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Governors Ball 101 - All The Basic Information!

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Article Summary

  • All the general information you need to know for Governors Ball
  • What, Where, When and How Much

If you are thinking about going to Governors Ball for the first time or if you just have general questions about the festival, this is the place to start. We have categorized our questions into three categories: general festival questions, questions on tickets, and travel questions. If you have further questions on Governors Ball you can always reach out to us on Facebook or by email and we are happy to answer!

General Festival Questions

What is Governors Ball?

Governors Ball Music and Arts Festival is a music festival held in June of each year. It takes place on Randall's Island in New York City. The festival opened to rave reviews in 2011, with a single-day lineup of 11 artists including headliners Girl Talk, Pretty Lights and Empire of the Sun. Since then the festival has expanded to a three-day event with four stages and 60+ musical artists including some of the biggest names in music.

Where exactly does Governors Ball take place?

Governors Ball is held on Randall's Island in New York City each year. The island is located between Manhattan and Queens. It can be accessed on foot or bicycle via the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge from Queens, the Wards Island Bridge from Harlem/Manhattan or the Randall's Island Connector from Bronx. The Robert F. Kennedy Bridge is the only option for driving to Randall's Island.

What type of music is played at Governors Ball?

Governors Ball features a variety of music genres with something to appeal to everyone, including rock, folk, hip-hop and EDM. For a more complete picture of the artists who have performed at the festival, see our running list of Current and Past Governors Ball Lineups.

How many stages does Governors Ball have?

Governors Ball has four stages: Gov Ball NYC (main), Big Apple, Honda and Bacardi. The first three stages are outdoor stages and the final stage, Bacardi is tented. 

When is Governors Ball?

Governors Ball is held the first weekend of June each year.

What time will the festival start and end each day?

Governors Ball is open from 11:45 AM - 11 PM each day of the festival.

When does the Governors Ball lineup get announced?

The lineup is typically announced in January, just before tickets go on sale.  

What ages are allowed in?

All ages are welcome at Governors Ball. If you have children under the age of 5, they will be allowed into the festival for free.

When does Governors Ball announce set times?

Governors Ball typically announces set times a few weeks before the festival. You can expect set times to come out in mid-May.

Are there in and out privileges?

No in and out privileges are allowed. Make sure you are ready to stay for the remainder of the day when you enter the festival.

What are the prices like at Governors Ball?

Pretty standard music festival costs:

  • Regular Beer: $10
  • Craft Beer: $14
  • Wine: $12 for 187.5 mL (1/4th a bottle), $20 for 375 mL (half a bottle)
  • Cocktails: $12-14+
  • Food: $8-$15 depending on what you get (See our Governors Ball food article)
  • Water: $4
  • Soda / Powerade: $5

Tickets Questions

Note that we go into much more detail on Governors Ball tickets in this article, so if you want a full breakdown of tickets check that out.

When do tickets go on sale?

Governors Ball early bird, advanced priced, general admission and VIP tickets go on sale in January. For a full ticket guide, read our Governors Ball Ticket Guide.

How much are General Admission Tickets?

The price of General Admission Tickets depends on which price-level you purchase at and whether you are purchasing a three-day or single-day wristband. Prices for each are:

  • 3-Day Early Bird: $275
  • 3-Day Advance: $290
  • 3-Day Regular: $305
  • 1-Day: $105

Early Bird and Advance prices are not available for 1-Day GA Tickets. The GA single day ticket price is the same for Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The listed ticket prices do not include fees.

How much are VIP Tickets?

The price for standard VIP Tickets will vary depending on which price-level you purchase at and whether you are purchasing a three-day or single-day wristband. Prices for standard VIP Tickets are:

  • 3-Day Early Bird: $600
  • 3-Day Advance: $650
  • 3-Day Regular: $700
  • 1-Day: $255

Early Bird and Advance prices are not available for 1-Day VIP Tickets. The VIP single day ticket price is the same for Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The listed ticket prices do not include fees.

In addition to the standard VIP Ticket option, Governors Ball also offers VIP Plus and Platinum Tickets. The price for each is:

  • 3-Day VIP Plus: $1,000
  • 3-Day Platinum: $2,150

Neither the VIP Plus or Platinum Tickets have a single-day option and there is no opportunity to purchase at a discounted early-bird/advanced ticket price. The listed prices do not include fees.

For a detailed comparison of the VIP tickets options, read our Governors Ball VIP Article.

Does Governors Ball offer a payment plan?

Yes, Governors Ball does offer a payment plan! The payment plan breaks your ticket purchase into four payments of 25%, with the first being due at the time of purchase as a deposit. In addition to the 25% deposit, you will be required to pay any additional shipping costs and fees at checkout. The remaining payments will be charged in February, March and April.

Do Governors Ball tickets sell out?

This varies year-to-year depending on the lineup. In general, the 3-Day General Admission Tickets for Governors Ball sell out around mid-March to early-April. Governors Ball will usually post an announcement/warning on social media if the tickets are near selling out, so follow the festival on social media or sign up for our Governors Ball Newsletter to make sure you don't miss it. Single day tickets typically sell out in May as the festival gets closer. Of course, if you really want to go to Governors Ball the best option is to just buy them the day they go on sale to make sure they don't sell out before you get yours. However, if you have to wait, tickets will typically be available through March.

What is the weather like a Governors Ball?

New York is unpredictable in June to say the least. It can rain, and often has at Governors Ball, or it can be in the 90s and sunny. My advice is to pack for any scenario and always bring a poncho with you, even if there is only a small chance of rain. For Governors Ball 2017 it was 70 and cloudy Friday, low 80s, sunny and perfect for Saturday and about 60 and raining on Sunday - be prepared for it all!


Travel Questions

How do I get to Governors Ball?

Since Governors Ball takes place on Randall’s Island there is no direct subway that goes there because, of course, it is an island. Without a direct subway route, your options are driving (Uber / Lyft / Taxi), walking, bicycling, taking the ferry or taking the shuttle. Walking or biking across the bridges are the cheapest options if you're not staying to far from Randall's Island. For the record, Manhattan is too far to ride or bike to the island. If you're staying in Manhattan the ferry and shuttle options are available for transportation to and from Governors Ball and are sold through the festival. There is also a public transportation route available from Manhattan which includes taking a subway and a bus, which will save you money, but travel time will take you longer. Generally we recommend taking public transportation to as close as possible to the RFK Bridge and then walk across the bridge. For full details on these options and more, read our Governors Ball Transportation Guide.

Can I drive to Governors Ball?

No, there is no parking at Governors Ball so you cannot drive to the festival. If you are just dropping someone off then this is OK, but you cannot park.

Can I camp at Governors Ball?

No, there is no camping available at Randall’s Island or through the festival.

Where should I stay for Governors Ball?

The nice part about Governors Ball is you can stay nearly anywhere in New York City and still have convenient transportation options. When choosing where to stay it's important to remember that summertime is already a popular tourist time in New York City, causing elevated hotel prices. A busy weekend like Governors Ball is only going to increase prices further. However, there are literally hundreds of hotel options in New York City, so if you start searching early, you should be able to find one in your budget. As a general guide, the Upper East Side and Central Manhattan are going to the most expensive areas to stay in, while more reasonable accommodations for Governors Ball can likely be found in lower Manhattan or Queens. Whatever your price range and location preference, use our Governors Ball hotel price tracking to get the best deal on your accommodations. 

What is the closest airport to Governors Ball?

Laguardia Airport, which is located in Queens, NYC is the closest airport to Governors Ball. JFK is also an option for flying into New York. We actually recommend flying into wherever is the cheapest as either is fine for Governors Ball.

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