GovBall 2022 pics & recap: J. Cole, Halsey, Kid Cudi, Jack Harlow, Jazmine Sullivan, Flume & more
This past weekend, Citi Field vibrated with the noise of NYC music festival Governors Ball. This was the fest's second consecutive year in the parking lot of the Queens ball park, following a lengthy run on Randall's Island and its inaugural year on Governors Island (which it's named after). It once again took place in June, after last year's COVID-delayed edition pushed the festival to September, and it was thankfully a rain-free weekend. Overcast skies kept even the densest crowds from getting too hot, and packets of water were tossed around in the wait before big sets.
On Friday night, headliner Kid Cudi played what he called "the classic shit," a fantastically psychedelic set that closed with "Memories" and "Pursuit of Happiness." It wasn't all oldies though; according to Setlist.fm, this was Cudi's first time playing the 2020 single by The Scotts, Cudi's collaborative project with Travis Scott. He also brought out Chip Tha Ripper (aka King Chip) for their song "Just What I Am." Shortly before Cudi's set, Jack Harlow played accompanied by DJ Drama for the whole of his packed Friday evening set. (And he just announced that he'll be back in NYC to headline Barclays Center in March.) Also on Friday, Harlem native A$AP Ferg filled in for Lil Wayne (who himself was supposed to be a last-minute replacement for Migos), but even hitting the fest on such short notice, his set energized the hometown crowd all the same. Friday also had hip hop representation from Skepta, JPEGMAFIA (who did his cover of Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe" and his BROCKHAMPTON collab "Chain On"), Channel Tres, and Coi Leray, plus sets from beabadoobee, Samia, and more.
Halsey headlined on Saturday, and as we previously mentioned, she covered the song of the moment, Kate Bush's "Running Up that Hill." While she was on, Flume rivaled her with his own incredible set. He didn't bring out any major guests like he did at Coachella, but he did bring out guest vocalists Kai and Laurel who were used to very good effect. Roddy Ricch was supposed to play, but was arrested for gun possession while entering the festival. (He since had the charges dropped, and announced a tour supporting Post Malone.) Also on Saturday: sets from Denzel Curry, YG, Diesel (aka Shaq), Ashnikko, Joji, Tove Lo, Dehd, and more.
Sunday headliner J. Cole brought out Atlanta rappers JID and Kenny Mason to perform "Stick," for which JID (who also played his own set that day) requested (safe) mosh pits in the crowd. For the latter part of his set, Cole was up against fellow rap star Playboi Carti, who helped close out the festival with an hour of buzzy, eye-catching trap that had fans standing on food trucks and other makeshift pedestals to catch a glimpse. Earlier in the day, Jazmine Sullivan won over crowds with her blissful R&B/soul, Kaytranada got people moving, and 100 gecs were as nuts as ever. Sunday was also heavy on modern indie greats, with Japanese Breakfast, Clairo, and Soccer Mommy.
More GovBall photos by Stephen Han and more fan-shot videos below...