Elektro’s Guide to Governors Ball 2015
This Friday, June 3, marks the start of what has become one of New York’s premier music events, Governors Ball. Now in its fifth year, it has grown from a one day festival in 2011 to a two-day event the following year in 2012, and finally to a three-day event, which it has remained since 2013, hosting some of the biggest names across all of music. As far as the dance music genre is concerned, it has served as benchmark for who’s who in the industry. Some of the artists the festival has seen performances from in past years include Skrillex, Dillon Francis, GRiZ, Pretty Lights, The Glitch Mob, Girl Talk, Major Lazer and the live premiere of Axwell Λ Ingrosso. Now, the festival has returned with a stellar lineup that will satisfy the most eclectic music fans. However, for those looking to satisfy a craving for electronic music, we’ve laid out your plan of attack for the weekend.
Friday – June 5
It’s the first day of the festival, so you’ll want to get there a bit early to explore and know how to get to each stage. U.K. duo Gorgon City will be performing a live set at 2:15 at the Gotham Tent. These live sets showcase their instrumentation, complete with live percussion and vocalists, and have been known to feature pop-star Jennifer Hudson, who was featured on their track “Go All Night” from their album Sirens. For such a significant event, you can expect them to have some tricks like these up their sleeves.
At 3:45, Rudimental will be taking the stage at the Big Apple Stage, supplying their signature combination of house and drum & bass sounds, which are sure to give festival attendees a midday boost. Make sure to catch the end of the Gotham Tent set from acclaimed Danish vocalist MØ, who has been closing her sets at festivals like Coachella with her current hit collaboration with Major Lazer and DJ Snake, “Lean On.”
Chromeo will be taking the festival’s main stage, the GovBallNYC Stage, at 4:45, bringing with them their infectious funk/electronic sounds, marking them as one of the festival’s must-see acts for all attendees. Immediately following their set, head back to the Gotham Tent for ODESZA, who have become this year’s hottest festival commodity, earning slots at Coachella, Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, HARD Summer and Outside Lands, just to name a few. Make sure not to miss what the hype is all about.
Concluding this electronic-friendly day of the festival is Ratatat at the Gotham Tent at 8:30. Having just returned with their first track since 2010, “Cream On Chrome,” these legendary electronic innovators are sure to have new music to share with the crowd, as well as classic tracks like “Loud Pipes,” “Wildcat” and “Kennedy.”
Saturday – June 6
A busy first day of the festival is immediately followed by busy early part of the day on Saturday, with a bunch of acts crammed into a short span of time to begin the day, including ASTR at 12:45 at the Gotham Tent, GRAMMY winners Clean Bandit on the GovBallNYC stage at 1:30 and Rustie back at the Gotham Tent at 2:15, all one after the other. Better not skip your morning coffee.
There’s some blank space as far as electronic music is concerned following these sets, giving you a great chance to catch some non-electronic artists. I’d recommend hip-hop artist Atmosphere and Conor Oberst (frontman of Bright Eyes).
Saturday ends with a bang, beginning with Flume on the Big Apple Stage at 8PM. Fans may want to split up this set with SBTRKT, who’s set at the Gotham Tent begins just 15 minutes after the start of Flume’s at 8:15.
However you choose to spend this slot, all eyes will be focused on festival headliner Deadmau5, as he closes out the main stage starting at 9:30. This obvious must-see set for EDM fans will be a very special one for the world-renowned producer. He will be premiering a state-of-the-art, never-before-seen design encompassing future technology to compliment his future music compositions. It will serve as the first look before fans around the globe will get to experience the next incarnation of Deadmau5. Also, as we look towards the release of his next album, we’ll be sure to hear some of the tracks that will be coming our way with its monumental release.
Sunday – June 7
At the final day of the festival, kick things off with Hermitude at the Gotham Tent at 2:15, who are fresh performances at Lightning In A Bottle, SXSW, Counterpoint and BUKU Music + Art Project, and will be featured on the lineups of events like Lollapalooza, Counterpoint, Osheaga, HARD Summer and Summer Camp Music Festival this summer.
Head to Honda Stage at 4:45 to catch scratch-master and Fool’s Gold Records head A-Trak, who’s incredible turntable skills and unmatched mixing ability always provide for an incredible live experience. Being one of the most respected figures in both dance music and hip-hop, you never know who he might bring out on stage with him for Gov Ball.
A staple of the biggest festivals for years now, electronic/funk duo Big Gigantic will be taking over the Honda Stage at 6:45. Anyone who has caught them in a festival setting know the kind of feel-good energy they bring with their sets. This set is certainly a must-see for those who have never had the opportunity to catch them before.
For fans who are unable to attend the festival, or for those who can’t get enough of the action, there will be some incredible afters going on, specifically in Brooklyn. The festival’s ‘After Dark’ parties will last four nights from Thursday, June 4 (the night before the festival kicks off) to Sunday, June 7, following the festival’s conclusion.
On Thursday night (June 4), Odesza will be performing at Williamsburg record store Rought Trade for an intimate set, while Gorgon City will be taking over the famed underground club Output, also in Williamsburg. On Friday, Chromeo will be performing a DJ set at Output, and SBTRKT will be perform a DJ set as well around the corner at Verboten. On Saturday, fans won’t want to miss the opportunity to see Deadmau5 perform a rare, intimate ‘Unhooked’ set at Verboten. Hot Chip will be playing at Output, and pop sensations and Clean Bandit will headline Webster Hall in Manhattan. Finally on Sunday, Big Gigantic and friends will take over Brooklyn Bowl, and Flying Lotus will play a DJ set at Le Poisson Rouge in the Lower East Side. Check out the full schedule of after parties below, and head to the official Governors Ball website for tickets and information.