IamA The Promoters/Producers of The Governors Ball Music Festival, NYC's Marquee Music Festival. Day 3 was cancelled due to weather and we are here so you can AMA!
My short bio: We are Founders Entertainment, the producers and promoters of The Governors Ball Music Festival, NYC's marquee music festival. This year's festival saw it's 3rd day cancelled due to severe weather, and we are here to talk thru that decision and the decision making process. My Proof https://twitter.com/GovBallNYC/status/740237143340109824
We've talked about this actually but struggled a bit because if you add tents in the open spaces they could very well block sight lines, and no matter how many we add there wouldn't be enough.
We ordered 10k ponchos going into the weekend so folks could get one should they need one.
The age question is a funny one, because i was going to festivals at the age of 14-15 and I was definitely there for the music and not the social aspect of it. We know sometimes kids can act afool, and we take multiple measures to make sure they don't do things they shouldn't be doing. Things like roaming security specifically looking out for this help us a lot here, and perhaps those teams will grow over time. - TR
It's not even the illegal things...It's the kids who are there as a social event only. I saw sooo much drama going down between groups of high school kids. They're the ones that push and shove the way to the front and then talk or take pictures and don't pay attention to the show.
Festivals are supposed to be good vibes all around and everyone doing their own thing with no negativity. It generally just feels like the easy accessibility for them brings down the vibe and it's more of a status thing for them to be there than to enjoy the show.
EDIT: In terms of shelter...is there another area of the island (baseball fields or something) that people could go to get under tents and reenter? I would have stood under the bridge and come back in, except no reentry. Don't think more shelter would have to be in the way (although I would guess if you put some by the big circular merch tent/beer lines etc, nobody would complain.
I guess we could restrict the festival to 18+, but so many music lovers (including myself) had life changing experiences at festivals while at a young age. I would hate to prevent young folks from having that "holy shit live music is amazing" moment, ya know? I hear what you're saying though.
We've looked at shelter areas on the island and there are some, but not enough due to the construction on the island. Once that construction is done however, we may be able to do something. Not sure though to be honest. - TR
Are there any plans to give 3 day pass holders from this year a guaranteed chance at Early Bird pricing for 2017? The partial refund is greatly appreciated but I'm sure a large number of your customers are repeat buyers and would jump at the opportunity to save where they can; given the circumstances. #YoureDoingGreat
This is a good idea. Let us ponder this and figure out how this could work. - TR
Are you guys dissapointed Kanye played Summer Jam? I sure was. That was a great booking for you and for us fans, and it turned into a letdown and then salt in the wounds.
I completely understand about the weather, btw. Just wanted to see Yeezy.
We were devastated that we had to cancel Day 3, and a lot of that was because we were so very excited for Kanye's show and his production was going to be insane. He was super bummed as well, as being the amazing performer that he is, he had an itch to perform. We can't knock him for doing a few songs at Summer Jam, but we can be jealous that we weren't there to see it. - TR
Out of curiosity, how much of the decision to cancel was you guys, and how much came from the city/parks department? Or is it even possible to quantify that kind of thing?
The decision was all made together. It was the Parks Department, the Mayor's Office, the Randall's Island Parks Alliance, NYPD, and us (Founders Ent.) all sitting in the command center, on speaker phone with a Meteorologist from Weather Ops. We had these meetings/calls multiple times on Saturday and multiple times on Sunday and the forecast just wasn't changing. When you have an expert telling all parties that there is a strong, strong likelihood of severe weather and lightening, no one feels good about letting the show continue. Especially given what happened in Germany at the Rock Am Ring Festival the weekend prior. It was such a painful decision to make because we worked so hard on the festival and we put our blood sweat and tears into the festival, but it was ultimately the right decision. If we had allowed the festival to happen, people would have been injured, and we have to look out for patron safety first and foremost. - TR
Thanks for the breakdown. To be clear, I don't begrudge you guys having canceled - when the data you have is saying 100% chance of thunderstorms, you gotta do what you gotta do, especially, as you said, with what happened at Rock Am Ring.
