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How much does Governors Ball cost?

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rticle Summary

  • Article breaks down the total costs of attending Governors Ball including wristbands, hotel, food, booze, getting to Governors Ball daily, and more
  • Final estimate are $900 if you choose a cheap hotel and about $1,150 if you do a more expensive hotel
  • Hotel prices vary a lot in NYC, you can be towards the lower end of the estimate by booking a budget hotel in an outer borough

Governors Ball is quite possibly the fastest growing music festival in the country.  It has a good range of music and has absolutely fantastic location right in New York City.  Anyone who is going to Governors Ball knows there’s a lot of planning to do – flights, hotels, tickets, getting to Governors Ball, etc.  Of course, all of this adds up and can do some serious damage to the wallet.  Is anything in New York ever cheap?  Often when people think of the music festivals they only consider the price of the tickets, but anyone who has attended knows there are a lot more costs than just tickets.  The point of this article is to go over what you can realistically expect to pay if you attend Governors Ball.  Obviously this will vary a lot depending on you – what you want to do besides Governors Ball in New York City, where you want to go, how much New York Pizza you want to inhale, if you have to fly into New York City, etc – but this is a good approximation for what you can expect.  After this article you should have a starting point for how much you need to attend for Governors Ball.

Governors Ball Tickets Cost - $275-305 GA

I am going to assume you are like most people and will be attending Governors Ball with general admission passes, so that is the price listed above. If you are debating going VIP to Governors Ball I would suggest our popular article on if Governors Ball VIP is worth it to aid in your decision making. Anyways, Governors Ball general admission passes for 2017 ran from $275 to $305 (fees not included) depending on when you purchased passes. Governors Ball essentially did a tier system, and when one tier sold out the price increased. The three levels of Governors Ball passes were:

  • Early Bird: $275
  • Advanced: $295
  • Regular: $305

So you could save some money if you purchased early once tickets went on sale in January. Just note the early bird passes sold out really quickly last year so if you are aiming to snag these for Governors Ball you need to be there right when they go on sale.


Governors Ball Hotel – $275 for Budget Hotel, $450 for 4-Star Hotel

If you’ve travelled to New York City before you know it can be an expensive city to visit.  Your intuitions are correct! In 2015 New York City was the most expensive city in the United States to visit.  You can expect a weekend like Governors Ball then to be fairly costly.  It should be noted that going forward all of this prices are as of the date I am writing this, and they are expected to rise as we get closer to Governors Ball.  The graph above is a histogram of hotel prices in New York City for Governors Ball weekend.  What is it? It basically breaks hotels into different price ranges and tells you how many hotels are in that price range. As you can see the majority of hotels are in the $200 - $400 bin, which is typical of New York City as the average price of a hotel is roughly $250 on any date.

If you are looking to save money on your Governors Ball hotel look to the areas outside of Manhattan like Astoria, Queens, or Brooklyn. Even these areas are going to be expensive, it is New York after all, but they will be cheaper. Expect to pay at least $150 a night in NYC for a budget hotel. If you want a decent hotel you are likely looking at $250 a night or so for a solid hotel in Manhattan. Yes you can go with a hostel that will be cheaper, or you can go to the Ritz and it will be more, but for most poeple these are fair approximations. If you go with a budget hotel you will be looking at roughly $550 total for three nights after taxes. The more expensive option at $250 a night is going to be about $900 with taxes. These come out to our approximations of $275 to $450 per person.

Food & Booze - $100 a day

This one will vary a lot depending on how much you like to induldge, and how much alcohol you try to sneak in with you to Governors Ball. I can't explicitly support that, I will just save Governors Ball security is fairly lax. That said, here are the prices we saw at Governors Ball:

  • Cocktails: $12
  • Standard Beer: $10
  • Craft Beer: $14
  • Wine: $12 a piece, $20 for half a bottle
  • Food: $8-$15 (Check out our Governors Ball food article for more details)
  • Water: $4
  • Sodas / Powerade: $5

Hopefully that helps you approximate how much you will be spending on food and booze. In general we spent about $100 a day on goodies while at Governors Ball. We weren't fully induldging in alcohol but we did enjoy drinks throughout the weekend and ate plenty of goodies, so I feel this is a fair approximation.

Gov Ball Transport Options

Getting to Governors Ball - Free - $65 for the weekend

It’s important to remember that Governors Ball takes place on Randall’s Island.  There’s no direct subway that goes there because, of course, it is an island. Also keep in mind that you cannot take rideshare home, at least not in 2017. When we tried to order a Lyft one night to go home we got the denial below. Generally you will need to either use Governors Ball transportation options or walk across the RFK Bridge in either direction and then utilize public transportation. Anyways, Governors Ball offers a variety of options depending on where you are staying. We stayed in Astoria for Governors Ball 2017, so we just walked across the RFK Bridge for the reasonable cost of $0. If you want more information on how to get to Governors Ball check out this article. Ultimately the price for this varies depending on where you will be staying.

Gov Ball Ride Share 2017

Airfare to New York City – Varies

Obviously this is going to be a big part of your Governors Ball expenses, but I can’t estimate this without knowing where you are from.  LaGuardia is the closest airport to Randall's Island and Governors Ball, but JFK works well as well. Just go with the cheapest route you can find as either airport is sufficient for flying into NYC.

Total Governors Ball Costs




$275 - $305


$275 - $450

Food & Booze


Getting to Governors Ball

$0 - $65

Airfare to Governors Ball



$850- $1120+

So for your Governors Ball trip you are looking at $850 at least.  Again, I know you can do everything cheaper or more luxuriously, but this is a pretty good starting point for approximation of the costs for Governors Ball.  Like I said at the beginning, just because you got your tickets doesn’t mean you’ve paid for your entire Governors Ball experience.  My biggest tip for reducing these costs is to book everything Governors Ball early, especially the hotel.  Summer time is always expensive in New York City.  Also, once the lineup for Governors Ball is released and the general ticket sale begins you can expect these prices to go up.  Check out our Governors Ball Hotel Page for everything you need with Governors Ball hotels. As is often the case with life, the early bird gets the worm.

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