This year’s Governors Ball Music Festival didn’t quite close out as planned on Sunday. Severe weather forecasts in the New York City area forced event organizers to delay the start of Sunday’s performances until 6:30 p.m. Just three hours after gates opened, more bad weather forced a complete cancelation and evacuation of the grounds around 9:30 p.m., causing disgruntled fans to take the sad walk back across the R.F.K. Bridge back into Manhattan.
On Monday, event organizers sent out an email addressing and somewhat defending their decisions to delay and ultimately cancel the final day on Sunday.
“First off we want to sincerely express how sorry and upset we are that the festival had to delay opening and then eventually evacuate yesterday. We work all year round on the festival, and yesterday’s chain of events was the very last thing we ever wanted to occur,” it read to start out a lengthy statement shared. The statement goes on to clarify how the festival’s production teams work closely with the NYC Parks Department, the Mayor’s Office of Citywide Special Events, and New York Police Department to make for a strong, communal effort in hopes of running the large event as smoothly as possible.”
“At 9pm, we were alerted by our weather service that two weak weather systems had formed in New Jersey, and while weak, they needed to be monitored closely in case they intensified,” the statement continued. “While on the phone with them at 9:20pm, the two systems combined to create a very strong and very severe threat. There were reported sustained winds of 50+ MPH, a very strong likelihood of thunder and lightning (including cloud to cloud lightning & cloud to ground lightning), and the threat was moving in our direction. We immediately spoke with City officials and began to implement the part of our emergency management plan that calls for evacuation.”
All Sunday ticket buyers and 3-Day ticket buyers who purchased their passes through the event will be refunded pro-rata.
The email also included plans for a Reddit AMA scheduled for today (June 4th) at 1 p.m. EST, where fans will presumably be allowed to air their grievances.
It’s wonderful that the festival organizers are taking initiatives to strengthen the community of fans which Founders Entertainment has spent nearly a decade building since launching “Gov Ball” back in 2011, and it’s a testament to their commitment to that community that they’re opening the floor for questions and grievances at all. After all, there’s nothing anyone can do about the weather, and Gov Ball has made every effort to explain the situation and accommodate the inconvenience to their fans in every way possible.
Then again, sometimes people just like to pitch a fit. It will be interesting to hear what some fans have to say about Sunday’s storm via the AMA—after the cancelation of nearly all Sunday’s performances, perhaps a little post-festival entertainment is just what the music doctor ordered. Until then, enjoy the shared social media videos below of Gov Ball attendees freaking out when the Sunday festivities were canceled.
people tp’ing trees, dragging balloon arches, literally rioting like it’s the apocalypse while chanting “refund” “repent” at Gov Ball while evacuating. vid taken before torrential rain and lightning pic.twitter.com/9E000FLgby
— Michael Eisele (@michaeIeisele) June 3, 2019
— hels ❂ (@xHelenhu) June 3, 2019
My fav performance of gov ball is the crowd of ppl who knocked down this giant fence so we could get the fuck off this island pic.twitter.com/XeqaUx0ruH
— AP (@xpetite) June 3, 2019