Located just 800 yards from Manhattan, Governors Island was tantalizingly off-limits to most New Yorkers for years. From 1783 to 1966, it was used as an Army post, followed by three decades as a Coast Guard installation before portions of it were finally opened as a public park a few years ago. Now, this pristine, 172-acre island in New York Harbor is one of the best places to escape the city without actually leaving the five boroughs–since that would be scary. Need a reason to check it out with your friends this weekend? Here’s a grand one: The Escape Music Festival, which takes place October 11 – 12 at Governors Beach Club. If you’re into the hottest indie bands—or you’re curious to find out who the hottest indie bands are in a fun, relaxed environment—reserve your tickets and get ready for two days of beats, brews, and city views at October’s most exciting outdoor concert.
The lineup is as solid as it gets, with DJ sets by artists such as Girl Talk, Moby, and Neon Indian and performances by the Crystal Method, Ra Ra Riot, the Joy Formidable, Basecamp, and about two dozen more alterna-darlings. Gates open at noon and the first acts hit the stage at 1pm, so hop on the free ferry whenever you feel like it (it’s a weekend, after all) and get comfortable, since the music goes on through midnight.
Naturally, that means there will be plenty of food and drink. Expect such culinary heavy-hitters as Los Sonrisa Empanada, Dos Toros, Red Hook Lobster Pound, and Brooklyn Soda works to keep you sated as the beats keep flowing. Speaking of flowing, there will, of course, be plenty of cold beer to wet your whistle, in case there’s any actual whistling going on (you never know with these indie rockers). But even if there’s not, you’ll be ready to sing, dance, and celebrate what is likely to be the last big outdoor music festival of the year. If that’s not worthy of an island escape, we don’t know what is.