Sixty-six acts and tens of thousands of concert goers will descend on New York City this weekend for the fifth installment of Governor’s Ball. While the Randall’s Island grounds are pretty contained, you’ll still want to go in with a plan. Here are EW’s must-see acts for the weekend.
Rae Sremmurd: Still out supporting their fabulously foul-mouthed debut, SremmLife, Slim Jimmy and Swae Lee are two of the most charismatic performers you’ll find this weekend. (Bonus: You’ve been shouting “Bad bitches is the only thing that I like” at the top of your lungs in club since it came out, you might as well do it along with the dudes who wrote it.)
St. Vincent: St. Vincent had (arguably to some, but with no reservation at EW) the best album of 2014. And the only thing better than her self-titled album is her performing her self-titled album. Soak. It. Up.
Drake: Are you going to Bonnaroo? If so, you’re going to see My Morning Jacket in a place that might as well have been built for My Morning Jacket. You’re in New York City and Drake is headlining. Go to Drake.
Marina and the Diamonds: In support of her third, acclaimed album, Froot (read the EW review!), Marina has been working stages covered in glitter, enormous cherry hats, and a sort of delight unique to the Welsh chanteuse and her legions of loyal fans.
Future Islands: Have you seen Sam’s dance moves? You need to see frontman Sam Herring’s dance moves.
Björk: When Gov Ball announced their lineup many months ago, a collective “Björk is back!” rang through the internet. Some of the novelty has since worn off—her album, Vulnicura, released, her MoMa retrospective happened, her show at Carnegie Hall and subsequent shows around New York City came and went—but the beauty of our Icelandic singer (aside from just being beautiful) is in her presence. It will be interesting to see how such a deeply personal, and overwhelmingly sad album will work at a festival, but it should definitely been seen.
DeadMau5: Let’s party! The Canadian producer is unveiling a new set design and lighting show this weekend (he teased it on Instagam this week) so lace up your dancing shoes. (Bonus: He will also be playing Gov Ball After Dark at Verboten, in Brooklyn later Saturday night!)
Sturgill Simpson: Come on in, the water’s fine. Sunday will start feeling real nice after a song or two from Simpson.
Tame Impala: Kevin Parker’s psych-rock outfit had a rare opportunity at Coachella, playing right before AC/DC’s Friday night headlining slot. The crowd was lightning in a bottle, in every not-literal-sense of the phrase (though depending on how hard people were “festivaling” they might not realize this). And the group didn’t squander it. Sunday in New York, adjacent to The War on Drugs and before Noel Gallagher, might not be the same energy, but in case it does, you’ll want to be front and center.
The War on Drugs: There are some bands that just don’t make sense until you see them live. You know they’re good, you know their album is good but until you stand and watch them testify in person, you won’t “get it.” Welcome to The War on Drugs, the band that blew everyone’s minds at Coachella.
Big Gigantic: You know what’s fun about Big Gigantic? Literally everything. Get into the mix, jump around, go crazy, and enjoy that saxophone. (Bonus: Big Gigantic is playing the Gov Ball After Dark party later Sunday night at Brooklyn Bowl!)
Flying Lotus: FlyLo (born Steven Ellison) has been working an insane set design for his tour in support of You’re Dead!, No .6 on EW’s list of 2014’s 10 Best Albums. While there’s no way to know if he’ll bring the full thing (a giant, glowing canvas hypercube) with him this weekend, he’ll certainly bring something worth seeing.
Black Keys vs. Lana Del Rey: If Lana Del Rey is your favorite singer, go to her, but only if she is your favorite singer. Standing with the masses at the closing set of a festival in New York City where the ground will vibrate and Dan Auerbach will most likely throw down a scorcher—that’s where you want to be.
And for anyone who can’t be there, SiriusXM will broadcast the entire festival across multiple channels. Broadcast times can be found here.