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What is Governors Ball?

With the music festival season in full swing, there's no better time to get acquainted with one of New York City's most iconic events- the Governors Ball. Taking place on Randall's Island Park, this three-day extravaganza boasts an incredible lineup of musical acts from various genres, as well as fantastic food and drink options. Governors Ball is sure to have something for everyone, whether you're a music lover or just looking for a fun weekend outing.

So what exactly is Governors Ball? Keep reading for everything you need to know about this can't-miss event.

What is Governors BallWhat is Governors Ball (Gov Ball) Festival?

Governors Ball is an annual three-day music festival on Randall's Island in New York City. The festival was founded in 2011 by Jordan Wolowitz and Tom Russell, and it features a variety of genres, including rock, hip hop, electronic, and indie.

The festival is known for its diverse lineup, including notable acts like Kendrick Lamar, Drake, LCD Soundsystem, The Strokes, Florence + The Machine, and many more. Gov Ball also offers a variety of food and drink options, as well as art installations and activities.

The festival has become increasingly popular recently, with over 150,000 attendees in 2016. Gov Ball is also one of the few music festivals in New York City, making it a unique experience for music lovers.

Why is it Called Governors Ball?

In 2011, the festival's first year was held on Governors Island in New York City. The name “Governors Ball” directly results from the event's location.

What started as a one-day event has now become a three-day music festival with over 150,000 attendees. The lineup consists of some of the biggest names in music, spanning all genres. 

Where is Gov Ball?

The Governors Ball Music Festival is held on Randall's Island in New York City. The island is located in the East River between Manhattan, Queens, and the Bronx. You can take the Taxi to get there. There is no direct subway to Governors Ball because it takes place on Randall's Island. The options for getting there are driving, walking, biking, taking the ferry, or taking the shuttle. Walking or biking across the bridges is the cheapest if you're not far from Randall's Island.

For the record, Manhattan is too far to ride or bike to the island. If you're staying in Manhattan, the ferry and shuttle options are available for transportation to and from Governors Ball and are sold through the festival.

When Does Gov Ball Typically Take Place?

The festival is typically held in early June on Randall's Island in New York City. Governors Ball attracts music lovers from all over the world. The lineup usually includes a mix of mainstream and alternative artists, so there's something for everyone. Expect to have an incredible time. The festival offers three days of non-stop music, plus food trucks, art installations, and more. With so much to see and do, you'll never be bored.

How Much Are Gov Ball Tickets Typically?

If you're looking to snag a ticket to Governors Ball, be prepared to fork over some cash. The prices include:

1. General Admission Tickets

With General Admission Tickets, you can enjoy all the music and activities the festival offers. Your ticket price will depend on your purchase price and whether you are buying a three-day or single-day wristband. Here is a breakdown of the prices:

  • 3-Day Early Bird: $275
  • 3-Day Advance: $290
  • 3-Day Regular: $305
  • 1-Day: $105

If you buy your ticket in advance, you will pay less than if you wait to buy your ticket closer to the event date. The price is also cheaper if you buy a three-day wristband rather than a single-day ticket. However, remember that Early Bird and Advance prices are not available for 1-Day GA Tickets. The GA single-day ticket price is the same for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Additionally, the listed ticket prices do not include fees.

2. VIP Tickets

For those looking for an even more intimate and exclusive festival experience, Governors Ball also offers VIP tickets. With these tickets, you'll have access to private bathrooms, air-conditioned tents, fast-entry lanes, and a dedicated concierge team. You'll also be able to take advantage of private viewing areas for the main stages.

The cost of VIP tickets will depend on your purchase price and whether you are buying a three-day or single-day pass. Prices for VIP Tickets are:

3-Day Early Bird: $1,200

3-Day Advance: $1,275

3-Day Regular: $1,350

1-Day: $255

You cannot purchase 1-Day Early Bird or Advance VIP Tickets, and the price is only available for those who buy a three-day pass. For Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the price of a VIP single day ticket is the same. The listed ticket prices do not include fees.

3. VIP Plus and Platinum Tickets

For those who want to experience Governors Ball in style, there are VIP Plus and Platinum Tickets available. The price for each is:

3-Day VIP Plus: $1,000

3-Day Platinum: $2,150

There is no opportunity to purchase these tickets at a discounted early-bird and advanced ticket price. Also, there is no single-day option for either of these tickets. The listed prices do not include fees.

