Goldrush 2018 Winners and Losers

Vince Staples performs during the first night of the Goldrush Music Festival.
Vince Staples performs during the first night of the Goldrush Music Festival. Benjamin Leatherman
click to enlarge Vince Staples performs during the first night of the Goldrush Music Festival. - BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN
Vince Staples performs during the first night of the Goldrush Music Festival.
Benjamin Leatherman
Despite the chance of stormy weather over the weekend, Relentless Beats successfully kept the momentum going from last year's Goldrush festival at the 2018 installment of their Western-themed rave. Saturday was a hot and sunny day and very dusty, whereas Sunday was much cooler and rainy for most of the event. Overall, the event went by smoothly, filled with loud wubs and bass-drops from the EDM acts and some solid hip-hop performances. As Relentless Beats plans for the next Goldrush installment and the upcoming BOO festival, let's take a look at the winners and losers of Goldrush 2018.

Winner: Vince Staples. Although Goldrush had more EDM acts than hip-hop, Vince Staples' music incorporates electronic beats and sounds, making him a perfect fit for Goldrush. Staples is no stranger to music festivals and knows how to get crowd started. He performed his many hits like "Norf Norf" and "Blue Suede" and had a wicked stage setup, full of television screens all showing symbolic imagery. The whole crowd appeared to enjoy the show judging by the aggressive head-banging and jumping around when Staples demanded the crowd do so.

Losers: Early Set-Timers. Artists whose sets were scheduled for 4 p.m. get a place at the losers table, not because they were bad performances, but due to the delay of Rawhide's opening to the fans. I recall being in line for about 20 minutes on Saturday before the gates to the old Western town finally opened. Some folks were getting frustrated, with some wondering aloud if they would even get to see music that day. Thanks to the delay, loyal fans of a few of the opening acts had to make due with shorter sets from their faves.

click to enlarge JPEGMAFIA performed a good portion of his set in the crowd. - BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN
JPEGMAFIA performed a good portion of his set in the crowd.
Benjamin Leatherman
Winner: JPEGMAFIA. Speaking of early set times, despite not having a huge crowd, JPEGMAFIA got wild at Pioneer Peak and the fans loved it. He used the small crowd to his advantage and jumped down into it from the stage, with attendees forming circles around him as he performed, even freestyling at certain points. He also made sure the fans knew about his disdain for Morrissey: "I'm going to slap the shit out of em when when I see him," he said of the former Smiths frontman before diving into his song "I Cannot Fucking Wait Until Morrissey Dies."

Loser: Stevie C. Again, this Loser List placement is due less to the performer and more to the festival. Because the Wagon Wheel stage was placed right in front of the towering main stage, Stevie C. had to perform at the same time as as Said The Sky and Chris Lake, whose light show and huge crowd distracted from the smaller stage and led to a smaller crowd. Of course, not everything is the festival's fault: JPEGMAFIA had a small crowd, but really knew how to get wild and grab people's attention. Hopefully C's next performance isn't next to an overbearing stage and he can show what he's really made of.

click to enlarge Howdy, pardner. - BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN
Howdy, pardner.
Benjamin Leatherman
Winner: Rave Cowboys. Many attendees got into the Western spirit at Rawhide and put on their finest rave cowboy suits. Music festivals are a time where people like to get creative with their outfits, and the cowboys and cowgirls stood out as they shuffled their way into our hearts.

Losers: Anyone who didn't have a mask on or bandanna on Saturday. The first day of Goldrush was very hot, and the wind was picking up so much dust that I felt like a fool for not bringing something to cover my face. Mix that with the dirt fields and large crowds shuffling, and there was so much dust I thought we were caught in a haboob. Perhaps that's just a consequence of having a festival in an old Western town. The dust didn't take away from the fantastic performances, but folks had it rougher if they were't covering their faces while wandering the town.

click to enlarge Rick Sanchez pops up at Goldrush 2018. - BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN
Rick Sanchez pops up at Goldrush 2018.
Benjamin Leatherman
Winner: Fans of Rick and Morty. For whatever reason, the hit show Rick and Morty is widely loved by EDM fans. Many attendees were wearing shirts with the main characters, custom-made necklaces, and signs full of references to the show. Perhaps it's due to the slightly trippy nature of the show and the fact that certain substances may be in play at raves like this that make the two mesh so well. Whatever the case may be, Rick and Morty thrives in the EDM community.

Loser: Fans of Rap. We're not saying there were't any decent hip-hop performers, but for every rapper at Goldrush, there were about four or five EDM artists. We don't mean to hate on EDM either, but if you went in there with a hunger for some hip-hop or rap, you weren't satisfied. Perhaps Goldrush 2019 will have fewer cancellations from popular hip-hop artists (yeah Juice WRLD, we're talking to you) to satisfy that hunger. 
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