Neither a drop of rain nor a cloud of wildfire smoke could keep more than 100,000 fans from flocking to the Governors Ball Music Festival over the weekend at Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens.
Waves of revelers, festooned in rose-colored tutus, elaborately designed fishnets and oversize cowboy hats, filed into the event held this past Friday, Saturday and Sunday. They thrashed to Odesza and Diplo; bounced to Lizzo and Kendrick Lamar; and swayed to Haim and Omar Apollo across three different stages in the green fields encircling the iconic Unisphere, the 140-foot-tall ball fit for … a ball.
On the first day of the festival — enveloped by a gray haze, either from the Canadian wildfire smoke, the pyrotechnics, the cigarettes or some combination of all three — music lovers, in between vape hits and beer sips, discussed their outfit inspirations and favorite performances.
Lives in: New York City
How long have you lived in the city? I’ve only lived here for eight months. I’m originally from Charlottesville, Va.
What made you decide to move here? I wanted to make video games, and I feel like New York is such a hub for media. I want to make games for change, like for example, ones that teach you about the environment, or just bloodshed. It depends.
Your outfit is giving more romance than bloodshed. Are you currently in love? I am, but he doesn’t know that yet!
Lives in: Westchester, N.Y.
Let me guess, is pink your favorite color? Yes, I’ve always loved pink since I was a child, so I always try to incorporate it into my outfit.
Lives in: Ridgewood, Queens
What was your idea behind the safety pins? I was going for more like a dark anime moment, but then I started going crazy with the safety pins and then it turned into this.
What kind of anime character? One with a skirt.
Cody McNeeley, 30
Lives in: Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Talk to me about your outfit. I decided I was going to do a skirt day, so I found this little denim one and this random cow shirt from Buffalo Exchange, and I said, “I could be a country bumpkin!” The boots I already had and the hat I stole from when I used to work for this little mouse in Florida.
By little mouse in Florida, do you mean Disney? Yes, and you can tell them I said that!
Stassia Smith, 28, and Gabriella Johnson, 26
OnlyFans creator and Model
Lives in: New York City and Las Vegas
How did you coordinate the outfits?
S.S.: So I had this Skims dress, and I taught her about Skims. And now look at her. What does she have on? Skims.
Was the matching blond hair intentional too?
S.S.: No, she copied off me with the blond.
G.J.: Yeah, no, as you can tell, I’m the fashion one!
Lives in: Denver
Who is Miss Zarah Misdeameanor? She is a lovable, kind, relatable drag entertainer. When I get on the stage, I’m here to provide joy for my queer brothers, sisters and siblings.
Walk me through your outfit today. I’m wearing a smiley-face shirt because I’m all about smiles and happiness, like that’s what I represent. My boots and hat are from Akira, but I wish I didn’t say that, because that’s like my drag secret.
Is Akira another drag queen? She’s not a drag entertainer; she’s a full-on store in Chicago. So now I can never go back and perform.
Lives in: San Francisco
Are you in the city only for Gov Ball? Yes, I just arrived yesterday. This is actually my first time in New York City.
What has surprised you the most about the festival? The crowd is definitely more straight than I imagined.
Kayla Weinstein, 22, and William Napoleone, 22
Student and Emergency medical technician
Lives in: Westchester County, N.Y., and Norwalk, Conn.
How did you guys coordinate your looks?
W.N.: Her idea, obviously.
K.W.: I literally told him wear something pink, and I will do the rest. Our outfits are on a budget, and we came out with this.
What do you love most about each other?
K.W.: I would say, you know, like his sense of humor. And like, his smile — it’s so infectious.
W.N.: She’s adorable. I mean, just look at her.
Olivier Bois, 21
Lives in: Quebec, Canada
Tell me about your outfit today. Everything you see here is thrifted. I just got these overalls in New York for about $5 and this ’70s shirt for like $5.
Did you do your own makeup? Of course, I’m an aesthetician.
What do you love about your job? I love doing people’s makeup and making people feel better about themselves. One day I’m going to do Lizzo’s makeup — I’m putting that into the universe!
Jamilah Ray, 28
Lives in: Mount Vernon, N.Y.
Who are you most excited to see tonight? Lizzo because she embodies a plus-size woman like me, and I just love everything that she stands for.
What are you wearing today? I have a top that is made by one of my friends in Florida: Swami by Nadhi. I have on my mini shorts for Lizzo tonight, and I’m rocking some Adidas shoes.
Is that Michael Kors bag real? Oh yes, baby!