Jun. 15, 2023 By Bill Parry
The promoters of Governors Ball 2023 were delighted with two key decisions they made in the run-up to the three-day music festival which drew more than 100,000 concertgoers to Flushing Meadows Corona Park.
First, Governors Ball was held in the parking lot of Citi Field for the past two years, but this year the organizers decided to host it inside the park. Secondly, the gates opened on time Friday morning after Founders Entertainment consulted city officials on air quality issues after noxious smoke from Canadian wildfires choked the five boroughs on June 7. By Friday morning the conditions had vastly improved with the Air Quality Index dropping below 100 and the decision was made to move forward with the festival.
From Lizzo performing on opening night to the closing one-two punch of Lil Nas X followed by Kendrick Lamar in front of the largest crowds of the weekend, Founders Entertainment co-founder and partner Tom Russell could not have been more pleased with both calls.
“Governors Ball met and exceeded all of our expectations for what a music festival in Flushing Meadows Corona Park could be,” Russell said. “It was amazing to see so many smiling faces enjoying music, local vendors, and the company of their friends and neighbors.”
Queens Borough President Donovan Richards took in the sights and sounds of Governors Ball and gave it two thumbs up for the exposure it gave to Flushing Meadows Corona Park and Queens itself.
“There’s truly no bigger attraction in New York City than the world-class ‘World’s Borough,’ as last weekend’s incredible Governors Ball music festival and the elite artists who performed for tens of thousands of fans each night proved. And Queens is just getting started,” Richards said. “We’re the center of the world in terms of diversity, cuisine, culture and opportunity, and there’s no better home for events like Governors Ball than Queens. Thanks to everyone who came to our borough, spent your money here and enjoyed such a historic weekend.”
Russell gave a tip of the cap to those that facilitated the move from the parking lot to the parkland.
“We’re thankful to Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, Mayor Eric Adams, the New York City Park Department and the greater Queens community for giving us the opportunity to host such a special event in such a special location,” Russell said.
Next up for Flushing Meadows Corona Park is the return of SummerStage featuring Kool and the Gang on Saturday, July 22. The free concert begins at 6 p.m. and will be followed on Sunday, July 23, by DJ Rekah, who will spin the fusion of Indian bhangra with hip-hop and dance beats that they made famous at their Basement Bhangra parties. The free program gets underway at 5 p.m.