A Day-to-Day Review of the Governors Ball Music Festival
By Claire Shin
Headliners: A $ AP Rocky and J Balvin
Notable performers: Megan Thee Stallion, Pink Sweat $, Phoebe Bridgers, Amine
Starring relatively new but explosive stars like Pink Sweat $ and Megan Thee Stallion, the line-up for Saturday’s Governors Ball (Gov Ball) music festival was exciting for fans of R&B and hardcore hip-hop as well as spectators. interested.
One difficult aspect was the horrible overcrowding. I think Gov Ball sold too many tickets. My friend and I left Pink Sweat $ an hour earlier to get a good view of one of our favorite performers, Megan Thee Stallion. Considering the growing size of the crowd, I had a furtive suspicion that an hour would not be enough; I was right.
We managed to snag some decent seats, but it was clear that many festival goers were rather determined to get a good view of one of the most popular rappers of 2021. They passed us and made our zone in the section of the front in the middle of the much more crowded crowd, to the point that my friend had to leave because of the claustrophobia.
Shortly after the performance, the crowd got so bad that we decided it was best to leave the festival before headliners A $ AP Rocky and J Balvin, who were to draw even more people, did. arrive.
However, I never went to a show that I didn’t like. I liked them all so much that it almost eclipsed the general annoyance of the rest of the experience.
I’m so grateful that I met rising pop-punk star Sarah Barrios on the GrubHub stage in the morning; I had his songs in my head shortly thereafter, and I will definitely check out his music later.
We were also amazed by Charlotte Lawrence’s voice, which sounded optimized for Lawrence’s typically depressing ballads, but could also soar and curl whenever appropriate. I almost cried during his performance of an unreleased song called “Bodybag”.
Sibling DJ duo The Brothers Macklovitch provided a great place for dance music that wasn’t so heavy we felt like we had to skip, but not so sweet that it was boring.
The performance of Pink Sweat $ was top notch, especially the talented members of the group and the high soul belts of Pink Sweat $. Needless to say, I was successfully converted to a Pink Sweat $ fan.
Three-time Grammy winner Megan Thee Stallion was nearly 20 minutes late, although that was forgotten by the time she took the stage – to echo the words of the hippies behind me, “The hot girls are always late!” I loved the performance itself; Megan’s many talents never cease to amaze me, from her solid and confident tone to her dancing skills.
Overall the Gov Ball 2021 was not a very good experience even with all the planning and foresight I put into our trip. A good 75 percent of the festival waited while the remaining 25 percent were actual performances by the artists. Between performances, especially in the evening, we had to put up with a lot of people, and it was dangerous to move anywhere. To make matters worse, hardly anyone wore a mask.
To be fair, I think this is something that most seasoned music festival goers expect. They stick to hours of inactivity because it is truly magically erased to hear artists play. And as I was screaming the lyrics to Megan Thee Stallion’s “Body”, rocking back and forth and pumping my arms up in the air in pure hype, I found myself feeling the same.
By Davina Thompson
Headlining: Post Malone
Notable performers: 21 Savage, Burna Boy, Princess Nokia, Dominic Fike, Young Thug, Special Guest: Roddy Rich
Sunday was an exciting day for music lovers as a wide range of artists wrapped up the Gov Ball 2021 beautifully. From Afrobeats with Burna Boy and Amaarae to rap with Post Malone, there really was something for everyone. world. For Sunday’s review of Gov Ball, I’ll focus on the energy of the crowd, the artist’s stage presence, and my overall festival experience.
Amaarae, an alternative artist, was the first stop of the day after friends I was sailing with wanted to see her. Although I didn’t know his music, I found myself turning to “Fancy” which was an interesting mix of afropop and indie. She kept the crowd spellbound with her relaxed stage presence and lyricism.
After Amaarae, my friends and I decided to have a quick meal of overpriced chicken fillets and mediocre pork tacos. This would be our only meal of the day, as the rest of our time was busy waiting in large crowds or vibrating to the sound of music.
After we ate we went to see Princess Nokia, a breakout artist with hit songs “I Like Him” and “Tomboy”. Princess Nokia brought sporadic bursts of energy, with highs and lows. She rapped and danced through multiple wardrobe malfunctions that ranged from difficulty removing her tear-off pants to multiple panties. At the end of her set, she expressed her gratitude for being back in New York City to perform for the fans. Her backup dancers were a highlight for me as they performed West African inspired dance moves to Princess Nokia’s classic “Brujas”.
Nigerian rapper and singer Burna Boy continued the West African vibe with his charismatic and playful dance steps. Burna Boy’s energetic cadence provided a fresh Afropop / Afrorap sound that drew a huge following of curious fans and spectators. However, I went halfway through the Burna Boy set to get a good spot for alternative / rap / rock artist Dominic Fike.
Fike’s performance has been one of my favorites throughout my day. Her versatility captivated fans with every song, and her stage presence was heartwarming and welcoming, especially with songs like “She Wants My Money” and “Vampire”. I sang his songs and enjoyed his live rendition of “3 Nights”, which he performed twice during his set. Dominic looked delighted as he played and made a few jokes during his set.
After an exhilarating moment with Dominic Fike, the crowd quickly dispersed and walked through the festival grounds to the main stage of the highly anticipated 21 Savage artist. However, the mood changed from excitement to annoyance over the 30 minutes and 21 Savage was nowhere to be found. Speculation about his arrest days earlier on charges related to his arrest by ICE in 2019 circulated among the confused crowd. The crowd expressed its irritation through a series of sporadic boos, at one point shouting “fuck 21” in unison.
However, the mood quickly changed when 21 Savage finally entered the stage, an hour and 20 minutes after his appointed time, rapping a fan favorite: “Red Opps”. The sighs and growls turned to screams and nods as the crowd rapped on “10 Freaky Girls” and “Bankaccount”. Without acknowledging his delay, 21 Savage quickly walked through his set in 25 minutes, only mentioning that “they [the organizers of Gov Ball] shorten my set.
For the last set of the evening, my friends and I stayed in one place for over an hour to get a good view of the star artist. As we waited with hundreds of fans, several people were pulled out of the tight crowd to faint. After a third person fell, Gov Ball staff began to distribute water to exhausted and restless fans.
After waiting an hour, Post Malone walked out – 20 minutes past the appointed time – with a bang that some would say “Wow” (ed) the crowd. He engaged the audience all night, even responding at one point to a crowd chant asking them to drink the drink he brought on stage. Malone exceeded expectations by performing a mix of his hyped songs, like “Better Now” and “Circles”, and acoustic songs like “Stay.“Later that night, Malone brought in guest artists Young Thug, 21 Savage and Roddy Rich, who performed his hit song “The Box”. Malone ended the evening by thanking fans, noting the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on performance, and concluding with his song “Congratulations,” accompanied by fireworks.
Claire Shin is a contributing writer for The Prospect at the ‘Prince’. She can be reached at [email protected], on Instagram and TikTok at @ clairhin86
Davina Thompson is a contributing writer for The Prospect at the ‘Prince.’ She can be contacted at [email protected], or on Instagram @ davina.thom