Tag: Governors Ball

Rain or Shine GovBall 2016

Mark A. Ritchie Directs the 2016 NYC Governors BallThe rain just made that last set the best so far says, Mark Ritchie. In a small trailer backstage, a wide screen shows a live feed from multiple cameras sweep the Gov Ball stage on the festival grounds and the audience. The set Ritchie is referring to was of Haim, an all-girl indie rock trio that just finished up after an intense, unexpected downpour broke 15 minutes into them playing. Saturday’s headliners, The Killers, are up next and the band still haven’t approved the live stream of their set. In a partnership with Live Nation, Ritchie directs a live stream of Governor’s Ball with the Amsterdam-based company, Corrino Films.

This is GovBall’s sixth year going at it and they’ve done an amazing job. Every year they do what many said couldn’t be done – they hold a well-attended, well-organized festival in New York City, a challenging environment for an event of this kind. For about 300 bucks (give or take, amenities withstanding) you get 3 days of music. That’s the schtick that festivals like Governor’s Ball (also known as GovBall) sell. You get headliners and a grocery list of bands you would love to see but are too lazy to keep up with. You get plenty of tents. Tents of merch, tents of glorious food and tents of overpriced beer. In the orchestrated chaos you get thousands of other people brought to together longing for an experience.

Director Mark Ritchie behind the scenes of Governors Ball and Kanye’s Prelude

Governors Ball & Kanye Prelude “Gorgeous. Three, three. Three, one. (click) Three, six. Six!Very Nice. Keep it going guys. Keep the pace, doesn’t mean you slow down. Pull out five. Ready? Pull Five. Go! (click) There we go,” says a stern but melodic male voice in a dark trailer.

The clicking sounds are the result of several well lit buttons being pushed as Mark Ritchie, Governor Ball director, talks to his camera crew as Lord Huron performs a 60 minute set on Saturday. Lord Huron took the main stage at 4:45, and for the next hour, Mark is the conductor of the most intrinsic visual orchestra in New York. Today, Mark Ritchie and his team are directing, packaging, and editing the first ever 4K live stream from Governors Ball. Talk about pressure.

In its six year history, Gov Ball has managed to achieve another first, live streaming. Partnering with Vice, Corrino Films, Live Nation, and Samsung, the event is streamed to fit across multiple channels and platforms, including Vice’s new television Network, Viceland, the marquee outside of Samsung’s flagship store in Manhattan, and Video On Demand for those who want to see the festival for the first time, or those who want to relive their favorite moments again. To the non-techie, this sounds cool enough, but those who saw the miles of cables and fires running throughout the festival and became excited know that this is a true feat.

Directing is a daunting task in itself, but on the fly editing of a live festival and streaming a huge amount of data to a store across town could be a fast paced nightmare. Luckily, with Ritchie, at the helm, he and the Corrino Films team treat this like a dream, “Dont tell my boss, but they probably wouldn’t have to pay me”. He laughs at the end, but the look in his eyes and the excitement in his voice is indicative of a person who not only enjoys his job, but enjoys perfecting every nuance of his craft. If bills were not a thing, or America was still on the barter system, there is no doubt that Mark would happily take his payment in good shoes, coffee, or nights on the town.