The Governors Ball Music Festival is annually the most anticipated part of summer in New York City. Complete with a wide array of food options (think Smorgasburg to the max), GovBall is a foodie’s dream. But of course we cannot forget about the main attraction: the music. Though the lineup is littered with those big name acts like Chance the Rapper, Flume, and Childish Gambino, you may not recognize some of the smaller bands. Here are seven acts you might want to skip over, but simply cannot miss at this year's Gov Ball on Randall's Island.


ARIZONA made my spring playlist this year, and it's a blessing to see them on this lineup. These guys are always a fun time and if you’re lucky, you still might be able to catch them on tour with COIN this spring. They make the quintessential indie electronic music that you’d love to dance to with your friends on a summer afternoon in the city.

Mondo Cozmo

Start with “Shine,” and see where your addiction goes from there.

Saint Motel

I was lucky enough to catch these guys at Villanova when they played our Spring Concert last weekend and they are a really good time. Drag your friends along to see them, even if they don’t know the music. You’ll have fun jumping around and dancing to their upbeat songs, and more people should know about them anyway.

Car Seat Headrest

I came across this duo last summer on SiriusXM U and fell in love with “Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales.” This prompted me to track them down at Philly’s Made In America festival over Labor Day weekend in 2016, and it would be a crime to miss them at GovBall this year.

Judah and the Lion

You may have heard their hit song “Take It All Back” circling radio stations over the past few months. These guys also opened for Twenty One Pilots on their most recent tour, so they’re finally starting to get the recognition they deserve.

The Head and the Heart

This is the band you definitely know, but you just don’t know that you know them. Songs like “Rivers and Roads” litter solemn TV show scenes and “All We Ever Knew” is still making rounds on radio stations.

Local Natives

Local Natives are far from “underground” at this point in their career, but obviously should not be missed. 2013’s Hummingbird is a classic album but you’ll catch songs off their most recent release Sunlit Youth, dropped in September 2016.