Follow-up question: Why is it we can land a robot on Mars and drive it around, and yet we still can't accurately predict the weather? Aren't we living in the future? :)
We can't freakin' wait for that day. - TR
Forget Sunday for a second, why do you guys only have two exits (like 10 people wide) for a festival that hosts 150,000? It took me nearly 3 hours to exit festival grounds after the headliner went off
Exiting to the 125th St. Bridge might have been worse than wiping my ass with sandpaper.
That's where I was too. It was complete chaos and poorly handled. It was my first Gov Ball and that was enough to make me not want to go back.
The construction was a pain and made the out over the bridge tough. We tried to handle it as best we could, and we did make tweaks on Sat and Sun to make better. We're sorry that it left a bad impression on you. - TR
It was def backed up on Friday night. We made some tweaks to improve for Sat and Sun, but we admit that Friday was annoying. Sorry about that. - TR
That bridge is not wide enough to cope with the amount of pedestrians. Take the other exit next time as it's far better. You can check out the line for the shuttle to 125th street station first and assuming that's a shit show, keep walking down the trail to 103rd. It's less convenient in many ways but the trail is wide and open, lots of room to move and when you get to 103rd there's plenty of taxi's, it was easy to get an uber and it's not far to the subway.
This is on-point but i will say that the RFK bridge with 2 pedestrian lanes would allow for more than enough room. - TR
Each year walking over the RFK bridge becomes more and more popular. In year's past the bridge has had 2 pedestrian paths, but this year, due to construction, only once was able to be used, leading to some backup. I think going into next year we will need to message folks better in advance and encourage people to take the 125th street MTA bus, which was underutilized, as well as the 103rd street footbridge, which was also underutilized. - TR
You guys put on an amazing festival and I totally get the decision to cancel day 3.
Have you considered offering local/craft beers instead of the generic miller/blue moon/etc? I would feel much less bad paying $10-13 per beer if I was drinking good stuff and supporting local breweries.
Stay tuned for next year. - TR
There were rumors you were starting a new festival in October at Citi Field.
Any truth to any of that?
Yes, we are working on a festival in October. We feel as though the fall could use a festival event. More info on that soon. - TR
What exactly was the markup on the $13 Miller Lite cans?
I can't speak to the mark up, but we definitely look at the market and what's standard at large scale events in/around NYC in terms of drink pricing. - TR
Have you guys ever considered partnering with artists to release recordings of their sets to people who go after the festival?
I know people record the live streams sometimes, but sets like Black Pistol Fire were so electric, I'd love to have it to keep. Obviously, it could be an artist by artist decision.
We never have actually, but that's a pretty good idea! - TR
Hey guys, Just wanted to say thank you for an amazing two days. I know a lot of people are mad, but I totally understand why you had to make the decision you did. Evacuating the island if there WAS lightning would have been an absolute disaster.
Are there any plans to look into alternate venues or add more places to shelter during storms?
Also, can you try to book Fly Golden Eagle and Thunderbitch (Brittney Howard's side project) for next year?
Unrelated, thanks for the festival hashtag. I went with my work partner a few years ago, and whenever we're stuck in the shit at work, we turn to each other and say, "you're doing great."
You guys are doing great!!!
Thanks for the kind words and we're glad you had an amazing two days! We are not looking into alternative venues for Gov Ball, as we really like Randall's Island Park and we think the layout and flow works really well for a 4 stage festival.
We will definitely take those two artist recs into consideration for next year.
And thanks for the compliments on the festival hashtag. Shout out to YR for coming up with that. - TR
Can you just walk us through what the process was like from when the rain started Saturday to when you actually cancelled the show?
More curious for an inside look than questioning the decision.
From our first day on-site to our very last, we get bi-daily weather reports from a pro service called Weather Ops. These reports show detailed weather forecasts for the coming 7 days, as well as show a detailed hour by hour forecast for the coming 3 days. As we got closer and closer to the weekend, we were seeing that the Sunday forecast wasn't changing AT ALL. The boxes were all in red, meaning it was a high risk of lightening, hail, high wind, and rain. We started to call the meteorologist multiple times a day starting on Wednesday and they kept saying the same thing - sunday will be bad and we will definitely be getting some extreme weather. We of course communicate this weather to the city agencies, and they were aware of this coming weather because OEM was sending out notifications to all city agencies about the weather. We were having conference calls, meetings, etc. about all this multiple times a day, and we pushed the final decision to the latest possible point possible (12:30pm EST on Sunday). - TR
A woman hasn't headlined the festival on the main stage for now the 6th year in a row. Any chance 2017 will be the year we finally have a female headliner? #ImWithHer
Amazing use of this hashtag. We've tried for multiple female headliners but it hasn't shook out. It will happen though eventually. - TR
Any word on what will happen to Kanye's merch? If i understand correctly, it was exclusive to GovBall. Any chance ticket holders will get a chance to buy it online or something like that?
