Governors Ball at Randall's Island was a muddy affair that was shortened by high winds and heavy rains. Despite the setback, the festival lived up to its billing as New York's only major music festival with Kings of Leon, Guns N' Roses and Kanye West headlining.
Over the weekend, Governors Ball and festivalgoers made the most out of a muddy music experience. On Friday, with Kings of Leon headlining, heavy rains battered the island. Not the kind of conditions one would want when spending an entire day outdoors. Early Friday highlights included a strong set by Polica; Dinosaur Jr. playing incredibly loud; and Of Monsters and Men being treated as though they were headliners, despite playing early in the day. Inside the Skyy Vodka Tent, fans danced to Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, oblivious to the downpour. With the continuous rain, Randall's Island became a mud pit, but fans quickly embraced that unexpected development as mud slides and dancing within puddles became a norm during the music festival.
Friday was cut short when heavy winds forced the cancellation of the festival just before Kings of Leon could perform. Earlier acts, such as Beach House, were delayed, while Feist was nearly electrocuted as the stage became flooded with rain. The weather for Saturday and Sunday was dramatically different, but that could not erase all the mud from the festival or the fans, but that mattered little as the festival continued without any further setbacks. In fact, the festival's organizers, Founders Entertainment, did one better by offering fans who had a day pass for Friday attend Saturday for free and managed to reschedule the festival so Kings of Leon could perform a makeup set.
The lineups for Saturday and Sunday included emerging bands such as Haim, Icona Pop, Japandroids, Alt-J and Kendrick Lamar, and more established acts such as The Lumineers, The xx and Nas. Guns N' Roses stuck mostly to the hits while Kanye West focused on new material from his forthcoming album, "Yeezus," telling fans that radio singles and other trappings were not important. Kanye wanted to be about the music and debuted "I Am God" and "On Site" during his closing set at Governors Ball.
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Despite an unfortunate start, Governors Ball proved to be more than just the mud as the music festival offered a diverse range of music that led to it from being a single day festival in 2011 to a proper three-day music festival in 2013. The goodwill generated during the weekend means that, unlike the cancelled Great GoogaMooga, no one has to worry if Governors Ball will return in 2014.