Payment Plan To Purchase Tickets

Payment plans are available for those who want to spread out the cost of their Governors Ball ticket. The payment plan breaks your ticket purchase into four payments of 25%. The first payment is due at the time of purchase as a deposit, with the remaining three being charged in February, March, and April. Any additional shipping costs and fees will be due at checkout. This plan is a great option for those who want to secure their tickets early but need some time to pay.

What to Bring to Gov Ball?

If you're headed to Gov Ball this year, you're in for an incredible time. But before you can enjoy the festival to the fullest, there are a few things you need to take care of first. Here's everything you need to bring to Governors Ball:

Sunscreen: Even if it's cloudy, you'll still want to bring sunscreen to the festival. The last thing you want is to get sunburned.

Water: It's important to stay hydrated, especially when you're dancing and sweating all day. Make sure to bring a water bottle (or two) so you can stay hydrated.

Hats: A hat is a great way to protect your face from the sun. Plus, it can help keep your hair out of your face when you're dancing.

Sunglasses: Sunglasses are a must-have for any outdoor festival. They'll help you see better and they'll protect your eyes from the sun.

Clear Bags: Most festivals have a clear bag policy, and Governors Ball is no exception. Make sure to bring a clear bag (or two) so you can get through security quickly.

Comfortable Shoes: You'll be doing a lot of walking at the festival, so make sure to wear comfortable shoes. Flip flops or sneakers are usually a good choice. Also, make sure to break in your shoes before the festival so you don't get blisters.

Valid Driver’s License: If you're planning on drinking at the festival, you'll need to bring a valid driver's license. This is so the bartenders can check your ID.

Money: It's always a good idea to bring cash to a festival. That way, you can buy drinks, food, and souvenirs without any problems.

Earplugs: Earplugs are a must if you want to enjoy the music without damaging your ears.

Portable Charger: A portable charger is essential for any festival. You'll be able to charge your phone so you can stay connected with your friends.

What Not To Bring?

Just like any other festival, there are certain items that are not allowed inside the festival grounds. For your convenience and to make sure you have a great time, we’ve put together some things NOT to bring:

Pets: They love animals as much as you do, but for the safety of both them and attendees, pets are not allowed on site.

Weapons And Fireworks: For obvious safety reasons, any kind of weapon (including pocket knives and pepper spray) or fireworks are strictly prohibited.

Illegal Substances: Drugs are not cool, legal or otherwise. Anyone found in possession of illegal substances will be immediately ejected from the festival.

Picnic Baskets: Try using clear bags instead. You can bring food and drinks, but nothing that needs to be refrigerated.

Skateboards or Motorized Vehicles: To keep everyone safe, skateboards and motorized vehicles are not allowed.


Where Should You Stay For Gov Ball Music And Arts Festival?

There are many neighborhoods in New York City to stay in during Gov Ball, but it is important to remember that summertime is already a popular tourist time which means prices for accommodation will be higher. However, there are many hotel options all around NYC. If you start searching early enough, you should be able to find something within your budget.

Can I Drive To Gov Ball?

There is no parking available at Randall's Island Park, so unless you are planning on taking public transportation or using a rideshare service, we recommend not driving.

What Is The Weather Usually Like During Gov Ball?

The weather in New York City during the summer can be unpredictable. That's why it's important to be prepared for any scenario when packing for Governors Ball. Whether it's rain or shine, you should always bring a poncho with you to the music festival. For example, in 2017, the weather conditions ranged from cloudy and cool on Friday to sunny and warm on Saturday, and then rainy and cold on Sunday.

Can I Camp At Gov Ball?

No, there is no camping allowed at Governors Ball. However, there are many hotels and Airbnbs located nearby. Also, no tents are allowed inside the festival grounds.

What Ages Are Allowed Into Gov Ball?

Governors Ball is an all-ages music festival. This means that people of all ages are allowed to enter the festival grounds. However, please keep in mind that some of the music and art installations may not be suitable for young children.


After reading this guide, hopefully you now have a better understanding of what Governors Ball is and what to expect if you decide to attend. This annual event is a can't-miss for music lovers and festival-goers alike, so be sure to mark your calendars for next year's festivities.

Also, don't forget to check out the after-parties. These are often hosted in some of New York restaurants and most iconic venues and can be as fun as the festival itself. So whether you're a local or visiting from out of town, check out Governors Ball for an unforgettable experience.

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