Things I learned on Governors Island

The folks over at Governors Island have assembled a pretty sweet line-up of outdoor summer concerts, which is good considering the decrease in good indie bands represented at Prospect Park’s Celebrate Brooklyn series.

So far, Governors Island has The Morning Benders (6/19), Passion Pit (6/26), She & Him (7/4), Caribou and Phantogram (7/16), Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros (7/21), M.I.A. with Sleigh Bells (7/24), Grizzly Bear with The Walkmen and Gang Gang Dance (8/12), and Neon Indian (8/14). Last night’s Yeasayer show was excellent. (Full review coming later on Brooklyn Vegan).

Governors Island

BUT, be warned! Accessing the island may be a bit trickier than simply showing up at the Prospect Park bandshell.

Here are the things I learned from my visit to Governors Island yesterday for their inaugural concert with Yeasayer.

1. Sometimes being fashionably late isn’t cool. It’s deadly.

When they say doors at 6 and shows at 8, don’t let your hipster heart tell you that showing up to get on the ferry at 8:30 will do. I arrived at 7:30, and they had already started to turn people away since the island’s show space had reach max capacity. Don’t let that happen to you.

2. 11 out of 12 people are going to be attractive.

Your chances of chatting up your fellow concert-goers are pretty high – especially for men. It seemed that girls outnumbered guys 3 to 1. (Perhaps because the girls showed up earlier?) So where your best pair of cut offs or your cutest little dress.

3. Bring some water and maybe a little snack.

You’re in it for the long haul. Sure, they sell food at Governors Island, but it wouldn’t hurt to bring your own. Well… unless you’re the subject of a random search. I think their goal is to not have anyone bring outside food, but come on! Especially in light of #4…

4. Don’t expect to make it back to Brooklyn in time to make it to a friend’s party at a decent hour.

Or, stand as close to the exit as possible if you want a quick get-away.  Last night, the show ended at 11:05, but I didn’t make it onto a ferry until midnight, and the pack of people trying to get off the island was fierce. Also – don’t think you can sneak around the masses and go around. They seem to have staff members and volunteers strategically placed to block every other possible exit. So stick to the lighted path. Don’t be that idiot who tries to run ahead of everyone in the grass and horribly twists his ankle because he can’t see where he is going.  We will only laugh at you.

5. Pull back your hair and sit on the top deck of the ferry. It’s totally worth it.


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"He considered music a liberating force: it liberated him from loneliness, introversion, the dust of the library; it opened the door of his body and allowed his soul to step out into the world to make friends."

- Milan Kundera's The Unbearable Lightness of Being


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