Jenaux, Michael Blume and MUNA were three of the weekend's first to perform, Francis and the Lights was an aptly early act to set the lovely theme — with friendship as his vehicle — for the days to come. Following his passionate afternoon set on the Bacardi Stage, the night's headliner and also a close friend of Francis came to the stage: Chance The Rapper.
Although the cameo was brief, the Chicago rapper's early visit should not go overlooked. Headliners rarely show their face before their set time, and to take that a step further by actually performing on a friend's stage, six hours before their headlining set time… only Chance The (humbled) Rapper would do that.
So with Francis and the Lights already setting the theme, what had been such a class act from Chance enforced a mindset for the artists, attendees and all.
The friend trend would then continue as a beautifully curated Friday (and weekend) went on. Bleacher's frontman Jack Antonoff accompanied Lorde on the Gov Ball NYC main stage later that day and Tove Lo also returned to perform “Say It” with Flume as Friday night's headlining electronic act closed out his set.
Antonoff was the head writer on Lorde's sophomore release, Melodrama, so a reunion on the stage for three songs was destined. After all, Lorde and Melodrama will be looking to give Ed Sheeran a run for album of the year, but that's a conversation for another day. However, it is worth adding that similar to Gov Ball's attendance: artists, fans and workers, Lorde surrounded herself with her actual friends to produce an album truly from the heart. Flume, for example, also lent a helping hand on one track, “The Louvre.”
Nonetheless, as an amazing weekend ensued, there were beautiful sunny skies as well as some unfortunate rain clouds above at times, but there was always love in the air. Logic's echoed “peace, love and positivity” were ever present and strangers became new friends.
EDM festivals such as Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) preach a similar system of beliefs and values, or PLUR: Peace, Love, Unity and Respect. And although PLUR was not necessarily an established norm for the Governors Ball Music Festival, the festival undoubtedly had a unique air of its own as top tier EDM DJs, pop stars, rappers and bands, alike, performed.
Furthermore, among the foremost DJs to spin were Marshmello, Mark Ronson back-to-back Kevin Parker and BBC's Zane Lowe, as well as other live electronic acts EDEN, GRYFFIN and RÜFÜS DU SOL. Contrary to the masked DJ's biggest hit, too, Marshmello was not “Alone” for his Honda Stage set. The #mellogang was out in full force, plus a mini-mello and Slushii also accompanied EDM's most love/hated artist.
Meanwhile the next day — but not before Childish Gambino closed out Saturday with a gift for Gov Ball and a show that would be one of his only “Awaken, My Love!” performances — EDEN and GRYFFIN brought more than the art of the turntable to perform. With guitars and keys, the Irish and American artists each respectively added his own style to Sunday's sets.
EDEN's futurebound fans packed the Bacardi Stage for the “Post-EDM” act's set and, well, “Johnny B. Goode,” Johnny delivered for the fans. One girl even FaceTimed another friend for the entire set — that's friendship! That dedication was worth the assumed arm cramps, too, because EDEN's set was the modern-day “sex,” “drugs” “and” “rock + roll” — all killer, no filler — and trust me, I don't think too much of him.
GRYFFIN then graced the Honda Stage with similar fashion, and I'm not talking about his dope denim, but he added acoustic and electric guitars with beautiful piano to his DJ set. The up-and-coming DJ played today's top hits, as well as his popular remixes and original releases, and the friend trend, again, continued before the Sunday headliners performed. GRYFFIN invited Daya to join him on stage and the two performed their new collaboration “Feel Good” as fans danced with hopes that the weekend would never end.
It would not be long, however, until Everybody flocked to where I began when an 8 o'clock and early headliner Logic preached that one thing: “peace, love and positivity.” The rapper would perform tracks true to the heart like “1-800-273-8255” and “Anziety” — both songs about mental health problems — before the last two headliners performed: Wiz Khalifa and Tool.
The time arrived, but the Governors Ball Music Festival's love continues to echo weeks later, for the weekend was one for the ages. Everybody: from the artists and attendees to food vendors, volunteers and more — absolutely everybody who came together will never forget the friends, the love and the beauty behind Gov Ball 2017.
I hope “you're doing great!”
Cover Photo by The Governor's Ball Music Festival