The disappointing Governor’s Ball Music Festival 2018 lineup came out yesterday. Considering that the headliners are the first part of the lineup that people see, these strange choices seem like a good place to start. Jack White and Eminem are big names but neither have really been that relevant this year (except for Eminem’s anti-Trump free style at the BET awards). The Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Travis Scott don’t seem like big enough names to be top bill headliners. These choices are even more baffling when considering Govball’s target demographic: high schoolers. Jack White and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs seem too old school for them.
There are definitely some crowd pleasers like Post Malone and Lil Uzi Vert but the lineup is also not that deep. The recognizable names end by the 11th line. 2 Chains took to Instagram today to lament his placement on the poster.
Considering the amazing lineup of last year (Flume, Childish Gambino, Lorde, and Chance the Rapper as headliners), this was definitely a disappointment, especially coming the day after super-festival Coachella released its lineup.
A leaked lineup had come out a few months ago, none of which was accurate and only served to raise already high expectations. Speculation that Kendrick Lamar would headline was obviously untrue, but he will definitely be on the festival circuit this summer coming off of the release of DAMN. So he may make an appearance at New York City’s other major musical festival, Panorama, put on by Golden Voice, the same promoters that put together Coachella. Panorama has grown in the past two years since its first show and will definitely be a major problem as a competitor for Govs in the future.
The less relevant headliners of this year coupled with Tool as a headliner last year might signal a change for the music festival. For the past few years, the number of teenagers attending the festival has grown. It has seemed that Governor’s Ball has just leaned into these patrons, especially considering how easy it seems to be for underage kids to get drinking bracelets. But perhaps this is Govball’s move to entice an older, more mature audience, especially because that’s the crowd that is usually at Panorama, its main competitor.
Ultimately, the lineup will probably not hurt ticket sales. People go for the overall music festival experience, regardless of the lineup. High schoolers will go for the opportunity to get day drunk regardless of who’s playing on the stage in front of them.