Governors Ball Announces New Age Policy, Other Operational Changes

Courtesy of Founders Entertainment
– Governors Ball
New York festival Governors Ball returns in June 2020 with several operational updates.

New York City music festival Governors Ball announced several operational changes on Monday for its 10th annual event, scheduled to be held at longstanding venue Randall’s Island Park from June 5-7, 2020.

Chief among them: a new age policy requiring persons under 18 years of age to attend with an adult 21 years of age or older. Any adult attending Governors Ball may accompany up to two attendees who are age 17 or younger.

With the new rule, Governors Ball becomes the latest festival to shape its fan experience by implementing age restrictions. Alabama’s Hangout Music Festival has a similar policy – adults welcome, minors needing adult accompaniment – while electronic music festivals including Miami’s Ultra and the Chicago area Spring Awakening are adults-only, without an accompaniment stipulation for minors.

Founders Entertainment, the promoter behind Governors Ball, also shared festival site updates. Come 2020, the festival grounds will features additional water refill stations, increased and easier-to-find trash and recycling receptacles and new sustainability initiatives.

Governors Ball has also revamped its VIP program for 2020, promising air-conditioned and flushable bathrooms, private Wi-Fi networks at two of four VIP viewing areas, a fast lane for ferry docks and shuttles, free shipping and free water. The festival will now offer VIP Luxe, which “combines the incredible perks of regular VIP with the comfort, style and exclusivity of a luxury suite experience,” according to a press release.

“Nothing is more important to us than the quality of the festival experience, and the changes we are implementing this year come directly from fan feedback and conversation,” wrote Governors Ball founders and Founders Entertainment executives Tom Russell and Jordan Wolowitz in a statement. “We are always listening, always evolving and always trying to give our fans and our city the best festival they could ask for.”

The announcement follows a fraught year for the festival. Severe weather delayed the festival’s third day (June 2) from opening until 6:30 p.m.; after about three hours, inclement weather forced an evacuation.

The Founders team fielded complaints via social media, including a Reddit AMA, and learned that many thought the messaging around the weather and subsequent evacuation could’ve been handled more effectively. The dialogue with patrons also illuminated some of the festival’s other operational deficiencies.

“We’re not going anywhere,” Russell told Pollstar in June. “We’re going to be putting on this festival when we’re senior citizens and we have a sponsorship with AARP. We’re in this for the long run, and we’re going to bob and weave with what Mother Nature has.”

Governors Ball promises holiday pre-sale information and lineup clues in the coming weeks.