Leading in this year’s race for the ‘most devastating music festival award’ goes to Governor’s Ball ‘16. With TDCC bailing on Urbanscapes ‘13 and FMFA’s full shutdown trailing closely behind. Very closely behind.
Let’s be real, how many times a year do bands come together in Malaysia? The rarity is astounding.
The cancellation of Gov Ball’s final day caused a meltdown in New York City. That, my friends, is an understatement.
I, amongst thousands of Kanye fans, were praying the rain away. Yet even Yeezus has no power over Mother Nature. The night before the final day, there was a forewarning from the organizers that shows may be delayed and there’s a possibility for cancellation. As I prayed for the best, but expected the worst, the TDCC curse loomed over my head after being bitten once at Urbanscapes.
However, remaining optimistic was a mistake.
The first day was subpar. Yes, I was excited. My favorite band of all time, The Strokes, were due to headline the first night.
Never in my wildest dreams would I ever get to see them live. If you’ve had them on your radar, you would know that they are flaky, and always on the verge of breaking up. They hadn’t even toured for their last album, Comedown Machine. Essentially, all hopes were dashed as they focused on their individual work.
But this was it. The moment I have been waiting for all my life. Well, most of my life.
Day 1 started out well. Two train rides and one bus ride later, we still managed to get there at a decent hour as the festival grounds were pretty deserted. We swayed to Years & Years, Bob Moses, Of Monsters & Men, danced our asses off at Duke Dumont, partied with Matt & Kim, then made our way to Bloc Party and Jamie XX.
I’d give Duke Dumont and Matt & Kim a 15/10. Their energy live is infectious. Matt & Kim are CRAZY live.
Only they can have everyone crowd surfing simultaneously with blow up sex dolls.
We left Jamie XX early because we weren’t really feeling him. It was too mellow and we were pumped to dance to The Strokes. So, we made our way to Gov Ball Stage early. There was a massive crowd and soon enough, we were lost in the wild.
The crowd was so packed that the lady making out in front of me elbowed me in the face as her boyfriend’s arm hair pricked me. THAT is how close we were.
Everyone was cranky because The Strokes were late.
People were weaving in and out of the crowd as they started leaving, but not enough for us at the back to go forward. After 35 excruciatingly painful minutes, the boys made their way on stage. As they played their first song of the night, entitled assholes started pushing their way to the front.
With barely enough room to dance, the moment was infiltrated by pesky little kids trying to make it closer to the stage for their Snapchat stories.
The show was great, but the crowd was awful. People were shoving and stopping in between to make small talk. Clearly, they had no basic etiquette of being a festival goer. If you want to leave, leave. Don’t stand there mid-song talking to your partner. The guy behind me had to ever so slightly shove them away with a “please just go.”
As much as I was buzzing with the excitement of seeing my favorite band live, the crowd experience dampen my mood. Tomorrow was another day, though.
Day 2’s weather forecast was all clear skies and sun. Yet we left the festival soaked to our skin.
We started the day late because we were exhausted from the night before. One thing people don’t stress enough is how tiring going to a festival can be. Being out in the sun all day with 100,000 other people can take a toll on someone.
The lovely weather lifted our spirits. We got there just in time to catch Misterwives, who were just okay.
I was pumped for Mac Miller, who turned out disappointing. Maybe because of all the red-eyed high school kids who were announcing how baked they were. News alert: no one cares.
Next up, we saw De La Soul and Miguel who were much better.
Miguel made it rain. We didn’t care, though. Dancing in the rain was thrilling, but soon it started pouring. KUL Tip: Don’t whip out your umbrella in a crowd full of people. Why? 1) You are obstructing the view and 2) the raindrops rolling off your umbrella is probably pissing multiple people off.
By the time we caught Purity Ring, we were drenched even with ponchos on. Our shoes were beyond saving.
We weren’t discouraged, though!
There was no stopping us, mainly because the price of the ticket was not worth the rain dampening our spirits. Purity Ring’s stage was mesmerizing and we danced outside their tent in the pouring rain because it was over capacity.
The night only got better with M83 and The Killers.
The Killers played all the crowd favorites. This time, we stood far, far away from the stage and danced like there was no tomorrow. Ha, get it?
At 8:30 a.m. on the final day of Gov Ball, everyone got an email announcing that the gates are closed until further notice. The dreaded cancellation email came at 12:15 p.m. I heard my roommate’s “NOOOOO” and felt my heart sank.
That was it.
Goodbye Kanye, TDCC, CHVRCHES, Chet Faker, Vic Mensa, Vince Staples, FIDLAR, and the rest. All because of the possibility of rain.
Twitter went ape shit crazy.
All of us mourning the loss of Kanye’s first US performance of The Life of Pablo since its release at Madison Square Garden back in February.
Kanye wasn’t having it, though. He hinted a show later that night at 2 a.m.
For the rest of the day, you would hear people in bars talking about potential locations for his secret show. Everyone was numbing the pain of being out in perfect weather yet not being at the festival with alcohol. Pain Killer, a cocktail at the bar near our apartment, was my drink of choice.
As the sun went down, New York went full out Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist.
People were running around Manhattan, playing the Where’s
Fluffy Kanye game. He had made an appearance at Summer Jam, a hip hop festival, earlier that day where he announced the possibility of a late show.
Once Webster Hall was revealed as the location of choice at 1 a.m., all hell broke loose.
‘Ye fans swarmed over to East Village. They barricaded the venue, hung from trees, and overpowered the streets. Tickets were sold out minutes after the show was announced.
Watching live streams of the situation in Manhattan was one of the most exciting things to happen that weekend. No one knew if the show was actually going to happen. The crowd was insane. Kanye and Webster Hall were all anyone talked about.
As you all know by now, the street party that Kanye envisioned never happened.
The NYPD shut it down due to overcapacity. The press were calling it #Kanyeriot. Some fans got to shake Kanye’s hand. Travis Scott wasn’t giving up.
Alas, the night ended rather anticlimactically with nothing happening.
It was 3 a.m. There was nowhere he could perform that could hold the amount of people willing to lose sleep over him. Read: thousands.
And this is why they call New York City the city that never sleeps.
Photos edited by Sophia Charles. Gracias!