There was a lot of talk at Panorama comparing the festival to its counterpart, Governors Ball. We tried to keep Governors Ball out of our minds so we could fully enjoy the very first Panorama Festival. But as they were both on Randall's Island nearly a month and a half apart with a very similar set-ups, comparing them was absolutely inevitable. So we divided it into the most important categories of a festival and put our two cents in.
Kirsten: The bathrooms at Panorama were not your typical, gross porta potties. Instead, they were these beautiful walk-in stalls, filled with sinks, soap, and mirrors. Now we have everything we need to live on this island forever!
Mandi: It was pretty confusing why they had porta potties next to these glorious bathrooms at Panorama. I mean, who the hell would choose a porta potty over a clean bathroom with all the essentials. Some of them were even air-conditioned! Panorama all the way on this one. Step your bathroom game up, Gov Ball.
K: It's not that Governors Balls transportation was bad, it's just that Panoramas was better. We didn't have to wait in any lines to get on the bus, everything was quick, and even all of the buses were equipped with music. It seemed like there was no AC on the buses the first day, but they quickly fixed it in time for Saturday.
M: This one doesn't apply for me because I took the same bus/subway from the Upper East Side both times. BUT some friends told me Panorama's transportation system was more organized.
K: Although Panorama undoubtedly had better headliners, Governors Ball had incredible supporting acts. Alabama Shakes, Arcade Fire, LCD Soundsystem, Kendrick Lamar VS. The Strokes, HAIM, Father John Misty, Jamie XX, Miguel, and Courtney Barnett. Seriously, how could we choose?
M: Panorama had much better hip-hop artists and that makes me one happy girl. Kendrick, Anderson Paak., Kaytranada, A$AP Rocky, DJ Khaled, SZA, Run The Jewels, Schoolboy Q, Tokimonsta, Flatbush Zombies... I mean, COME ON. Not only that, but Alabama Shakes and LCD!? Panorama killed it. Governor's Ball had an incredible line-up as well but a lot of the acts I wanted to see were on Sunday and -ahem- that didnt happen.
K: Well, after Gov Balls unfortunate cancellation of Day 3 due to impending thunderstorms, this one is a no-brainer.
M: Obviously Panorama. It may have been one of the hottest weekends of the summer but the ground was dry, the sun was out resulting in happy people and an entire day didn't get canceled on us.
STAGE SET UP
Winner: Governors Ball
K: This one is hard to decipher as well, but we went with Gov Ball because they didn't close any stages off to anyone. Panorama had The Parlor, which was an indoor tent with AC. While it's great to have AC on the scorching hot island, its not-so-great to have a huge line of people waiting two hours to get in, only to be told that they cant get in.
M: This is definitely a hard one. I really liked how Governors Ball had it set-up where you could perfectly hear each set you wanted to see, even if you were way in the back. But at the same time, the noise didn't clash too bad between each stage. I loved Panorama's Pavilion tent because it provided - much needed - shade and it was never too crowded. Panorama also had better screens (they were gigantic). But Panorama should've ditched the Parlor tent idea because I missed some of the sets I wanted to see. So, Governors Ball wins.
K: I can't really say. I mostly bring my own snacks because Im weird. At Gov Ball, I remember eating the most pulled pork sandwich of my life. And at Panorama, I got this cucumber lime popsicle that was actually the greatest thing ever after standing under the sun for a whole weekend. Its a bit of a tie for me, but Mandi swears by the Panorama food.
M: I only had a sandwich at Governor's Ball and it was whatever. At Panorama, I had nachos, a gyro and a brisket burger and all three were f--king incredible (especially those nachos). I think Panorama had a much better variety of food, too. Panorama, all the way.
K: I think Panorama tickets were severely undersold this year Which worked in our favor to make it the most calm and comfortable festival we've ever been to. Gov Ball is usually packed to the brim, and it looks like their crowd gets younger and younger every year.
M: Panorama, Panorama, Panorama. The crowd was mature and extremely chill yet still excitable and rowdy (in a good way). Yes, tickets were undersold and that's sad. But I loved having enough space to dance and I could easily weasel my way closer to the stage without anyone getting pissed at me. The crowd at Governor's Ball was very hard to handle. At every set, people were talking over the music and I was surrounded by extremely immature people. I don't mind the younger crowd at all but the fact that they were sneaking liquor in through little skinny tubes hidden in tampon wrappers (yes, thats a thing) resulted in a bunch of sloppy teenagers.
K: Panorama offered a large amount of chargers and also had misters for overheated people to sit under. Uhhhhh, score!
M: I don't even know where to start with this one. At Panorama, the charging stations (with both outlets and USB options) were at every corner, which I definitely took advantage of. There was a ton of shade with mist falling down and most of the tents had fans or AC. There was a CRAFT BEER tent and Governors Ball had about two or three beer options and they were crappy ones (no offense to all you Millers drinkers). And Panorama had people passing out free water bottles at every set.
M: I don't think Ive seen a festival more organized than Panorama. There was rarely a line to get into the festival whereas Gov Ball took FOREVER and the line was ridiculous. Everything went really smooth inside Panorama as well.
K: Agreed with Mandi.
M: Panorama's sound quality was flawless. You could hear the vocals at every set and the balance of whatever music was behind the singing/rapping was spot-on. At Governor's Ball, the bass was way too heavy to the point where you couldn't hear anything else. And not to mention, the sound cut-out at a few of the sets (multiple times at DeadMau5 last year and lasted long enough that people left). Thank you, Panorama.
K: The big headliners set always bleeds into the small headliners set at Gov Ball. That's a big no no for me.
M: This one is hard because the art at both festivals was extremely different from one another. At Panorama, they had digital art that blew my mind. There was an extremely long screen with a picture of a subway car showing while a graffiti artist and a green-screen were off the the side of it. The digital graffiti was showing up on the subway car as he worked at the green-screen. There was also a huge, enclosed art museum type thing in the middle of the field as well as some murals. But I think the murals at Gov Ball were better. It's a tough call. But I'm leaning more towards Panorama.
K: Yeah, that digital-graffiti-subway thing was pretty magical.
I think Panorama takes the cake on this one. Sorry, Gov Ball.