In New York City, stress exudes from seas of bodies like steam from a boiling pot. Simple tasks like grocery shopping after work can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder, and if you don’t have insomnia or anxiety issues, you’re in the minority. Yes, New York City is high-strung.
Perhaps nothing in NYC is as stressful as a crowded subway car on a hot, muggy day. Humidity blankets everything like an extra layer of skin, artificial light reflects from scratched metal and plastic, and offensive smells of urine, body odor, and urban decay are as constant as the pressure in deep, murky waters.
This particular breed of subway ride was the first step in the journey to Governors Ball 2012. We rode to 125th where we got off and crossed the street, confronted by a line for the buses heading to Randall’s Island, where the two-day music festival took place. We walked to the end of the line, only to be greeted by an unpleasant man who pointed around the corner to the real end of the line. Temporary metal blockades guarded both sides of the narrow line. Waiting in these lines, it’s hard not to feel like a cow heading to slaughter (even though most slaughters don’t happen to the tune of Duck Sauce and Diplo).
We shuffled onto the bus, endured another crowded ride, and finally made it to the island. When we landed, we were in another world. Walking onto the festival grounds, we were met with a friendly smile and handed a card. On one side of the card it said, “The Governors Ball Music Festival.” On the other it read, “YOU’RE DOING GREAT!”
The power of suggestion is a very real thing.
Governors Ball isn’t so much a musical experience as an experience with music, a sort of walled-in world of summer pleasures. It could just as easily be called Two Days of Splendor in the Grass, as droves of tightly wound New Yorkers were gently herded into a green playpen of food trucks, lawn games, and plentiful blanket napping, all accompanied by an occasionally curious mix of acts. Over two days, the intrepid festival-going duo of Confusion and Jon Tanners braved rejected photo passes, beer pong, and extreme bewilderment to bring you coverage the P&P way.
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