At The Governors Ball: Welcome to the Festival

bill bodkin and maxwell barna bring you words and photos for the first-ever Governors Ball Music Festival in New York City …


June 18, 2011 on Governors Island was hot … and not just because of the weather.

The music that came out of the speakers at the first-ever Governors Ball Music Festival had throngs of hip cats, music fanatics and party people bopping their heads, waving their hands in the air (like they didn’t care) and dancing like no one was watching.

The line-up for the festival was extremely diverse, featuring hip-hop acts like Big Boi of Outkast and People Under the Stairs, electro acts like Neon Indian and Miami Horror and DJs like Girl Talk and 2/5 of Passion Pit. On paper, the line-up was a bit of a head-scratcher. What demographic were they trying to appeal to?

Photo: Maxwell Barna

By midday, the answer became apparent: The demographic was everyone and anyone. People from all walks of came together in a high-energy, friendly, peaceful and awesome way and just felt the music, letting it consume them, melting away any stress, worry or drama. As far as festivals go, this was one of the friendliest and most relaxed crowds. They loved every band, dug everything the festival had to offer (delicious food, Magic Hat’s Governors Golden Ale, beer pong, ping pong, art installations, basketball) and loved chilling out with their friends on blankets, catching up on old times.

Pop-Break’s Bill Bodkin and Maxwell Barna were live throughout the day, and for the next few days, they will bring you setlists, reviews of the performances, and some simply amazing photos. We got in the photo pits, backstage to talk to artists and imbibed in a few beers, all to bring you some awesomeness.

In the end, while we weren’t overly knowledgable of all the bands performing or the biggest fans of the genres of music performed — we left converted. The time we had as a staff was unbelievably fun. We discovered new artists, our preconceptions about certain artists were blown out of the water and we were able to hang with people we interviewed like Outasight and Reptar (both righteous artists!).

So we hope you enjoy your Governors Ball Music Fest wrap-up series and have enjoyed the photos we’ve included in this piece — just a sampling of what we took during the day.

Photos by Maxwell Barna. In order: 1. Bill Bodkin at some artwork at the festival entrace. 2. Big Boi of Outkast. 3. Miami Horror. 4. Mac Miller. 5. Outasight. 6. Das Racist. 7. One of Big Boi’s MCs. 8. Leaving Governor’s Island.


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Pop-Break’s Governors Ball Series:

At The Governors Ball: Our Final Words

At The Governors Ball: Reptar and Das Racist

At The Governors Ball: Outasight and Passion Pit

The Road to the Governors Ball: Interview with Outasight

The Road to the Governors Ball: Interview with Reptar

The Road to the Governors Ball: An Introduction to the Festival

Founded in September 2009, The Pop Break is a digital pop culture magazine that covers film, music, television, video games, books and comics books and professional wrestling.