Memories from last year, of trudging through knee-deep mud and dealing with torrential downpours – together with the lack of planning by organizers who weren’t prepared for a summer storm – were enough to say ‘never again!’ to Governors Ball. But, when the line-up for this year held on it the promise of an OutKast reunion in NY that distaste began to subside somewhat.
Okay, a lot.
It’s as if the organizers knew they needed to come back with one helluva punch, so they made sure they not only got one of the most anticipated reunions in hip hop, but also Damon Albarn – Blur frontman, Gorillaz puppet-master and Afro-music enthusiast – to showcase his first solo debut for an American audience, and Jack White, on the back of his Lazaretto release, not to mention New York indie darlings Vampire Weekend to add weight to the bill.
Those were just the initial headliners. With the festival happening this weekend, the schedule has been arranged and the rest of the line-up is stuffed full of impressive acts, more than enough to make up for the mud-filled fiasco.
On Friday, Julian Casablancas shares the stage with his new band The Voidz, which drew mixed reactions when they played at Coachella earlier this year, and then on Saturday he goes back to being The Strokes frontman. The mix is diverse and I’m looking forward to switching from the ernest Neko Case to the eccentric La Roux, from the Kiwi rock-pop of The Naked and Famous to the brazen rhymes of Childish Gambino. The Bells – both Broken and Sleigh – are on the to-see list as well as the whistles expected from Skrillex’ show.
Sets from Earl Sweatshirt (known to South Africans as poet Keorapetse Kgositsile’s son) and his Odd Future brother Tyler, the Creator should make Sunday a raucous one, with J. Cole adding in some smooth R & B lovin’ in between. Interpol, James Blake, the new EDM collab Axwell & Ingrosso, and the Bloody Beetroots and more…Bring it on!
And the best part of all is the weatherman says sunny skies are expected for this weekend. Fingers crossed, but at least I have those new rain-boots I bought for last year’s Ball, just in case.