Governors Ball started on Friday, June 2nd, and ended on Sunday, the 4th. It is now Monday, and I am currently dead. I’m writing you guys from beyond the grave in this little cloud of Gov Ball afterlife/heaven. It was that lit.
Okay, before I get into this I have to tell y’all this was my first “big music festival.” I went to Global Citizens Festival in 2014, when Queen Bey blessed the show, but as amazing as the Global Citizen Festival is, it cannot compare to Gov Ball. So when honorary FlyGirl, Khalea, who used to work with me and Rose (she has moved on to bigger and better things at Refinery29 — the glo’ up is REAL!), invited me to go with her, I jumped at the chance to see some of my fave artists with my homegirl.
Day One: Friday
I still had to go to the day job, so I missed all of the morning and early afternoon acts. Khalea and I got there when Schoolboy Q was doing his set. The first performer of our day that we really wanted to see. Unfortunately for us, there was an issue getting our tickets at will call that lasted long enough for us to miss Schoolboy’s entire set. That meant we also missed Michael Kiwanuka. WAH.
Once we finally got inside, I immediately felt old af. Everywhere I looked I saw these young-ass teens in itty bitty shorts and tops. I’m all for wearing what you want, but I have feels when you’re, like, two-years-old in a bra and booty shorts. Pushing my oldness aside, it was a sight to be hold. People and trash everywhere! Our shit luck continued a bit more when we realized we had to walk against the tide of people leaving from Schoolboy’s set to head to our VIP Cabana (first world probs, I know, I know). So many people flashing by us, it was overwhelming.
When we finally arrived at our cabana, our day turned around — good vibes only from here on out. Thanks to OGX Beauty we had VIP access, which meant we were able to come and go in their super chill cabana that was fully stocked with all types of snacks and an open bar. Oh, did I mention they had a legit glam squad there? I opted for a messy half bun/a.k.a. “hun”
Our cabana loomed two stories over the crowd, facing the main stage, giving us the best seat in the house for some of the coolest performances. On the first day, we enjoyed seeing Lorde and Chance the Rapper from up there. We did have to leave to see other acts who were located on other stages. We made sure to knock back plenty of dranksss — mine being ginger beer with gin (don’t knock it ’til you try it) — before heading over to see Flume. Somehow we ended up trying to cross through the crowd of thousands (just as scary as walking against the people). We were in the heart of the crowd, squeezing through, practically chanting “excuse me, sorry, excuse me, sorry,” for like half an hour. I want to take this moment to apologize to all of those who felt my boobs on them as I squeezed by. It was intense. I couldn’t focus on the music, I couldn’t see four inches in front of me. I was completely overwhelmed by the lack of space. I just wanted to get out on the other side.
There was so much happening in there, so many smells, so many vibes… some good, some bad. Teens taking drugs and asking questions later. This one girl sniffed a mysterious powder a guy shoved into her nose.
“What is this?” she asked AFTER sniffing.
“Something to make you feel good,” was his response.
“It’s medicine,” proclaimed teen #3.
I right then decided my future child will never leave the house. We finally made it to a clearing (a.k.a. enough space to dance) and let loose. Flume’s set was amazing, if you weren’t high, you were high off of the energy in the place or you know…contact. He killed the set — def one of my top three favorite moments of the festival.
We ended the night from our tower of privilege (a.k.a our VIP cabana) watching Chance the Rapper go in!! He brought in so many people, I couldn’t wrap my head around how many people were in the audience. It’s one thing being in the masses but seeing from above really had me stupefied. Seriously, I legit had an existential crisis moment from up there. I stood there in silent wonderment over the fact that celebrities can draw in these crowds and awed at how that must feel. I snapped out of it once Chance took the stage, though. He rapped, he sang, he danced. He took me to church! I had another wave of fascination when the crowd fully sang along to Chance’s religious tracks. There were even fireworks! It was amazing. Quite frankly, it was almost healing in a way… a spiritual cleanse to end day one.
I just want to note the cleanse did not last long. It took us two hours to get off the island. We were lost and ended up on the side of the park where you have to walk across the bridge into Manhattan in order to get off the island, instead of the plush ferry life we were trying to get to. There were so many people, and we were all walking together super slowly… I legit felt like I was in a scene of The Walking Dead walking in a zombie horde. I mean, it would’ve been fine if Jeffery Dean Morgan was around with his fine self. He really is the perfect choice for Negan. Such a sexy badboy with that leather jacket, that swag, that smile, that BEARD!… Ugh. I digress. The journey home sucked, but I’d do it again to relive the magic of the day.
Day Two: Saturday
I got to relive the magic!! Sort of. Khalea and I were determined to turn up more than the day before, because this would be our last day. And in true festival fashion everything was a big blur. Khalea and I had no issues getting inside this time. Our OGX Beauty cabana welcomed us with some noodles and rosé, which we happily accepted as we sat and watched Saint Motel. I’d never heard of them until that moment, but I was pleasantly surprised.
After sufficiently filling up on drinks, Khalea and I ran off to see Rae Sremmurd. As expected, they had the crowd lit af! We managed to make our way close enough to the stage where we could see them, but still be able to dance and breathe.
Wu Tang took the main stage afterwards, so we trekked back to our cabana to see them. They were awesome too, and even brought out Redman! I was completely turning up from the comfort of our “tower of privilege.” The night continued on with booze, food, good vibes, and music (duh), all the way up until the moment of all moments — the real show. The performance that really mattered to me. My new celeb crush’s performance, the blue magic performance, his performance. Childish Gambino.
When Khalea and I arrived at his set, we had a horrible view of the stage. Correction: We had no view of the stage. So once again, we had to force our way through until we got to an area of our satisfaction. Gambino started the show off with “Me and Your Mama,” my personal fave from his latest album, Awaken, My Love!, and ended with my second fave, “Redbone.” (Stay woke!) Everything in-between was pure magic. Electrifying in the best ways. He lit up a blunt and took a pull before performing my other fave, “California”. It didn’t even matter that half way through some random guy was marching in my direction, walked into a pole — the VIP section pole, btw — and dropped to the ground. Nothing could take away from Gambino’s set.
He announced this would be his only performance of this year — not surprising, since he hardly performs live anyway. But he also hinted that his next album would be his last! *cue the tears* On a more sensitive note, he shared his son’s name with us, Legend… and in that sweet moment he dedicated his song “Baby Boy” to him.
Guys — he even humped the air! Lawd!! Yes, he humped the air. Gambino went into a rather lively sketch of a guy attempting to hook up with a girl during a house party. Changing up the soundtrack to find that “perfect song to make out to” and ended on his his knees thrusting upward on this imaginary woman. What a sight. And what better way for the night to end than with Donald Glover proclaiming his love for you? That’s right, Gambino told me he loved me. In the middle of his set he stopped, “I just wanted to tell you guys personally how much I love every single one of you.” And with that day two came to an end.
For my first big festival I thought, it went amazingly well. Although, I now may be spoiled from our VIP access… Do all festivals have cabanas? I had such a blast. Seriously, thank you to everyone who made this happen (looking at you, Khalea!). I really do enjoy the idea of seeing a bunch of your favorite artists in a row with no seating arrangements. And if you can make your up front, go for it. I’m ready for the next show! Cochella 2018, Rose?