The renaissance of live music continues! After a yearlong absence, Governors Ball returned to New York City in a brand-new location, with a genre-diverse lineup that had something for everyone. Since we’re still in COVID times, the fest took place in its new home at Queens’ CitiField, feeling far smaller than previous fests, but safer. (Heading to its previous location at Randall’s Island required traveling by a packed ferry—which, yeah, still crowded at the fest this year, but all outdoors.)
Governors Ball seems mostly focused on targeting “the youths,” with plenty of buzz-worthy acts that dominated charts and Twitter discourse in the past year. And in this East Coast festival’s case, many of the performers who didn’t get the headlining slot proved that they’re nonetheless strong contenders to be headlining names on the posters for years to come. These are the five acts that stood out most among a crowded roster of excellent artists.