Thursday, June 13, 2013

A Brief, Mostly Accurate Timeline Of My First Day At Governor's Ball

(NOTE: I obviously went to the bathroom multiple times throughout this music festival. However, they are not experiences I would like to relive in writing or through any other medium, so I have left them out for everyone’s benefit.)

2:30 pm: In spite of the steady stream of rain falling outside, my spirits are high as I prepare to make the sojourn to Randall’s Island. This may be because I am with some of my best friends. It may be because I am drinking a Red Bull/vodka for the first time in years. The point is, regardless of the reason, I am excited, as evidenced by my racing heart. Although I guess that may just be because of the Red Bull/vodka.

3:30 pm: We leave the safe confines of my friend’s apartment and begin trekking to Governor’s Ball in the rain. Spirits are still high, as I have made sure to prepare for the weather by wearing athletic shorts, a New Balance t-shirt, an old pair of running shoes, and my trusty green jacket, fast approaching its ten-year anniversary. The outfit is virtually impenetrable to water. I may as well be walking around in a giant, heated bubble.

3:35 pm: I make several loud, hilarious, loud jokes on the subway that everyone loves. Multiple agents approach me as I exit the car with offers for lucrative television deals, but my focus remains on the festival.

3:45 pm: We exit the dry safety of the subway to make the rest of our unholy pilgrimage on foot. The pathway to the island is pockmarked by a makeshift trail of empty discarded bottles left by our forefathers that extends from the beginning of the Robert Fitzgerald Kennedy Bridge all the way to the festival’s entranceway. Containers range from beer cans that once contained alcohol to bottles of orange juice that also probably definitely once contained alcohol.

Legend has it both flora and fauna were plentiful
on Randall's Island before the white man arrived. 
4:00 pm: I can hear the dulcet tones of Best Coast as we approach the actual stages. They are probably playing a song about how California is nice, as that seems to be the main theme of every band, person, and burrito that has come out of California since 1850. Unfortunately, their songs about beautiful weather fail to change the fact that Randall’s Island already looks like it has been getting rained on for approximately six presidential administrations. However, I am still not worried due to my wise choice of clothing.

4:30 pm: I begin to notice that, despite having taken the precaution of wearing a jacket, I am still becoming wet. This is true even after I put the hood up. Something is not right.

4:40 pm: We and several other mud-spattered refugees approach the tent of a gracious, benevolent company that has decided to give out free ponchos. I gratefully adorn their garment, secure in the knowledge that it is scientifically impossible for someone wearing two jackets to get rained on. The fact that I cannot remember the name of this company should in no way diminish my gratitude. The word “tea” appeared in their name somewhere, so everyone just go out and buy a bunch of tea.

4:45 pm: We wade toward the Governors Ball NYC stage and begin to watch our first actual concert, Of Monsters And Men. Unfortunately, they do not opt to play “Little Talks” over and over again as I had wished, but their set is still lively and entertaining enough to momentarily distract me from the fact that a small colony of mushrooms has started to sprout on my back.

5:45 pm: Of Monsters And Men stop playing. We decide to get beer before heading to Local Natives at the You’re Doing Great stage. As we trudge through seven feet of mud and rainwater, I begin to realize that wearing shoes with holes in them may not have been the best way to prevent my feet from become wet and gangrenous. I curse myself for letting down Lieutenant Dan as water, earth and E. coli completely overtake what were once a fairly passable pair of shoes and socks.

6:00 pm: I purchase and open a comically oversized can of Foster’s, Australian for "beer that I never saw anyone drinking when I was actually in Australia." It soon becomes difficult to tell whether I am drinking alcohol or rainwater, but I finish the can anyway, showing the kind of dedication and commitment I have become famous for.

6:15 pm: We begin to actually watch Local Natives, in the sense that they are playing on a stage, and we are standing kind of close to that stage. However, I soon become much more preoccupied with explaining to a group of British people why what I just said was funny and the flash flood warnings that have started to show up on my friend’s phone. Nevertheless, we decide to stay, as there is nothing better in this life than being young and carefree and outside and listening to music and ok, I’m actually getting really wet and cold, are you guys?

6:35 pm: It stops raining for approximately one minute. It is a very nice minute.

6:45 pm: We doggy paddle back to the Governor’s Ball NYC stage to see Feist perform “1234” and other songs that are not “1234.” I soon discover that no one except me finds it amusing when I mispronounce her name as “Feast” on purpose. This does not stop me from doing it many times.

7:00 pm: Feast performs approximately 1.5 songs, neither of which are “1234,” before leaving the stage for safety issues or some bullshit like that. I am rather upset, as is the small but productive colony of minnows that have recently set up home in my left sock.

7:10 pm: Did you know that one can actually enjoy music inside as well?

7:15 pm: We swim over to the Skyy Vodka tent and set up camp in a small riverbed to await Erykah Badu & The Cannabinoids. I do not know what a Cannabinoid is, but I hope they have the ability to control the weather.

8:00 pm: Erykah Badu begins playing. I’m pretty sure I am getting wetter even though I am under a tent. Rumor has it that the only one who can conquer this rain is an African-American demigod named Yeezus, but he is not due to arrive until Sunday.

9:30 pm: Erykah Badu stops playing. My body is now completely saturated. We debate whether or not to stay for Kings of Leon and Pretty Lights, in a battle that pits the part of my personality that is young and fun against the part of my personality that dislikes pneumonia. The bands ultimately make this decision easier for us by canceling.

9:45 pm: We don our scuba gear and begin trekking back to the 125th Street subway station. I glance forlornly back at Randall’s Island as we approach the bridge, certain that nothing will ever grow on this lifeless rock again.

10:00 pm: It continues to rain.

11:00 pm: We arrive back at my friend’s apartment. We attempt to burn our clothes, but they are too wet and ultimately end up overtaking the fire. The minnows are very angry with me.

11:30 pm: I realize I have not eaten anything in approximately 12 hours. I believe this is because I came down with a condition known as “being too wet to experience hunger.” (This may not sound real, but you can trust me. I have friends in medical school.)

12:30 am: We spend a classic “New York” night out eating pizza and watching reruns of old sitcoms inside a small apartment. There is honestly nothing else I would rather be doing.

1:30 am: Bedtime. Gotta go back tomorrow because that's what heroes do

Other observations:
  • One of the lines on Kanye’s upcoming album is “I just talked to Jesus/He said, “What up, Yeezus?” I am awaiting final results of the study, but I believe this is the greatest rap lyric in music history.
  •  I have no idea if I enjoyed the Guns N' Roses show earnestly or ironically, and I don’t think I ever will, and I’m totally ok with that.
  • The fact that there were phone-charging stations at this festival represents everything I hate about my generation. Having said that, I was terrified when I dropped my phone on Saturday, so I’m certainly not trying to put myself above anyone.
  • Silent Discos are really weird.
  • See you next year. Probably.

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