The Top 10 Must-See Artists at Governors Ball 2016

Governor's Ball.

Governor’s Ball. (Photo: Courtesy of Governors Ball.)

Festival season is upon us in New York City, and while you might be prepared to head to Randall’s Island next weekend, you might not be sure which artists to catch. Though Kanye West and Robyn are givens, the lengthy list of indie-rock bands to pop stars is a lot to process. From Misterwives to Betty Who, here are the musicians you have to see at 2016’s Governors Ball.


LA electropop band Transviolet is all about spreading the positive vibes. With songs that empower our generation (“New Bohemia”) and encourage women to be free-spirited (“Girls Your Age”), Transviolet make music that sounds like Imogen Heap mixed with Ellie Goulding. You can easily dance and cry at the same time during the band’s set.

When: 12:15 p.m., Friday, June 3
Where: Honda Stage

Elle King

Elle King has had a big couple of years. Rising from indie-rock and moving into the pop realm, it was nearly impossible to avoid hearing King’s “Ex’s and Oh’s” everywhere. With her powerhouse Adele-like vocals mixed with the grittiness of Amy Winehouse, King is unabashedly herself and knows how to put on a show.

When: 1:30 p.m., Friday, June 3


Grunge pop outfit Bully is one act you don’t want to miss on Randall’s Island this year. The Nashville band is meant to sound messy, and lead singer Alicia Bognanno parallels Liz Phair with her brutal honesty and lyrical self-doubt. Bully’s music is relatable and danceable, which makes us want to drop everything and go see them live.

When: 2:15 p.m., Friday, June 3
Where: Big Apple Stage

Bob Moses

Bob Moses is about to be the next big thing in electronica. Straight out of the Canadian underground scene, Bob Moses blends deep house melodies with catchy pop hooks. Their music doesn’t exclude electronic or pop fans, which makes it so accessible.

When: 3:45 p.m., Friday, June 3
Where: Bacardi House Stage

Holly Miranda

Brooklyn singer-songwriter Holly Miranda puts a lot of heart and soul into her music. Most of her songs are about love and heartbreak, and she’s been slowly building her fanbase in NYC throughout the past six years. When she’s not making her own beautiful, sweet music, she’s a member of The Singles, which features Scarlett Johansson, Este Haim and Julia Haltigan. You won’t want to miss Miranda’s solo set though.

When: 12:15 p.m., Saturday, June 4
Where: Honda Stage

Marian Hill

Straight out of Philly, Marian Hill infuses electro-pop, jazz and R&B into their music. The music is ethereal, but perfect for moving your feet to, especially live. While the duo has released two EPs so far, they’ll put out their debut album next month. You’ll most likely get a taste of the new record at the festival.

When: 1:30 p.m., Saturday, June 4


If you’re looking for the perfect dance soundtrack for this weekend, Misterwives will be a show you won’t want to miss. Lead singer Mandy Lee’s vocals soar and the band’s dance-pop rhythms are just infectious. “Reflections” will definitely get your feet moving even if the Randall’s Island heat is wearing you down.

When: 3:45 p.m., Saturday, June 4
Where: Big Apple Stage

Day Wave

Day Wave is pretty much the perfect soundtrack to summer. The solo project of Jackson Phillips, Day Wave sounds like a surf-pop version of Death Cab For Cutie mixed with The Beach Boys. In Phillips’ latest music video for “Stuck,” Mark Hoppus stars and is as hilarious as ever.

When: 12:25 p.m., Sunday, June 5
Where: Bacardi House Stage

Betty Who

It’s been a minute since we heard anything from Betty Who. Her debut album was a gorgeous mix of balladry and dance-pop, and her single “Somebody Loves You” became a hit after a video of a proposal went viral. With her coordinated dance moves with her band, Betty Who’s live show is one you don’t want to miss. Plus, since she’s touring again, she might have some new music to share.

When: 1:10 p.m., Sunday, June 5

Bat For Lashes

Bat For Lashes’ Natasha Khan is such a dynamic performer and one of the most innovative musicians of our time. The singer-songwriter’s latest project is a concept album titled The Bride, which chronicles the tragic events a bride experiences on her wedding day. The record acts like a movie and sounds like a soundtrack, so we can only hope she’ll play a ton of tracks from her upcoming release.

When: 1:55 p.m., Sunday, June 5
Where: Bacardi House Stage

The Top 10 Must-See Artists at Governors Ball 2016