That's a question for the Kanye folks. It was actually specific to NY so could be used again in NY, but that's really for him and his peeps to speak to. - TR
Why was gov ball sold to Live Nation ?
Honestly, we needed to muscle up to make sure we could continue to deliver you guys the best lineup possible year after year. We are a very small team, and in an industry that is rapidly consolidating and ever so competitive, we needed to make sure we could consistently deliver in the years to come. - TR
Hi guys, as everyone else, I am so sad about the events that occurred beyond anyones control. My question is, are you doing anything for those of us who travelled to NYC specifically for Sunday's event? I came from California and am super bummed.
As much as we would love to do something, I'm not sure what we could do to make you feel any better. I know you and others travelled to NYC for the show and are bummed Sunday didn't happen, but unfortunately with outdoor festivals that's a risk that every attendee has to take. Mother Nature is an unpredictable lady. - TR
Do you guys have an insurance policy in place to protect you from what happened on day 3?
Yes. - JW
Despite Sunday's cancellation, Friday and Saturday were amazing, thank you for the hard work you've done!!!
How do you plan on differentiating yourself from Panorama in the future? Will it just come down to having different acts, or are you planning on taking a specific direction with the artists you sign for the festival?
We're going to stick with what has made Gov Ball a success the past six years. I think your question should be directed toward the folks behind that other new festival... - JW
Hey guys, great job putting together an amazing festival.. My question is: Would you consider booking some of the Sunday acts for next year?
I've seen quite a bit of underage drinking at govball, which can be annoying to deal with, especially when trying to dodge drunk teens around a packed stage. Do you have any plans to address the vendors that give out 21 & over bracelets to pretty much anyone?
We've been thinking about having ID scanners at the points of purchase, along with quizzing folks on their ID info to make sure the IDs are legit. We laso have roaming teams of security looking for this sorta thing. - TR
any chance of Kanye doing something special for NYC? i feel that it's unfair that people that didn't even pick to see him got to but we didn't.
We tried everything we could to get a Kanye show to happen. We looked at Monday and doing the Sunday fest then, but it couldn't work due to operational and civic challenges. We tried so very hard though. - TR
What do you foresee changing, now that Live Nation owns Gov Ball?
Nothing. We will run Gov Ball as we always have. Gov Ball is our entire lives. - TR
- Although I like Randall's Island, have you guys talked about considering moving GB to a different location? I don't know if logistics of escorting 50,000+ people off Randall's Island was one of the factors for cancelling... EDIT: Nevermind, saw it was answered above. Thanks!
- Not a question, but I enjoyed the 2 days this year. I had an amazing time and look forward to 2017 :D
We really like Randall's Island Park as our venue. The layout is really conducive to a four stage festival and we feel as though we've really mastered the venue in terms of crowd flow and vibe. At other majors fests it can take you 30-40 minutes to get from one main stage to another, and with Gov Ball it's 5-7 minutes and that's huge in our eyes.
Glad to hear it. If you have feedback, please do fill out our survey or hit us up on [email protected]. We love feedback.
Sunday was my birthday and I had been looking forward to seeing Kanye perform for months now.
I completely understand that things were out of your hands, but couldn't you have worked with the various artists camps to book backup shows that give sole priority to GovBall wristband holders? In my case, specifically Kanye?
This would have been my third year in a row going to Governors Ball, and I'm devastated it ended up like this.
