By Jamie Rothenberg and Sami Lambert
New York City is back, BABY! We headed to Citi Field to take in the Governors Ball music festival to film our TikTok series Inked on the Street. While we were there chatting with both musicians and fans about their tattoos, we also had the chance to take in a ton of amazing performances and enjoy the feeling of normalcy we experienced being back at a festival for the first time in… God knows how long it’s been.
Seeing Billie Eilish, Post Malone, A$AP Rocky, Megan the Stallion and Kehlani perform in front of huge crowds filled our souls and almost made us forget everything we’d been through in this insane year.
Swank from 99 Neighbors took off his pants and told us about the tattoos he gave to himself, Bartees Strange regaled us with the tale of a fan who got his song lyrics inked on her pussy and we shared drinks with the men from EarthGang.
On stage, Orville Peck sang sad cowboy songs and even gave a rendition of Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way.” Rufus De Sol’s set on Friday night was an epic dance party filled with lights and smoke to match. It was a tough act to follow, but Billie Eilish was up to the challenge as we screamed out “Cause I'd never treat me this shitty / YOU MAKE ME HATE THIS CITY!” with angsty teens.
Saturday’s collection of artists really took us by storm. Muna brought out Phoebe Bridgers for their viral collab song, “Pink Chiffon.” King Princess addressed the audience with her own Gov Ball experience, saying she attended the festival every year in high school “blackout drunk.” Her set included the live debut of her song, “Holy.”
We shook our asses to Megan thee Stallion’s “WAP”, ate six plates of fries and saw some contestants from “The Bachelor” in Jim Beam’s Freeloaders Lounge. Our cover star himself, J Balvin, concluded his performance with a firework show like none we’ve ever seen before. After being introduced by the governor herself, Kathy Hochul, A$AP Rocky brought the night to a close with a fantastic set.
We’re not 18 any longer, so we didn’t know if we would thrive on Sunday, but the performers on Day Three gave us LIFE. The afternoon started with a Princess Nokia set where she flashed both her titties and ass during her knockout performance. “Cheer every time you see my titties!” she yelled to the crowd. Caroline Polachek performed her new single “Bunny Is a Rider” as well as two new unreleased songs that are certain to become some of our future favorites. Our surprising favorite set of the day? The DJ duo Duck Sauce bopped their heads on stage alongside a giant inflatable duck as we got trapped in a mosh pit with 13-year-old boys.
Later in the day we asked BJ the Chicago Kid what it was like to see fans with his lyrics tattooed on them: “I was blown away. I was like damn that’s tight, cause it’s on you for life.” Sunday night concluded with a short set by 21 Savage and an even shorter set by Young Thug, but the biggest star of the night was our past cover star, Post Malone, who giggled and danced around stage, quickly warning the audience that he couldn’t sing without autotune, clearly having the time of his life nonetheless.
In addition to this recap featuring photos by Kevin Wilson, check our TikTok channel all week for all of our interviews from Governors Ball.