Governors Ball Announces September 2021 Dates
By Eric Renner Brown
New York City festival Governors Ball announced Wednesday that it will stage its annual event Sept. 24-26, 2021.
"We’ve decided to move the 2021 show to a time of year that is both more realistic and safer for all," the festival, which usually takes place in early June, wrote in an email message to fans. "And while there are still question marks and unknowns in the world, rest assured that we are working closely with city and state authorities to ensure that the next Gov Ball will be a safe and amazing experience. We'll be back to our regular June dates starting in 2022."
The event joins a growing number of American festivals that have announced 2021 events. Some, like San Francisco's Outside Lands (Aug. 6-8) and Chicago's Riot Fest (Sept. 17-19), are scheduled to take place around their usual dates and have already announced lineups. (Tame Impala, Lizzo, The Strokes, Tyler, the Creator, Vampire Weekend and J Balvin are booked to headline the former, while My Chemical Romance, The Smashing Pumpkins, Run The Jewels and Pixies are slated for the latter.)
Others, like Bonnaroo (Sept. 2-5), will occupy a different part of the calendar year than normal. Like Bonnaroo, Governors Ball has yet to announce a lineup for its 2021 event.
"Given that vaccines are rolling out and many experts predict a return to live music events in the fall, we are hopeful," an FAQ on Governors Ball's site reads. "We’re booking an amazing lineup and making sure all suggested safety protocols are followed."
The FAQ further explains that a 2021 lineup will be announced in the coming months, refunds will be provided should it fail to take place and that while precautionary COVID-related health measures are "a bit of a moving target right now," they are being researched by the Governors Ball team.
On Jan. 9, Dr. Anthony Fauci, one of the leading members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, told the Association of Performing Arts Professionals conference that venues may be able to reopen by the dates Governors Ball has now announced.
"If everything goes right, this is will occur some time in the fall of 2021, so that by the time we get to the early to mid-fall, you can have people feeling safe performing onstage as well as people in the audience," he said.
Prior to the pandemic, Governors Ball was set to celebrate its 10th anniversary in June 2020 with a lineup topped by Tame Impala, Missy Elliott, Flume, Vampire Weekend, Stevie Nicks, Solange and Miley Cyrus. Rather than postponing the event, Governors Ball canceled its 2020 iteration outright, when it failed "to find a postponement date that works for all parties involved."
Before announcing the 2020 lineup, Governors Ball had announced several operational changes in November 2019, including new age restrictions and a revamped VIP program.
Fans who held onto tickets from the canceled 2020 event may request refunds until Jan. 27 at 11:59:59 p.m. ET.
Governors Ball's history is marked by adversity. The third day of the festival's 2019 iteration was evacuated due to inclement weather – just the most recent of several meteorological happenings that have disrupted the festival over its history.
"We’re not going anywhere,” Governors Ball founder and Founders Entertainment executive Tom Russell told Pollstar afterward. "We’re going to be putting on this festival when we’re senior citizens and we have a sponsorship with AARP. We’re in this for the long run, and we’re going to bob and weave with what Mother Nature has."
For more information about Governors Ball's 2021 event, visit the festival's website.