Trust me, we are devastated too. We worked really, really hard trying to find an alternative venue for Kanye or an alternative day and we just couldn't make it work. There was no place that could house all the people who had tickets to the festival and there was no venue that would be available in such short notice. - TR
I talked to a lot of people outside Webster hall who were gathered for Kanyes pop up show at 2 am. A lot of them were disgruntled gov ball-goers who had come for his headlining set, some flying from out of state/country for Sunday alone. While I understand the rationale to cancel the festival, a lot of people were disappointed that there was no observed thunder or lightning as the day progressed. So my question is, what factors ultimately led to the decision to cancel the day? Was it simply the chance that a thunderstorm could happen or did it have to be a prediction above a certain level for you guys to cancel?
Going into the weekend we had seen in weather reports that Sunday was a strong likelihood of extreme/severe weather. This included lightening, high winds, potential hail, heavy downpour, and dangerous conditions. And make no mistake - the storm did hit Randalls (check out some of the photos here: https://www.flickr.com/gp/[email protected]/HkQ5c2), and the venue was not safe for anyone to be in. We were tracking Sunday's weather every hour starting on Thursday, and it just wasn't changing. And when you have a professional meteorologist telling you that your venue is in the path of a dangerous and severe storm, you can't let the event continue. It's just not right or ethical to the folks who you have to make sure are in a safe environment. - TR
Could you guys post Kanye's setlist? (if you have it) I was really looking forward to the show and am as disappointed as everyone else but it would still be really cool to imagine what could have been...
We don't have it, and personally i don't really want to see it because i may cry. - TR
Would there be anyway to have an alternative location in case of inclement weather in the future or was canceling the day inevitable?
There's no way to have an alternative location in case of inclement weather because of the format of the festival. With four stages, food and beverage, art, activities, sponsors, etc., it's just not possible to have another venue on standby. We looked at doing the festival on Monday but weren't able to make that work due a number of operational and city policy challenges. - TR
Besides GOOD Music, did you guys know who else Kanye was going to bring out? Really disappointed how everything turned out, especially since it was pretty dry by the time Kanye was set to perform.
We are disappointed too, and while we do know that it was dry during Kanye's scheduled set time, the severe weather hit Randall's at 6:30pm - 7:30pm, and it was completely unsafe for anyone to be there at that time. Everyone waiting for Kanye during that time would have been put in harms way and we just couldn't allow that. Safety first. - TR
It seems like every year there are sound issues with the big apple stage... This year was not different, I went to a couple shows and it was hard to hear anything if you weren't close.. Any plans on addressing this?
This is such an interesting topic. We've heard some complaints about the sound there and Honda over the past couple years, and we hear these in real time as we have a team of people who monitor social media throughout the weekend. After hearing these, we send our audio engineer out to take a look and the vast majority of the time, it is the band's respective sound engineer who is responsible for what it sounds like. We've never heard from any of the bands or their engineers that the sound is bad and trust us that is something they would def let us know about. - TR
I've been to multiple music festivals with severe weather on one or all of the days (MoPop in Detroit last year stormed with lightning for a good chunk of the day, Pitchfork 2012 also did, and hell, Day 2 of Gov Ball 2016). None of those were canceled (although some individual acts were delayed) Festival goers were allowed the choice of what they wanted to do.
Additionally, while a refund is nice, people who didn't buy direct and people who paid for travel/lodging will not get refunds.
Did you take any of the above into consideration when making the call, or was it mostly about covering yourself in case something bad happened?
Each festival and their weather experience is different. For us, the weather came at a time when the venue would have been at max capacity and the weather didn't pass until a time when it was operationally impossible to get everyone into the venue in time for Kanye. Some fests have weather toward the beginning of the day so they can delay doors and then have a show. Others have a brief stint of weather in middle of the day and then evacuate and re-open. But for us, the strong likelihood of severe weather from from 2-10pm with the brunt of it coming between 6-8pm. It was just not possible to bob and weave with. - TR
Hello, as someone who completely went broke for what I thought would be an experience I'd never forget out of enjoyment, rather than devastation, I want to know the exact refunds for each Ticket tier?
Whatever you paid, you will be refunded. - TR
I may or may not have sent the govball snapchat account a snap of me flipping off the wristband. I just want you to know I totally sent that as a tongue in cheek joke and didn’t expect anyone to actually open it, so I just want to say I feel bad.
I also just wanted to say I really had fun Friday and Saturday and although Sunday still stings a bit , for the most part I’m over it and respect your decision to cancel .
