Music

Governors Ball: A Primal Experience.

Reason and logic ceased to exist on Randall’s Island this weekend. It was refreshing, exciting and confusing to see people in this state.

Story by Matt Heidkamp matt@citizenbrooklyn.com Photos by: Pasha Kalachev pasha@pashakalachev.com
@Pasha Kalachev

@Pasha Kalachev

The scene was a wreck when I arrived. Uninhabitable and battered by the cruelty of Mother Nature, the festival grounds at Governors Ball was all but destroyed. The rain had turned Randall’s Island into a swampy pit, a park-wide unavoidable slip and slide that gobbled up shoes like dust in a vacuum. Mud coated my legs and seeped down into my shoes as rain whipped across my face. I had been preparing for an exhausting day, but not one this brutal.

@ Pasha

@Pasha Kalachev

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@Pasha Kalachev

Splattered partygoers shivered and begrudgingly trounced from stage to stage, clambering to the warm stink of the huddled, disheveled masses around them. The unavoidable dirt filled their pores and left brown marks across their bodies. These were people in their rarest form; honest, uninhibited and unafraid to drop the norms we follow in daily life. Inside the walls of the Ball was a jungle and primal instinct was taking over.
I met a girl splashing in muddied pools with childlike wonder. She called it the “watering hole.” With a thick mildew scent in the air, she told me she felt like a barn animal, a pig covered in her own filth being led to slaughter. There was no avoiding it. There was only acceptance of this newfound, animalistic state that kept smiles on the faces of our battered crew.

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@Pasha Kalachev

Herds of ponchos stormed by. You get used to the bumps and shoves and disregard of personal space pretty quickly in a place like this. A girl decked out in water wings, a life preserver and a snorkel ran our way. She asked us if we wanted to join her in the lake. There was no lake here. What she saw in her altered state was nothing more than a large puddle in the field, which didn’t stop her from diving in headfirst, and proclaiming that her water wings would save her from drowning. She was soon joined by a flock of festivalgoers, all of whom pretended to swim with her in the knee-high slosh.

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@Pasha Kalachev

Reason and logic ceased to exist on Randall’s Island this weekend. It was refreshing, exciting and confusing to see people in this state. Amidst the powerful walls of sound, thousands of us came together and partook in this communal experience of mud and music. I left with my head thumping, pumped full of musical whims, ready to return to the comforts of the real world, a settling thought to sooth my inner animal.

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@Pasha Kalachev

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@Pasha Kalachev

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@Pasha Kalachev

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@Pasha Kalachev

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@Pasha Kalachev

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@Pasha Kalachev

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@Pasha Kalachev

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@Pasha Kalachev

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