Posted in music on June 6, 2013
Governors Ball 2012 (more by Amanda Hatfield)
It's rare that a NYC music festival pulls it off, but Governors Ball may do just that this weekend (6/7-9) on Randall's Island (NOT Governors Island). The fest, already basically sold out (I say "basically" because it went back on sale last minute), will feature headlining sets from Kings of Leon, Guns N Roses (who also play Brooklyn Bowl first), and Kanye West, and the rest of the lineup is pretty impressive too (check out our Spotify playlist.) The weather for this weekend isn't looking so hot, but what I'm more concerned about is what is the best way to actually get there.
Events that take place on foreign lands like Governors Island and Randall's Island (this one is on Randall's Island, but is named after Governors Island, where it took place its first year) always present a challenge in terms of transportation. Driving wouldn't be such a bad idea (three-day parking passes are sold out, but single day passes are still available), but it'd be nice to take a more environmentally friendly route (and I don't have a car). So as a New Yorker who loves convenience, and loves to complain, I'm trying to figure out which mode of public transportation is going to cause the least amount of headaches.
Obviously the most environmentally friendly way is walking/bicycling, which you can do across the 103rd St. Footbridge, which re-opened in June 2012. You can easily get there from the 4/6 trains or the M15 bus, and it's about a 20 minute walk across (857 feet). You can also walk across the RFK bridge from Manhattan, the Bronx, or Queens. More info on both of those routes is at Randall's Island's website.
On a normal day, going to Randall's Island is probably pretty easy by taking the M35 bus which runs there from the NW corner of 125th St. and Lexington Ave. Though for this weekend, being that it's Governors Ball, you would instead take the X80 Special Events bus, which leaves from the same location and has an increased fare of $10. Transfer is available from the Lexington Avenue 4, 5, or 6 trains at 125th Street. But that might end up getting really crowded during a music festival - not to mention it's out of the way for many, which is why Governors Ball is also providing other (more expensive) ways of transportation for festival-goers.
One option they provide is taking the Manhattan Ferry, which departs from and returns to 34th St. and FDR Drive. The ferries run continuously throughout the day. If you're not walking distance, your best bet might be to get to the ferry terminal by bus. 3-day passes ($50) and single-day passes ($20) for roundtrip ferry tickets are available.
UPDATE: Maybe not that surprisingly,reports from rainy day one say the ferry and shuttle were long line disasters.
Another, slightly more expensive (but maybe more convenient?) option is the Brooklyn Shuttle, which leaves from Williamsburg venue Brooklyn Bowl. The best way to get Brooklyn Bowl if you don't live close enough to walk is probably the L or G trains. 3-day passes ($60) and single-day passes ($25) for the the shuttle are also available.
What do you think works the best? What's worked best for you in the past? Let's discuss.