However I’ve heard talk that a large concern and an influencing variable in the decision to cancel Sunday was due to the damage that the grounds would have sustained due to the rain and the massive amount of foot traffic, which would cause a not insignificant amount to repair. If that is the case, have you considered relocating the festival to another park? Perhaps Van Cortlandt Park, Flushing Meadows, or Marine Park?
Our marketing director Laura actually came to me and told me about this snap! I was so sad but glad to hear it was tongue and cheek.
Sunday's decision to cancel had nothing to do with possible damage to the grounds. It was entirely based on the extreme weather and that it would be an unsafe environment for people to be in. Look at the photos we posted - it was crazy out there. - TR
Flew from SF with my girlfriend and I have to say we was pretty disappointed in the experience. It first started with the Brooklyn shuttle. Why was it so poorly planned and executed on Friday? It took about 2.5 hours from getting in line to arriving the festival. You had to of known how many passes were purchased and that there would be traffic on a Friday.
Couple things here. First is that we were working with a new Shuttle operator this year and I think they underestimated the round trip time due to traffic. Traffic on a Friday in the summer is lethal and with this being their first year they underestimated it. They quickly added more buses though and it seemed as tho the problems didn't exist on on Friday night or Saturday day/night. Do you agree or did you have problems then too? Tell us EVERYTHING. - TR
What was Kanye's reaction when you broke the news?
Everyone was super bummed. - TR
Not specifically about this past GB, I'm curious what an average day looks like for "GB corporate." When did you have this year's lineup ready? As a student, how does someone get involved in working for big music festivals? How many people helped plan GB besides the volunteers/set-up?
Founders is a team of 7 people. We finish the lineup in December/January. We have over 700 volunteers, 100 employees, and dozens of vendors. - TR
Did you guys regret cancelling Sunday after it was clear the weather was not as bad as predicted?
The weather was actually really bad. The island was hit very hard (see photos here https://www.flickr.com/gp/[email protected]/HkQ5c2), and it wasn't safe at all for anyone to be there when the storm hit around 6:30pm. We do not regret the decision. - TR
On a personal level, we were devastated that had to cancel Sunday. I can't say that we're allowed to 'regret' the decision, because we had no choice. We decided to put fan safety first, and the city agencies office wouldn't have allowed the show to go on either way.
thanks again guys for an awesome 2 days. the ONLY complaint is that i bought 2 gin and tonics (let people hate, but g&ts are amazing) and it was $50 -____- no biggie though. i'm govball for life, but are you concerned that people will start bailing on gov ball after this decision and move onto panorama for future years?
We are just gonna keep doing what we've been doing - booking as good of a lineup as we possibly can and making sure the experience is as positive and awesome as possible. If we keep our focus on that, we don't think anything anyone will bail. Gov Ball is our lives and we take this shit seriously. - TR
I don't feel like you guys have added any additional toilets to the mainfield since I've been going. If you have, it's definitely not enough. It was taking 30 minutes to take a pee when things were getting busy and as a result, people start pissing on fences or anywhere they can find a spot close to the toilets. Any chance you can double capacity on the mainfield next year?
We actually have a TON of bathrooms all over the grounds and most than the majority of festivals, but we are a bit limited by where we can put them. I think for us we need to educate people more on where bathrooms are and let people know in real time that bathrooms located XXXX are available and being underutilized. This is one of the reasons why we added in a Bathroom Map in the gov ball app. - TR
Hey Gov Ball Team,
First lemme just thank you for making my first Gov Ball a wonderful experience. Loved the weekend and will most certainly be buying presale tix when they are available.
But a big question I have is regarding whether or not you'll consider bringing back any of this year's cancelled acts next year? Unfortunately there were some incredible (and incredibly rare) acts missed, and I'm curious if we'll able to see them. If not, why not?
Also, just curious to hear how you are dealing with next years fest compared to Panorama now that they will have had a fest under their belt? I obviously know that you can't share many, if any, details about 2017's fest, but I'd love to hear anything you can share.
Thanks again, and I can't wait to see you next year for another amazing Gov Ball!!
We're definitely open to bringing some of the sunday bands back for next year.
