As we studied the lineup for Governors Ball, amNewYork reached out to the man who books it, Founders Entertainment Partner Jordan Wolowitz, to get the scoop on how it all comes together.
When do you usually start reaching out to the headliners?Now that we’re an established major festival, sometimes acts will reach out to us as far in advance as a year plus. Acts, especially big headliners who are international, have to figure out a two-year touring schedule. I have certain acts in mind that I want two years from now.
How do you convince someone to play Governors Ball?
A lot of it is that we worked hard to establish the festival as the preeminent festival play in the Northeast. It’s a platform to have a big show in the biggest city in the country.
What are some of the things acts ask for when deciding where to play?
If you’re a growing act, let’s say you play the Bowery Ballroom or Webster Hall when it’s not festival season, I say “Your fans will still come to see you at Governors Ball, but instead of playing to 500 or 1,200 people, you’ll play to tens of thousands. You’ll also get the marketing of the festival, which is global.” It puts a much bigger spotlight on the act. Even if you play Madison Square Garden or Barclays Center, you’re playing to one-third of the crowd that you would at a festival.
How do you pick the people on the bottom of the bill?
It’s all about curation. It’s about putting together a bill that is unique and features acts I like.
Do you have a dream artist for a future Governors Ball?
Just being in New York, it would be great to get a real New York band that doesn’t tour right now, like LCD Soundsystem or Talking Heads. They’re my great white buffalo.