By Mia Daignault ’20
You have to be a specific type of person to enjoy mud, garbage covering the entire ground and people falling every which way. Until I actually experienced it, it didn’t seem like a major issue. This being my second year attending Gov Ball, I’ve experienced the trauma at its finest: people screaming in my ears so that I can barely hear the performer; sweaty audience members shoulder to shoulder; people literally stumbling and pushing me over and worst of all, the number of brawls that take place.
There is no way to tell when a fight is about to take place. Even waiting in line for food is a hotspot. As I stood in line, out of the corner of my eye all I could see was bickering. Two girls were screaming at each other because the one wouldn’t get out of their way. The next thing you know, they are at my feet pouring beer on one another’s heads, punching each other in the face and ripping each other’s hair out. Keep in mind I wasn’t watching from a distance. It was all happening right in front of me. What was I supposed to do? I stood there, ready to dash off, but there was no way to leave with the immense crowds surrounding me.
That entire day I felt at risk. Minute after minute another paramedic was coming to save a person from severe injury, whether it was a heat stroke or a fight or a fall, and I found they were unavoidable in such rowdy crowds.
My goal of the entire day was the enjoy the music, eat the raved-about food and dance with my friends. This year, I accomplished it –– even with said obstacles. Things didn’t go as well for the anonymous sophomore girl last weekend, who said “ I was at the festival holding my bag in front of me, when I got pushed into a mosh pit. I let go of the bag for a second and felt tugging on my back. The next thing I know the bag is unzipped and my wallet is gone. I went to go report it and it turns out that this happened to two other people earlier that day.” This is a prevalent issue at music festivals and it totally ruins the atmosphere that is often associated with festivals.
Last year I had a similar experience. I was in a mosh pit with a bunch of my friends jamming to Chance the Rapper and the next thing I know, $200 had been stolen, along with a credit card. These crowds were absolutely insane. Don’t get me wrong, I had a great time, but I had higher expectations for such a trendy festival.
Although there are many needed improvements, I strongly believe that Governors Ball is a great experience when you just focus on having fun. This being said, the mess of crowds and foolishness that takes place can overtake any enjoyment. Gov Ball should work to expand the space to accommodate the innumerable crowds –– after all, if thousands are spending hundreds of dollars to attend this concert, next year it must exceed my expectations to further ease my hesitance.
Photo by Grace Lampugnale ’20