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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Columbia Barnard chapter.

Is it COVID? The lineup? Bandwagon effect? Why did so many people at Columbia University try to sell their Governors Ball tickets just days before the event?  

If you, like me, have nothing better to do than ask yourself these questions, you’re in luck! I’ve got you. 

Governor’s Ball is an annual music festival hosted in New York City which took place from September 24th until the 26th. This year it had four stages, more than 70 performances, a food and beverage program, visual arts expositions, arts installations and surprise artists. 

If you were in the Columbia 2025 GroupMe, you know exactly what festival I’m talking about. It seemed as if every single freshman wanted to attend. People would ask if anyone had any spare tickets on every single social media platform, and most were willing to pay a lot more money than the original ticket price. 

So, what happened? How did we go from people begging for tickets to everyone desperately trying to sell them? Well, that’s exactly what I wanted to find out, so I reached out to people through Instagram. 

Like many people would probably guess, I thought the most common answer was going to be COVID, but no. I received a mix of responses ranging from social anxiety to academic work. 

One of the first people to swipe up on my Instagram story — where I practically begged people who were selling their Governor’s Ball tickets to respond to —was Jesse Levine (she/her). Our conversation went as follows:

Me: “Hi! Would you mind telling me why [you sold your Governor’s Ball tickets]?”

Jesse: “For sure! I’m selling my Saturday ticket because of COVID concerns. It’s way too early in the semester to get COVID, and I’ll be living in the city for four whole years! There will always be another concert, I just don’t feel the need to risk getting COVID, missing classes, and potentially passing COVID on to my friends.”

This was not the only COVID-related response I got. However, some people had other motives. 

For example, Avery Lambert (she/her) cites stress as her main reason.

Me: “Hi!  Would you mind telling me why [you sold your Governor’s Ball tickets]?”

Avery: “I bought them in May pretty soon after I committed to Barnard, talking about going out into the city was a big thing I was saying when I told [everyone] “why Barnard”, so it kinda felt like well here’s the opportunity to do that? I actually wanted to sell them right after I bought them because I realized festivals are too big and stressful for me, but my mom convinced me to wait and see how I felt in September. After about a week or so being here I realized I really just want more time to settle into the neighborhood, get to know people here, spend more chill days in, and of course get all of my homework done, rather than go to a music festival where it’d be stressful getting there and I may not be with close friends. COVID actually wasn’t a huge factor for me! Also the tickets were kind of expensive, I still lost about $60 but better than holding onto them.”

Me: “Did you sell your tickets a while ago? Do you think the fact that so many other people are selling them as well encouraged you to do the same?”

Avery: “I sold them last weekend! It was maybe part of it, if there were more hype about going I might have gone? But it seems like a lot of us are kind of feeling the same way about it.”

So there you have it everyone! There is no big mystery secret as to why everyone suddenly decided to let go of their tickets. It seems the Governor’s Ball simply took place at the wrong time for many people. 

Pia Velázquez is a Junior at Barnard College majoring in Political Ecology and Human Rights,