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Everything You Need To Know Before Governors Ball Kicks Off

The do’s and don’ts for one of NYC’s biggest music weekends...

May 30, 2019

By Jack Haley

It’s time to sing into summer with Governors Ball 2019. The three-day summer kickoff festival draws music fans from all over the world to Randall’s Island in New York City. Here is what to expect for the weekend of music.

How To Get To Gov Ball

There are lots of travel options to get to Randall’s Island.

If the subway is your best option, attendees can take the 4, 5 or 6 train to 125th street. From there the festival is running a shuttle to the site that attendees can get on at 125th and Lexington. The shuttle is $4.00 round-trip if coming from the subway and $6.75 otherwise. Monthly MetroCards won’t work on the shuttle, but a single ride or pre-loaded card will.

The festival says it is, “working closely” with MTA to make sure there are enough buses and trains provided to avoid delays as much as possible.

Speaking of a shuttle, Gov. Ball is also offering a bus from the Brooklyn Bowl to the grounds. Tickets need to be bought in advance and can be bought for multiple days. Shuttle tickets can be bought here.

Another option, and as the festival calls it, “without a doubt the easiest way to get to/from the show” is a ferry running to Randall’s Island. The Festival Ferry as it’s being called runs out of East 35th Street Ferry Landing. It will begin shipping people to Randall’s Island at 11 a.m. and will run every 15 minutes until 9 p.m. The ferry won’t stop until everyone who has bought a ticket to ride the ferry has left the island. Like the bus shuttle, the ferry requires a pre-paid ticket that can be bought here.

One option attendees don’t have is parking at Randall’s Island. There are some options to be dropped off at the event but there is no parking at Gov. Ball.

For those visiting New York City for the first time, apps such as Citymapper may be helpful to navigate around the Big Apple.

SEE ALSO: How To Survive A Day At Governors Ball

Being Prepared

To help move security lines along and to avoid having to leave behind items at security checks, Governors Ball provided a list of things Gov. Ball goers should do before going to make sure they are prepared.

The festival suggests having emergency contact info on your person while at the event in case something goes wrong. Contact info can be saved as the background on a phone lock screen to help people get in touch with emergency contacts quicker. The festival also suggests getting your wristband for the festival registered where attendees will be asked to fill out emergency contact information.

What happens if your phone dies? Well Gov. Ball is partnering with Electric Standard to sell portable chargers for phones. Festival goers can pre purchase portable chargers that they can bring around with them during the festival and can swap them out as much as needed to make sure they always have a full battery. The festival will also provide some limited charging outlets for those that don’t want to pay for portable charging. 

What Not To Bring

As stated on their website, nothing matters more to Governors Ball than their patrons’ safety and well-being. With that, there are some prohibited items on the grounds to make sure everyone has a safe and enjoyable time.

Rain or shine the festival is happening, so they suggest bringing sunscreen and an umbrella, as long as it’s small. Along with the idea of “small” backpacks no larger than 18”x18”x6” is allowed inside the grounds. If you are buying a new backpack to fit those parameters, a clear backpack may be helpful in expediting the process of getting through security and into the festival.

No weapons, tobacco products, fireworks, professional audio or video equipment or outside food is allowed within the grounds. They will allow factory sealed water bottles inside, but encourage reusable bottles.

This is the ninth Governors Ball to take place and no major incidents have occurred in that time. However the festival is prepared with a plan for evacuation should take place the festival suggests following them on all social media platforms and opting-in for push notifications so attendees can be in the know should something happen.