Which summer festival should get your hard-earned cash: Governors Ball or Panorama?

Randalls Island welcomes two music festivals this year, but which one should win your heart (and your money)? via Facebook
Randalls Island welcomes two music festivals this year, but which one should win your heart (and your money)? via Facebook

Well you did it, you survived until March, which means you’re one month closer to summer. And being one month closer to summer means you’re one month closer to not one, but now TWO giant music festivals happening on Randall’s Island. In one corner, we’ve got the old standby, Governors Ball, taking place from June 3 to June 5 and featuring a bunch of acts you’ve heard of like Kanye West, The Strokes and Robyn, and others you haven’t. In the opposite corner, we’ve got brash newcomer Panorama, taking place from July 22 to July 24, also featuring a bunch of bands you’ve heard of like LCD Soundsystem, A$AP Rocky and Sia, and others you haven’t. Odds are you can only afford one of these three day festivals, so let’s get a tale of the tape and see which one will be worth the money you made blogging about things being problematic or whatever.


Governors Ball: Three-day pass: $305 GA, $700 VIP, $2,000 Super VIP
Single day: $105 GA, $240 single day VIP

Panorama: Three-day pass: $369 (nice) GA, $769 (also nice) VIP; no single-day passes

While the three-day ticket price difference is negligible (Governors Ball comes with $40 worth of fees but Panorama has no additional fees), Governors Ball has a big advantage in that if you only want to go to one day of the festival, you can do that. For Panorama, your choice is three days or no days. So if you’re just a Run the Jewels or Alabama Shakes superfan, you’ll have to also suffer through two other days of music to see them. Which doesn’t sound so bad. Your Panorama ticket also comes with free admission to the Queens Museum, which normally runs you $8, or in usual music festival costs, the price of asking how much a bottle of water is.

Winner: Panorama. It is a bit more expensive and the whole point of this here blog is supposed to be budget living we guess, but free museum admission is pretty nice, as is the total lack of fees driving up the price, which the site for tickets (on sale tomorrow) proudly advertises.


Governors Ball: 66 (but the lineup contains The Strokes AND Albert Hammond, Jr. who’s also in The Strokes, so feel free to call this 65 acts)

Panorama: 61 (although one of these is a Mike D DJ set, so feel free to call this 60 acts)

Going by three-day general admission tickets, that comes out to $5.23 per act at Governors Ball and $6.05 per act at Panorama. Of course that being said, it’s not like you’ll wind up seeing more than five or six acts in a day, unless you activate your mutant gene that allows you to create duplicates of yourself, like Multiple Man.

Winner: That being said, maybe you will be able to clone yourself. Also, obviously a few more acts means a couple more chances to see bands you’ve never heard of before and find a new favorite before they’re one day headlining a festival like this and you have to watch them through a telescope. Governors Ball wins this one.


Killer Mike will be off the campaign trail and ready to rock. via Facebook
Killer Mike will be off the campaign trail and ready to rock. via Facebook


Governors Ball: The Strokes, The Killers and Kanye West headline the three days, respectively. Supporting acts of note include Beck, Robyn, Jamie XX, Bully, Action Bronson, M83, Mac Miller, Against Me!, De La Soul, Chvrches and Joey Bada$$.

Panorama: The Arcade Fire, Kendrick Lamar and LCD Soundsystem headline each day, respectively. Supporting acts of note include Alabama Shakes, Major Lazer, FKA Twigs, Broken Social Scene, DJ Khaled, Madlib, The National Sufjan Stevens, The Julie Ruin, Sia, A$AP Rocky, Run the Jewels, Kurt Vile and Flatbush Zombies.

Both festivals are full of acts you’d be willing to see headline on their own. Governors Ball gets points for Beck, who doesn’t come around too often, and for Kanye West, both because he makes good music and because if he has some weird technical difficulties meltdown you’ll have a chance to see your good tweets about it featured on some music blog somewhere. On the other hand, they also booked Haim and we’ve made our thoughts known about Haim.

Panorama isn’t slouching either, bursting out of the gate with a chance to see Grammy #disrupter Kendrick Lamar, as well as giving you your first chance to see LCD Soundsystem play a New York show since their return and irritate your fellow concert standers by talking loudly about how saw them at The Garden and this is all right but obviously not as good. There’s also never a bad time to see Run the Jewels, and with RTJ3 coming closer to a reality every day, you might get a first shot to hear a new banger.

Winner: Panorama, for the chance to hear new Run the Jewels and the social capital by being the friend in your group who saw the most authentic LCD Soundsystem since their last one here.


So, given that both festivals are in the same place and cost about the same amount of money for all three days, it’s a tough call to say which one comes out on top in this scenario. Panorama is new and shiny and will want to impress you with everything running smoothly, but the biggest obstacle to making them the clear winner is the lack of single day ticketing options.

But if you’re in for all three days, we declare Panorama the winner by a judge’s decision. Either way you go, you’ll be angering the vengeful ghost of Robert Moses, which haunts Randall’s Island to this day, so rest assured you’re the real winner here.


You could see it live! Maybe! We hope! via WWE
You could see it live! Maybe! We hope! via WWE


Obviously a music festival is fun and the chance to do a bunch of a drugs in an inaccessible field only comes along once in a while, or as often as you’re willing to go to Governors Island and take acid. This will probably be your one big entertainment purchase of the summer, so just remember that NXT, SummerSlam and Monday Night RAW are all happening at the Barclays Center again this year, and that last year’s Brooklyn WWE weekend featured a Match of the Year pick, a Jon Stewart heel turn AND a Jon Stewart ass kicking. SummerSlam weekend is probably gonna be great, so it’s just something to keep in mind. Who knows, there might be a Dean Ambrose/Kevin Owens world championship match. Ticket prices have not been announced yet but they won’t involve taking a ferry ride to a mini NYC Coachella, that’s for sure.

Follow Dave at @Davecoion for more music opinions and WWE thoughts.

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