Are Governors Ball VIP Tickets worth it? An age old question not just for Governors Ball, but all music festivals. However, unlike many other music festivals, the VIP experience at Governors Ball is one we actually recommend. What are the perks and benefits that make the Governors Ball VIP tickets so much better than other festivals and completely worth it, read on for detailed explanations.
Before we begin, let's cover the Governors Ball GA passes as a baseline. With GA, you get access to the Governors Ball festival grounds, which by itself is great since that also gives you access to amazing shows, free activities and some of the best food you can find in New York City. However, you'll be using the standard lines and competing with the large majority for prime viewing spots.
I found that the crowds are the primary factor in determining the value of GA vs. VIP. When the headliners and lineup attract a younger audience, you’ll find yourself longing for the less crowded VIP area where the crowd seems to be a bit more mature and relaxed due to the 21+ age minimum. For example, on Friday, with Lorde and Chance the Rapper closing out the night, the crowd was filled with young adults who appeared to be extremely intoxicated despite not looking old enough to drink. As early as the afternoon individuals were disrupting shows by falling over as they danced or talking throughout the set, not to mention the large amounts of trash on the ground and periodically seen vomit. Unsurprisingly, the site of young people being walked out by security or carried out by their friends wasn’t uncommon by the end of the night.
This single day experience was enough for me to swear never to purchase Gov Ball GA passes again; however, I want to add that the GA experience did get better as the weekend went on. On Sunday, Tool was the headliner and as a result the crowd was older, more mature and more respectful and aware of those around them. With this crowd, the GA is a great value because you can enjoy the shows and experience while saving yourself some money. However, if you end up with a crowd like the one we had on Friday, it will make you wish you had purchased VIP or skipped the festival all together. Basically, this means if you’re attending the festival for a single day, GA isn’t always terrible, but you might want to consider who the headliners are before you purchase.
These areas are provided at each of the four Gov Ball Stages, directly to the side of each. In addition to the crowd differences mentioned above, you’ll be competing with less people to get a prime viewing spot of your favorite artists.
As an example, the picture above shows the difference between the GA and VIP crowd during Nancy Whang’s DJ set. Whang went on just before Lorde and you can see the GA area is already densely filled, limiting options for getting a decent viewing spot for the final two acts on the Gov Ball Stage. However, on the right, the VIP area has only a small crowd congregated near the corner closest to the stage and even then, individuals are not packed in nearly as tightly as they are in GA.
In VIP, you can arrive just before an artist goes on or even during a show and still have a prime viewing spot for the set. The limited crowd in the VIP sections will give you the freedom to move between stages, while still having decent views of the stage for the artists you want to see. Even if you want the best view possible from VIP, you’ll likely only have to show up 30 minutes to 1 hour before the set, rather than waiting for several hours to get a front row spot in GA. This will not only make for an enjoyable experience overall, but you’ll also have more time and opportunities to see every artist you want.
In addition to the lighter crowds and better views, you'll also have access to comfortable seating, air conditioned restrooms, cell phone charging stations, and massage services. VIP also includes an expedited festival entrance, exclusive food vendors and VIP bars.
Governors Ball VIP Plus Tickets include all the perks of standard VIP, plus an elevated viewing platform located within the VIP area of the main stage. In addition to the platform, the area includes an open bar with beer, cocktails and wine. If you have ever purchased a drink at a festival or live event, you’ll know that you can get some serious return on your investment with all-inclusive alcohol. Both the VIP Plus platform and bar can be seen in the picture above.
One important note is that the open bar is only offered in the VIP Plus area. You will not be able to walk up to just any bar and grab a drink for free, which means in order to get the maximum amount of value from the VIP Plus Ticket, you'll have to be at the main stage the majority of your time at Governors Ball. During the headliners, the choice of stage will be easy as they will always be on the Main Stage, but prior to the headliner it is hard to predict who will play where and you may be bummed when you realize that you'll have to choose between seeing an artist you love or taking advantage of your VIP Plus perks. If you’re fine with staying at the main stage for the day and don’t have a significant preference on which artists you see, you can expect to see about 6 shows a day with about 45 minutes between shows.
Of course, you can always travel back and forth between the standard VIP areas and the VIP Plus depending on what show you want to see and still get a good return on your investment, just make sure to grab a drink on your way out. If you choose to bounce around between stages, the good news is there are only 125 VIP Plus Tickets sold so you know you’ll never have any trouble getting a good view of the main stage when you return. However, this limitation also means the VIP Plus Tickets are harder to get.
