Governor’s Ball 2018 Highlights

Watching live music is one of my favorite activities, yet I had never been to a full-blown music festival. Unless you count Warped Tour (which I don’t), my knowledge of the festival experience was limited to what I saw as I scrolled through my Instagram feed.

Now, I can proudly say that’s no longer the case. The first weekend of June, I flew down to New York City for Governor’s Ball, the annual music fest that takes place only a quick ferry ride away on Randall’s Island Park.

Let’s just say that three full days of nonstop music, drinks, food, and walking around is beyond exhausting and proof that I’m clinging tightly to my youth. The majority of the crowd was comprised of rowdy, drunk teenagers who spent more time posing for selfies than they did actually watching the artists. Thankfully with acts in the lineup like Third Eye Blind and Gaslight Anthem, there was still a decent-size older crowd (that was much calmer, might I add).

Would I do a full 3-day festival again? My wallet and body would like me to vehemently say no. What I would consider doing in the future is buying a single-day wristband to see a handful of artists on my radar.

Despite the exhaustion and the shrieking teens, it was a fun weekend packed with a number of highlights. Below are just a few snapshots, which will hopefully entice you to attend a music festival of your own at least once.

governor's ball balloon tree
Obligatory music fest photoshoot. By the end of the weekend, most of these balloons had deflated from the heat.

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Marie Claire’s article on HAIM introduces me to St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival

After driving two and a half hours home today for the Easter holiday, I’ve finally settled in at the kitchen table to write a long overdue blog post. My younger brother has the TV blasting, and all I can hear is Jeff Probst’s all-too familiar voice as he conducts a tribal council on this season of Survivor.

My reaction to Survivor playing at deafening volumes on the tv.
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This Easter break has been a long time coming, and I couldn’t be happier sitting at home with the family. Over the past month, I had been battling a cold that slowly grew into more of an annoyance than anything else. This past weekend, I finally got over it, and I owe it all to Zicam and the box of $1 tissues I snagged at Walmart.

I’m finally over my month-long sickness!
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As I write this post, I can hear through my headphones the soft electric guitar strums in “Don’t Save Me” by HAIM, the sister trio from California. I first heard of HAIM when I happened upon their live performance at the iTunes Festival in London last September. The sisters’ grunge-rock look reminded me of Joan Jett, an automatic plus in my mind. I’ve since been listening to their album Days Are Gone on Spotify, and I still can’t get enough. My circle of friends have taken a liking to the trio as well, and a Friday night does not pass without HAIM coming through our speakers at least once over the course of the evening.

On Monday, I picked up the April issue of Marie Claire and was excited to see that HAIM was featured in one of the articles. The piece provides a little bit of background information on how the sisters first began performing under the name Rockinhaim at local festivals and also includes colorful photos that showcase their unique style. Read the full article here.

One of Marie Claire’s photos of HAIM displaying their awesome fashion choices.
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Alana Haim, the youngest of the three sisters, spoke to the interviewer over the phone from Auckland, New Zealand. At the time, the sisters were performing at the country’s St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival. I had no idea what this festival was, so I figured if it’s cool enough for HAIM to perform at, it’s worth my time and energy to add it to my bucket list.

St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival began in 2004 in an attempt to offer more live music at unique settings in Melbourne, Australia. The first live show was held at Melbourne’s St. Jerome’s bar and has since grown into “an international touring event and a favorite music festival for many music-loving people.” The festival’s website provides a thorough history of the event that you can read here.

Este Haim performing at the 2014 Laneway Festival.
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I checked out this year’s lineup and was excited to see that I knew quite a few bands that performed there in January. In addition to HAIM, the venue hosted performances by Lorde, Chvrches, Frightened Rabbit, Vance Joy, and Daughter. As the public relations director of my college’s indie radio station, this festival sounds like it would be right up my alley.

In between writing paragraphs of this post, I’m browsing for a potential place to stay for next year’s festival. I found a room that is currently renting for only $49/day, a price that could potentially be within my college budget. I’m obviously dreaming about attending the festival since I will most likely have class during that time next year, but I’ll keep this travel idea for the future. Maybe I’ll attend the festival as a graduation present to myself. I can only hope.