Governor’s Ball 2024 Just Proved That It’s the Perfect Festival for First-Timers

a group of people on stage with fire and smoke
Gov Ball Is the Perfect Fest for First-TimersMickey Pierre-Louis

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I had to admit that I was super nervous about going to my very first music festival. I’ve gone to hundreds of concerts just fine, even some completely by myself, but there’s something different about something as big as Governor’s Ball. Part of it is because there’s a bigger crowd and I had a prior incident at an outdoor venue that made me scared to go to another one like it. But like many things, I decided it was time to face my fears and finally experience one of New York City’s greatest must-dos.

For the record, it helped that I wasn’t alone. Immediately after stepping into the festival grounds, I found a college friend who had been in the same sorority as me. She told me how amazing and chill the festival was and how it has since become tradition for her to go with her sister every year. Immediately after, I caught up with our assistant news editor, Sam Olsen, over at the About-Face cabana for our first night, which definitely helped get us in the best vibes (and makeup) to see Rauw Alejandro, Farruko, Dominic Fike, and headliner Post Malone. The group decided that the best way to get into it is to go into the crowd, so that’s exactly what we did!

We will admit, VIP does help a bit with crowd control if that’s your biggest worry. But even then, what I liked the most about the festival was the fact that it didn’t matter if you didn’t want to be directly in front of the stage. As a more chill concertgoer, I was happy to stand in the back and see other people with blankets sitting on the grass toward the sides and the end.

On top of that, the acts they get are absolutely huge! It was exciting to see up-and-coming names like Flo and Sabrina Carpenter wow the crowd and prove themselves against seasoned headliners like The Killers and SZA. Getting to dance to Chappell Roan’s “HOT TO GO” along with thousands of other people will forever be etched in my brain.

There’s also the amazing food vendors, bartenders, and other workers who just made the festival fun. The different food options that included things like Flaming Wok hibachi, tacos from Takumi Taco and Tica’s Tacos, empanadas from Empanada Papa, alongside NYC legends like Van Leeuwen (which just announced a Sabrina Carpenter espresso flavor coming out on June 28) and Magnolia Bakery, felt like the melting pot of the city to celebrate this giant festival together. Aperol was there brought the summer vibes with their iconic Aperol Spritz.

I got to meet so many incredible new people either through friends or as we were waiting for the next act. I even danced to Peso Pluma with a random stranger as we admired the dozens of flags that were waving in the air. Meanwhile, Balloon Chain, which you can find at other festivals, really brought together the idea of all of us being together in one place at one time.

By the end of day three, I was feeling kind of emotional that this grand experience was over. But I was feeling so happy that I overcame my fears and finally got to go. It was the best reminder of how New York and music can so easily bring people together. Now the countdown begins for next year and I’m already excited to see what comes next.

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