We are looking at 2017 as we look at every year: Book the best fucking lineup possible, have the most delicious eats possible, and create the best experience possible. Panorama will be whatever Panorama will be. But remember - we are New Yorkers and this is our city. - TR
WHY ARE YOU AVOIDING ALL THE REAL QUESTIONS THAT NEED TO BE ANSWERED?
Hey guys. I work the box office at the festival, it's a lot of fun, but also full of unhappy fans - particularly on Friday. I saw tons of room for little improvements over the course of the weekend. One big one: any chance on expanding it and adding a tent or two for a smoother process?
We love feedback and want all of yours. We are definitely looking at adding a tent or two for next year to address Friday lines. The reason for Friday's backup was because the shipping deadline was early May and a ton of tickets were purchased after that point. We also are exploring a place in the city where people can get their wristband in advance instead of doing so at the fest on friday. - TR
Do you know anything about Kanye West doing another event on NYC soon? Also I heard that the fall festival might be more EDM based, is this true or will it hit the same demographic as Governors Ball?
Very similar to Gov Ball. Super eclectic. - TR
Did you guys consider pushing up Kanye's set to early Sunday afternoon?
We even considered getting him to play on Monday. We tried everything. - JW
I came in from Chicago and don't know much about Panoroma, but its hard not to see they have an opportunity take the spotlight from #govballNYC after last weekend's case of Murphy's Law. And I'm sure you're wishing them all the best, but you have a hot ticket with all the opportunities your mobile app can provide.
Once you get through the PR wreckage and past the refunds, what's next for #govballNYC?
Book the best lineup possible in 2017, have the best food options possible, and have the best experience possible. - TR
if you knew there was a possibility of cancellation since Thursday, why not try to book Kanye somewhere else? Sounds like a lot of excuses...
Weather changes on a daily basis. Look at memorial day in NYC. It was supposed to rain ALL DAY and rain big time, but the morning off the storm went north and the day was dry and really pleasant. We had to wait until we truly know what was gonna happen and with weather it's the day of unfortunately. - TR
If this festival in October is going to happen, what about giving first priority to ticket holders for sunday?
[insert pondering face emoji here]
Flew from halfway across the country to attend Gov ball for the first time (long time attendee of other music festivals). I have attended several summer fests in which thunderstorms impacted plans - the difference being that those fests at least got in shortened days through the use of postponements and reopenings. Are you able to safely/quickly evacuate the venue in the case of a mid-festival emergency? How much do you think the shitshow of a few years back contributed to the mayor's decisions?
I feel like a low ground festival in NYC that takes place annually during the beginning of summer T Storm season needs to have better contingency plans than what I saw this weekend. What would you do differently next year, in the same position (if anything?) In other words, did you learn anything? At my job we call this a "postmortem with root cause and corrective actions" :)
We are able to evacuate the site in case of an emergency, and we have a full fledged plan to do so. With what we experienced however, the weather was showing a strong likelihood of severe weather all afternoon and early evening, making it unsafe and impossible for us to even open the show.
I don't think what happened in 2013 impacted anything really. That year we got a TON of rain and the result was tons of mud. We didn't get any lightening that year and there was no threat of lightening or hail or any of that stuff. The city knew that if the show resulted in mud we would repair the grounds, as we've done that before and we are good partners with Parks and the City of NY.
I'm honestly not sure what we would do any differently in the future to be honest. If you have a professional meteorologist, whose job it is to advise and predict weather, tell you that your festival is going to 100% receive extreme weather, including lightening, high wind, etc., and that the extreme weather is most likely to hit between 2pm - 8pm, you can't do anything but cancel the day. - TR
I appreciate the response - I do disagree on the statement "you can't do anything but cancel the day"... We just saw that meteorologists can be wrong! In fact that's a like, common trope about the weather calling biz... I just thought that 97% means <100%, let's just wait and see.
I know you guys are just as, if not more, disappointed in the way things played out - it seems like 'cancelling the whole day at 12pm' was not fighting as hard as you could to make it work. Given the 6+ hours of clear weather we had + the brief way the storm actually hit, I remain unconvinced that your team couldn't have pulled this off.
At the very least, if this were to happen again you should have a strong argument with the powers that be to not treat meteorology as an exact science. When that will be is anyone's bet I suppose!
