OutKast, The Strokes making their returns at Governors Ball music festival
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It's taken a few years, but New York finally has a music festival that can rival Coachella and Bonnaroo.
Governors Ball, which kicks off Friday at noon, may be only 4 years old, but it hit the big time last year, snagging Kanye West to unveil songs from his "Yeezus" album. This year, the festival plans to build on that momentum with the much-anticipated OutKast reunion and the return of The Strokes from a short hiatus.
Sirius XM will broadcast Governors Ball sets across multiple channels from a wide range of artists, including OutKast, Jack White, Disclosure and Vampire Weekend, throughout the weekend.
Listeners will get a chance to feel "the energy surrounding New York City's very own world-class music festival," said Yoni Reisman, a partner at Founders Entertainment, the promotion company behind Governors Ball.
Of course, the surest sign that Governors Ball has come into its own is the fleet of marketers that cluster around any event with a lot of buzz. Supermodel Adriana Lima's favorite Amazonia Beverages will be the festival's official coconut water sponsor. PayPal will be offering $5 off at sought-after food trucks like Momofuku Milk Bar, Koolhaus and Asia Dog when concertgoers use the company's app to pay. And there will be official after-parties at the Brooklyn Bowl.
Here's a look at the festival's must-see acts:
OUTKAST (Friday night, 9:15): For a while it looked like Andre 3000 and Big Boi's hiatus was going to last forever, like, forever-ever. But, after 10 years away from the stage, the "Hey Ya" duo is back, in part, celebrating the 20th anniversary of their debut, "Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik" and hopefully getting more people to shake it like a Polaroid picture.
THE STROKES (Saturday, 6:45 p.m.): Straight outta the Lower East Side, The Strokes return after nearly three years away from performing. (They didn't tour for last year's "Comedown Machine.") At a warm-up show last week, they played some new songs but ended up with classics "Last Nite" and "New York City Cops."
VAMPIRE WEEKEND (Sunday, 9:15 p.m.): The victory lap for the great "Modern Vampires of the City" passes through Randalls Island, showing the band of Ivy Leaguers finally reaching their full potential as world-beat-loving indie-rockers.
JACK WHITE (Saturday, 9:30 p.m.): Governors Ball concertgoers will be among the first to hear songs from his "Lazaretto" album, due out Tuesday, with a live band. And judging by his recent shows, he will throw in songs from his other bands, including The White Stripes, The Raconteurs and The Dead Weather, as well as a whole lot of guitar solos.
BLEACHERS (Sunday, 1:30 p.m.): The side project from Jack Antonoff, best known as fun.'s guitarist, will demonstrate how they plan to follow the incredible debut single "I Wanna Get Better."
NEKO CASE (Friday day, 5:45 p.m.): Yes, she's always incredible in concert. And yes, she's still touring for her excellent "The Worse Things Get . . ." album. But we can also hope she will roll out her latest masterpiece, "These Aren't the Droids," with Kelly Hogan, where she takes aim at a future "designed by teenage guys."
SPOON (Saturday, 8:15 p.m.): As great as Divine Fits was (is?), Britt Daniel's return to his main band for their first tour in two years is enough cause for celebration. The possibility that Spoon will unveil songs from its upcoming album? Um, "The Way We Get By."
WHAT Governors Ball
WHEN | WHERE noon Friday through Sunday, Randalls Island
INFO $100-$230; 888-810-2063, governorsballmusicfestival.com