The most elite of the VIP, the Governors Ball Platinum Tickets are available for individuals who want to get as close to the artists as possible. The Platinum Passes include on-stage or above-stage viewing areas, putting you just a few feet from the artists on stage. The only downside to these passes, despite the proximity to the artists, is that they don’t necessarily offer the best view of the show. In the picture above, you can see the elevated Platinum area leaves the majority of people watching the show from the back, giving them a better view of the crowd than the actual show.
The website also states that there are some viewing restrictions for headliners and select artists, which will prevent platinum attendees from accessing these areas during those sets. Unfortunately, you probably won’t find out who will have restrictions until after you've purchased the ticket, but the good news is that even when on-stage viewing isn't an option, you'll still have Front of House viewing areas. The Front of House viewing areas will place you front and center, approximately 100 yards from the stage. You'll also have access to the standard VIP Viewing Areas, but not the VIP Plus Platform. However, after paying for Platinum Passes, it’s unlikely that you’ll need to use them.
In addition to the platinum areas, you'll also have access to two backstage areas with open bar, comfortable seating, air conditioned bathrooms and of course the best part, running into and meeting the artists. Food is also included with daily food tokens for each day of Governors Ball. There will also be an on-site concierge services available to you should you have any questions while at the festival.
Due to the exclusive perks of this pass, there are only 100 Governors Ball Platinum Tickets available.
On the day the lineup came out Governors Ball charged $600 for thier VIP pass and after that they shot up $105 to $705. For the record GA passes also increased but from $275 to $305. The VIP Plus and Platinum did not increase after the initial day but they are steep at $1950 and $2190 respectively. The VIP Plus pass in 2017 was only $1000, so to shoot up to $1950 is both disappointing and a steep increase.
Generally I think the VIP passes at Governors Ball are one of the better offerings of any festival. The GA area at Governors Ball is full of drunk teenagers, moreso than any other festival I have ever been to, so with VIP you can avoid all of them as the VIP area in 21+. They also offer VIP areas with great viewing at each stage, which is a huge plus. If you can afford the regular VIP pass I recommend that over VIP Plus. Last year I recommended VIP Plus because it was only a couple hundred more than VIP and included food and alcohol. Now it is $1200 more and I can't recommend that anymore - go with standard VIP.
The Governors Ball Platinum VIP Ticket is also an incredible value since you never know who you’ll run into backstage, but I don’t think the proximity to the artist on stage makes up for the bad viewing angle, especially at a $2,150 price tag. Plus, most of us don’t have that kind of money to spend on a single weekend.
Yes! After dealing with a younger GA crowd, I don’t personally want to risk experiencing that again. In the future, I’ll only be attending Gov Ball when I love the lineup enough to justify the cost of VIP. If you are over 24, I’d recommend purchasing at least the standard VIP if you’re attending all three days as at least one day will be targeted at a younger audience. If you’re only planning to go for one day, you’re GA vs. VIP decision should be based on who the headliner is. If the headliner is a band with an older fan base, GA is probably fine, but if the headliner is a DJ, Pop Artist or Rapper, you may want to seriously consider getting a VIP Pass.
Suites and Cabanas are group VIP purchases for Governors Ball. They are often rented out by companies with the funds to rent them at a reported $30,000+ cost. Both suites and cabanas are rented for the entire weekend, but the guests with access can be changed daily.
Suites accommodate 50 people and are located below the Cabanas offering a prime elevated viewing area of the main stage and the festival. Light catering and snacks are provided within the suite, as well as wait service offering beer, wine and non-alcoholic drinks. The Cabanas accommodate 25 people, include a private concierge, air conditioned bathrooms and offer the best views of the stage and festival. Full menu catering is provided with wait service offering beer, wine, spirits and non-alcoholic drinks.
Guests with access to a suite or cabana will have access to all VIP Viewing Areas, with the exception of the main stage and VIP Plus Viewing Area. Only guests with a cabana may access the main stage VIP area and neither can access the VIP Plus Viewing Area. Both also include comfortable seating and shade as well as a separate fast lane at each festival entrance.
Yes! You have to be 21+ to access the VIP Viewing Areas. If you are not over 21, you will not be able to take advantage of any of the Governors Ball VIP areas or perks.
Full Governors Ball Ticket details, including when they go on sale and payment plan options, can be found in our Governors Ball Tickets Article.
Governors Ball VIP experiences are some of the best available, far superior to what many music festivals offer, but all of that is relative to the amount of accessible funds you have access to and how you prefer to spend your money. If you're willing to spend on the comforts of VIP than you won't find a much better value than the VIP Tickets offered by Governors Ball.