Organizers of Governors Ball 2023 have confirmed that the festival will go ahead as planned, despite the unhealthy air quality in New York.
This year’s edition will take place this weekend (June 9-11) at its new venue, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, in Queens, with Kendrick Lamar, Lizzo and Odesza headlining.
However, the future of the 2023 festival has been called into question following the air quality crisis the city is suffering. Because of more than 400 active wildfires in Canada, large amounts of smoke have spread across several northeastern states, and New York Mayor Eric Adams called the air quality “very unhealthy” (via New York Times).
As of yesterday (June 7), CBS was reporting that smog conditions made the city some of the worst air polluted in the world, and residents were urged to limit their outdoor exposure until the smog cleared.
Despite the conditions, Governors Ball organizers have confirmed that the three-day festival will go ahead as planned.
“We are closely monitoring the air quality with meteorological experts and are in close contact with the municipal authorities,” read a statement from the festival shared on Twitter. “The festival is currently going ahead as planned. We are hopeful that conditions will improve in the coming days and we are looking forward to a great weekend!”
In addition to the aforementioned headliners, Lil Nas X, Haim, Rina Sawayama, and PinkPantheress will also be in attendance. Also on the 2023 line-up are Lil Uzi Vert, Diplo, Giveon, Lil Baby, Pusha T and Black Midi.
Although the Governors Ball will take place as usual, other live shows in the city have been disrupted due to the weather. For example, the BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn festival opened in Prospect Park yesterday! in Prospect Park, which was scheduled to feature Corinne Bailey Rae, Taj Mahal and other artists.
The Jessica Lea Mayfield Show at Brooklyn Made was also postponed, as was Dende’s concert at the Sultan Hall.
If conditions worsened in New York and the festival was halted, this would be one of the many times that external circumstances would affect Governors Day. Back in 2019, the festival – then held at Randall’s Island Park – was evacuated on the last night due to thunderstorms. Similarly, the following year the 2020 edition was canceled due to the global pandemic.
The 2022 edition, however, received a four-star review from NME, who described the three-day event as “upbeat energy throughout the festival weekend”.
“Young music fans are here with their friends, shoulder to shoulder, enjoying every moment,” he read. “Despite last-minute line changes, threats of bad weather and even train closures on the way to the festival, the Governors Ball-goers are resilient. They don’t care about frills. They’ve come for the music.”