The problem is that the weather guys weren't wrong. The site was hit with a strong storm and if there were thousands of people there, people would have gotten seriously injured. I'm not sure if you are in the business or not, but i can assure you that when it comes to operating music festivals, managing crowds, artists, and all the moving pieces associated with this, it's way more difficult than one would think. - TR
Who is responsible for your social media? Whoever she/he is deserve a big fat raise! They took those insults like a champ.
Laura Hymes. She is a rockstar and we are lucky to have her. - TR
I must say, bravo on your part in regards to keeping the festival goers safe on Sunday. Extremely disappointed but totally understand why it needed to be done. So thank you on the partial refund.
My biggest gripe about the entire weekend was the re-entry policy. I totally understand "no re-entry" but it should honestly be something that is lifted when the weather is acting up, or at least have a plan in set to consider guests that would like to come back in after the storm. A friend and I had left Saturday prematurely after the first storm, believing the night was going to be done. After seeing the storms lifted, we left our spot in the ferry line, to then be turned away from security at the gate. Whomever on your team that runs the Twitter account, received a few DM's from myself which weren't the nicest (sorry), regarding the whole situation. They however, instantly replied back (Great job and thank you) saying that we should be allowed in now and that the message was being passed around. We then left the ferry line a SECOND time, to ultimately get shut down again, even after showing them the DM's between the organizers and myself. By this time it started the pour a second time, and since we were still outside of the gate and not allowed back in at the time, we walked in the pouring rain, and stayed in line for the third time waiting for the ferry.
Overall, very disappointing that we hadn't even left the island, yet couldn't get in to see The Killers. Seeing at least 2 of the 3 headliners would have softened the blow on Sunday. Do you have any plans to reconsider the terms for "No Re-entry"? I understand why it's in place, but maybe something can be done in case something like this happens again?
We heard all about this in real time. We do have a no re-entry policy and when we heard that there were a number of people who left but wanted to come back after it started raining, we radio'd to security and told them to let people back in. That message got out, but not to all the guards. Going into next year, we will be sure to have this scenario discussed with all guards in advance so in the future you would be able to reenter. - TR
Out of curiosity, do the artists from day 3 still get paid?
Any way, this was my first festival ever (at 26, ashamed to say it, but its true) and I had a fantastic time. The entry was seamless, the workers were polite, the security seemed to be right balance of allowing fun and preventing disaster, and the layout of everything was amazing. Really easy to move around and check out the different stages. Really bummed I missed out on day 3, but 1 & 2 were lots of fun.
Im sure you guys had way more money, time, and heart invested into this then any one of the attendees did and I'm sorry you couldn't see day 3 to fruition, realistically I'm sure it hurt you guys more then it did any of us and Im sorry for that.
Yes, all of the artists get paid. Thanks for the kind words. - TR
I went into the weekend assuming Sunday would be cancelled, and although it was very sad that the assumption ended up being true, I think it helped me at least cope with it more than people who felt more blindsided on the decision to cancel or that it was too premature. Did you guys consider sending out any notifications earlier (Friday, Saturday) that the forecast was looking bad Sunday and to plan accordingly IF there would be a cancellation, to basically try to soften the blow a bit more?
This is a really interesting question and one I've been thinking about quite a bit in the past 24 hours. I keep thinking back to Memorial day since we were all onsite then and it was supposed to rain all day long, but the morning of the weather pushed north and it didn't rain at all. With weather shifting so much in a 24 hour time span, we were hoping and praying that it would shift away from the festival site, but on sunday morning it was obvious that wasn't going to happen. I think in the future we may message further out however. - TR
On a personal level, what is your favorite movie of all time?
Probably Wet Hot American Summer. - TR
The AMA is probably over, but I wanted to say it was way too loud in my opinion. Granted I was in the front and centre of the Purity Ring show, but it was just obnoxiously loud, and you could barely hear her voice over the sound of the bass and all that. Any chance you could work on that for the next year?
I actually thought the same thing at a couple points and asked a few people their opinion and they disagreed with me. Ha. Everyone is different I guess. Everyone should have ear plugs though regardless - they are a great investment. - TR
I just wanna say, I had a great time this year, and while most people are upset about Kanye, I got to see my favorite bands (minus Two Door Cinema Club) though I feel their pain. My question is, with Live Nation taking over Gov Ball, will there be any noticeable changes to the lineup? I really love being able to see smaller bands and am hoping the fest will not start to lean towards more mainstream crowdpleasers instead of the diverse lineup we usually have.
