A Space of Few Women Artists, but Kickass Lady Attendees: GovBall 2019 Recap

I really love music. And for that reason, I was so excited to cover New York City’s Governor’s Ball Festival this summer for all the sweet gems who read #TOC and have been following our exciting new music content. (Hi to all those who were so excited to meet us there! We love you!)

When I read recaps or festival content I want to see amazing women in their amazing outfits (peep our GovBall highlights on Instagram!), nobody needs to see another softboi in a bucket hat. My original concept was to feature “ten new musical girl crushes,” however I quickly reached an impasse….

When planning my coverage, I immediately delved into the lineup to find some kick-ass women to feature and listen to. But to my absolute dismay of about 70 acts, only 20 include women in their ensemble. I included bands like Shaed, Calpurnia and Sunflower Bean that are largely male ensembles with at least one woman, so the “20” figure is really a generous estimate. Last year a study from Billboard shared that only 19% of major festival lineups are compromised of women. Um???

How does this happen? The biggest names in music I can think of right now are Billie Eilish, Taylor Swift, Kacey Musgraves, Ariana Grande, Bey, need I go on? Why did I need to scour the lineup to find cool women to check out? Especially in NYC, where there are tons of incredible women artists?

Some stand-out girl power moments from the weekend included Florence & The Machine calling out Alabama law makers saying “American Women, you deserve better.” Kacey Musgraves singing Golden Hour at Golden Hour was truly an experience. Newcomer from the UK Suzi Wu was also a favorite of mine, reminding me of an artisier, grittier, more authentic Charli XCX. Lily Allen, the patron saint of The Opal Club, performed essentially topless, which we were really there for, and I would be lying if I said that I didn’t cry through Mitski’s entire set.

On Sunday, the festival had delayed opening because of weather and then cancelled all the headliners also because of weather, in reality it rained for about twenty minutes. Most notably, SZA fans started an actual riot when her set was cancelled. Water bottles, chairs, and any object large enough to throw went flying at the stage. It was vaudevillian. We cannot condone violence, yet at the same time I respect a love like that.

My greatest take away from this year’s festival however was the fashion. In years gone by, I have certainly held back on my looks for Governors Ball because it’s felt more low-key. The NYC untouchable and impermeable attitude somehow stretches to the music festival scene and renders fashion on Randall’s Island absolute dismal every year, but this year we saw incredible looks from all kind of women.

I loved the bright colors, sparkly makeup and festival classics that got turned on their heads. Additionally, I noticed a very strong affinity for summer vintage I saw many a cool-girl influencer rocking a silk slip dress or with their hair in a scarf with large Bvlgari glasses a la Holly Golightly. Check out our story highlight to see some dope looks!

Next year, we hope to return to GovBall and be able to see so many more incredible women artists on stage. We think it’s time, don’t you?

The Opal ClubComment