This weekend (June 2-4), 150,000 of New York and beyond’s biggest music fans headed across the East River to Randall’s Island for three days of excellent live music. Now in its sixth year, Governors Ball has quite a reputation for booking killer line-ups with the likes of Kanye West, The Strokes, Beck, Kings Of Leon, Skrillex, Björk, Lana Del Rey and many more all having graced the festival with their presence in the past.
This year saw Chance The Rapper, Phoenix and Tool headline, while the rest of the bill was just as eclectic and exciting. Whether you’re into anthemic indie-pop like Bleachers, bold rap like Childish Gambino or bruising riffs like Royal Blood‘s, there was something for everyone. NME was down there to catch all the action, which you can relive or witness for the first time in these awesome live photos.
1Charli XCX at Gov Bal 2017
A new album was initially due in early 2017, but it’s since been pushed back a year. But she’s still put her name to one hit in the last few months, guesting on Mura Masa’s breakthrough ‘1 Night’ single.
Jack Antonoff celebrated the release of ‘Gone Now’, his second album as Bleachers, with a set that was as euphoric and uplifting as you could have hoped for.
Lorde made a dramatic start to her set on the main stage, appearing wearing a lacy white veil that she then tore off as she segued a verse of ‘Green Light’ into first album banger ‘Tennis Court’.
Her set featured a giant, tilting glass box that slowly filled with dancers and, at one point, Lorde herself. Later, Antonoff, who co-wrote and produced her second album ‘Melodrama’, joined her on stage for a cover of Robyn’s ‘Hang With Me’ and Lorde’s own ‘Liability’.
5Chance The Rapper
Chance is headlining a host of festivals this summer and Gov Ball was one of his first. If the rest are anything like his set in New York, you might want to move heaven and earth to catch him.
Viral hip-hop duo had fans spilling far out of the Bacardi tent on Saturday (June 2) as they played tracks from ‘SremmLife’ and ‘SremmLife 2’.
The pair saved their Mannequin Challenge-soundtracking hit ‘Black Beatle’ til toward the end of the performance, building up fans’ anticipation until it dropped and was met with huge cheers.
Legendary New York hip-hop group Wu-Tang Clan took to the main stage as the sun was setting for an hour-long run through of some of their most classic tracks.
As well as the likes of ‘C.R.E.A.M.’, ‘Protect Ya Neck’ and ‘Gravel Pit’, the crew also paid tribute to Ol’ Dirty Bastard with a snippet of ‘Got Your Money’.
Banks was on typically elegant form as she treated fans in the Bacardi tent to an emotionally-charged set of dark-pop, including second album highlight ‘Gemini Feed’.
11Mark Ronson vs Kevin Parker
The production whiz and Tame Impala frontman joined forces to DJ on the Big Apple stage on Saturday night, dropping lots of Tame tunes, ‘Uptown Funk’, Amy Winehouse and a new collaboration with SZA in the process.
Childish Gambino played his only show at 2017, headlining the Honda stage. Fittingly, a gigantic crowd was there to watch him as he looked like he was having the time of his life performing tracks from last year’s exquisite ‘Awaken, My Love!’
Over on the Gov Ball NYC main stage, Phoenix brought their incredible new live show to close out the second day of the festival.
The Parisian band gave fans new a glimpse of their upcoming new album ‘Ti Amo’, including the disco-y ‘Love Life’ and ‘Role Model’.
Frontman Thomas Mars ended their triumphant set by getting to know their fans a little better.
The Orwells kicked off the third and final day of Gov Ball 2017, playing their raucous garage-punk to early arrivals on the main stage.
Later, Royal Blood made their return to the festival, having played it two years prior. The night before the duo had headlined Brooklyn’s Warsaw at 1am, but showed no signs of fatigue as they ripped through new songs and fan favourites.
Skepta brought the grime resurgence to New York, as he started wrapping up his Banned From America tour.
The Tottenham MC was greeted by a rowdy audience who gifted him with a ton of energy and a whole heap of joints thrown on stage.
Franz brought their new-look line-up to NYC for the first time, but sounded as good as ever as they treated the island to indie anthems ‘Michael’, ‘Do You Want To’ and ‘Take Me Out’.
21Cage The Elephant
Cage The Elephant, meanwhile, drew a huge crowd on the main stage. Singer Matt Schultz rewarded their fans for their loyalty by giving them the chance to get a little bit closer to him mid-set.
Tool brought the 2017 edition of the festival to a thundering close, bringing mighty riffs and an impressive stage show with them to see things off in style.