There will be no changes. Founders is the operator, producer, and lover behind gov ball. - TR
Is there anyway of getting the festival to play til midnight?
Unfortunately 11pm is the latest we can go. - TR
Did you increase capacity this year and sell more tickets before you marked the fest as "sold out"? I went both this year and last and noticed how stifling the crowds were this year, not much room to sit on the ground and it took so long to walk between stages, lines for food were really long etc. Looking back at pictures of last year the island did not look nearly as crowded.
Regardless, I had an amazing 2 days, thank you for a great event!!
The 2016 and 2015 events were the same size actually, and our reporting shows that line wait times were much shorter this year due to our cashless program. - TR
Importantly, will you be mad at me if I go to "that other festival"?
It's a free country!
We won't be mad, do what you gotta do. But remember, those guys aren't doing AMAs like we do. - TR
In regards to the grounds, I noticed by the end of both nights there was just so much trash everywhere and I looked and noticed that there were not as many trashcans I think could be put in the area. Also not that I like Goldenvoice but they did do a smart program where if you picked up 10 pieces of trash you got a free bottle of water ever think of doing something like that to keep the grounds a bit cleaner for all guests involved?
Thanks for the tip, we will definitely look to add more trashcans next year. I know the program that you mention that Goldenvoice uses and I like that program. I've heard they actually don't recycle though, which isn't cool. Not 100% on that but i have heard that from a couple people. - TR
Hey, I volunteered at a few trivia nights for free in exchange for tickets to the festival, but the tickets were never issued. when i followed up with the organizer she apoligized and said that they weren't approved. was pretty disappointed since i put in time to help out and was suddenly backed out on and i didn't even have the opportunity to get tickets at that point. any explanation for what happened?
Email me at [email protected] and we will get this cleared up. - TR
I come each year from NJ and getting to Randalls is a bit tough. Will the fest offer parking one day? Or better yet, can you guys start doing ferry service from Hoboken/Jersey City??
Once the construction is done on Randall's in a few years we may be able to have parking. - TR
Without giving any real information away will the fall festival be of the same caliber as gov ball or will it be scaled down? (In terms of talent or size)
Time will tell. - TR
Were you involved at all with any of the bands attempting to hold make up shows at different venues on Sunday?
We helped out with most of them. - JW
The designers and social team did a great job this year. I loved the gifs, and design work throughout the entire campaign. The app was also top notch. #govballNYC really capitalized and stepped up producing refreshing and practical content the music industry has desperately needed for the Social Sphere.
Whom deserves the credit?
Designers - Josh Guss/Sirtin Studios, Gogi Gupta/Gupta Media.........Social - Laura Hymes/Founders.........App - Developed by Greencopper, with direction from Founders and creative from Gupta
I know you guys have no control over setlists and stuff, but what do you say to a band when they show up half hour late to their show, like the strokes?
The bands play for as long of a time period as they want to play for. Sometimes their sets don't take up the fully allotted time period, and sometimes they do. It's really up to them and their show. - TR
Is there any chance moving the festival dates earlier or later in the year would provide more security from bad weather, or is that just a year-round danger in New York?
I had a great time at the first two days, disappointed to not see Kanye, but loved how easy it was to get to the venue and how well everything ran in the park. Weather aside, I thought everything ran very smoothly. I've been an ACL attendee for ten years and wanted to try something that didn't involve flying home and Governor's was a great alternative. Thanks!
We really love early June for our dates. You just never know these days, no matter what time of year it is, what the weather is gonna be. - TR
Any plans to add more places to shelter during storms? The tents were all so crowded, I saw someone getting claustrophobic and struggle to get back into the rain.
A big problem Saturday was that no rain was predicted. Would you ever give ponchos out as we enter (bake it into the ticket price), just in case?
All anyone over the age of 18 was talking about (besides the incredible lineup and sets) was how many REALLY young kids were there. Them doing things they shouldn't be (drinking, etc) aside, they aren't there for the music and are just trying to get a good insta picture. They're really obnoxious and take away from everyone else's experience. Any plans to address this?
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