Everything You Need to Know About Pot of Gold Music Festival 2018

There will be plenty o’ parties and music events happening across the Valley this weekend in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. None, however, will be as big as this year’s Pot of Gold music festival.

And everything about the three-day event – which runs from Friday, March 16, to Sunday, March 18 – is big. It will take place out at the sprawling Rawhide Event Center in Chandler and feature two stages and close to three dozen bands, acts, and artists on its lineup. And the crowds in attendance likely will be huge as well.

Just like other Pot of Gold festivals in recent years, the lineup will vary each day.

Friday will be all about hip-hop and rap with artists like Russ, Dej Loaf, PNB Rock, They., Pouya, and Ski Mask the Slump God scheduled to perform. Saturday, however, will be a mix of jam acts (Phil Lesh and the Terrapin Family Band, Midnight North), country (Cody Jinks), bluegrass (The Infamous Stringdusters), and soul (St. Paul and the Broken Bones).

Sunday will wrap up with different takes on rock, including reggae-influenced sounds of Dirty Heads and Pepper, the bluesy stuff of the Chris Robinson Brotherhood, and the surf grooves of Donavon Frankenreiter.

If you’re going to be one of the thousands following the rainbow to Pot of Gold 2018, we’ve got a guide to the festival that’s filled with useful and relevant info.

The crowd at last year's Pot of Gold.EXPAND
The crowd at last year's Pot of Gold.
Jim Louvau

When and Where: The Pot of Gold Music Festival runs from Friday, March 16, to Sunday, March 18, at Rawhide Event Center, 5700 West North Loop Road in Chandler. Gates open at noon each day, and the festival goes until midnight on Friday and Sunday, while Saturday's show will go until 1:45 a.m.

Tickets: Single-day general admission is $75 on either Friday or Sunday while attending on Saturday only is $100. Two-day GA tickets are also available for $135 to $155, depending on which combination of days you'd like to attend. Weekend-long passes covering all three days are $220 each.

VIP experience packages – which include catered dinners at the Rawhide Steakhouse, access to VIP bars and viewing areas, quicker entry, souvenir lanyards, a gift bag, and other perks – are also available, depending on how many days you’d like to attend.

Single-day VIP tickets are $230 each for either Friday or Sunday and $345 for Saturday only. Two-day packages are $430 to $545 (again, you pick the days) and the weekend-long experience is $699.

Age Limits: It’s an all-ages event. Those younger than 12 must have adult supervision and every person must have their own ticket. Younger ears might need protection from both loud music, so consider earplugs or noise-canceling earphones.

Weather: It will be partly sunny all weekend. Temps will be either in the low 70s or high 60s during the daytime and even cooler at night. There's also a chance of rain on Saturday.

Getting There: Rawhide is located in the southeast Valley next to the Wild Horse Pass Hotel and Casino in Chandler. If you're driving, take Interstate 10 to Exit 162 for Wild Horse Pass/Sundust Road. Go west from there and follow the signs for Rawhide or the event itself.

Parking: It's $10 per day, per vehicle.

Getting Inside: You can either pick up your tickets at will call or choose to print 'em at home. Security will do pat-downs, wandings, and bag searches. Make sure you have everything you need since re-entry is not allowed, except in special circumstances (and at the discretion of security and festival staff).

PNB Rock is scheduled to perform on Friday, March 16, at Pot of Gold.EXPAND
PNB Rock is scheduled to perform on Friday, March 16, at Pot of Gold.
Jimmy Fontaine

Daily Lineups: Performances will begin anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours after gates open each day. The indoor stage will be inside the 48,000 square-foot pavilion building while the outdoor stage will be located on the Sonoran Lawn. Here's the full rundown of who's playing which day of the festival and where.

Friday, March 16
(Gates open at noon)

Indoor Stage:
1:45 to 2:30 p.m.: Reo Cragun
3 to 3:45 p.m.: Ezri
4:15 to 5 p.m.: Taylor Bennett
5:30 to 6:15 p.m.: They.
6:45 to 7:15 p.m.: DeJ Loaf
7:45 to 8:30 p.m.: Lil Skies
9 to 10 p.m.: Pouya

Outdoor Stage:
3:55 to 4:25 p.m.: Pardison Fontaine
4:55 to 5:40 p.m.: Bugus
6:15 to 6:40 p.m.: Shek Wes
7:15 to 8 p.m.: Ski Mask the Slump God
8:30 to 9:30 p.m.: PNB Rock
10:15 to 11:45 p.m.: Russ

Saturday, March 17:
(Gates open at noon)

Indoor Stage:
2:30 to 3:30 p.m.: The Infamous Stringdusters
4:30 to 5:30 p.m.: St. Paul and Broken Bones
6:45 to 8 p.m.: Cody Jinks
12:15 to 1:45 a.m.: Boombox

Outdoor Stage:
1:30 to 2:30 p.m.: Kalu and Electric Joint
3:30 to 4:30 p.m.: Midnight North
5:30 to 6:45 p.m.: Big Head Todd and the Monsters
8 to 11:45 p.m.: Phil Lesh and the Terrapin Family Band

The Chris Robinson BrotherhoodEXPAND
The Chris Robinson Brotherhood
Matthew Mendenhall

Sunday, March 18:
(Gates open at noon)

Indoor Stage:
2 to 3 p.m.: Con Brio
3:20 to 4:20 p.m.: Tauk
4:40 to 5:40 p.m.: Donavon Frankenreiter
6 to 7 p.m.: G. Love and Special Sauce
7:20 to 8:35 p.m.: Chris Robinson Brotherhood
9 to 10:15 p.m.: Magic!

Outdoor Stage:
12:40 to 1:15 p.m.: Ballyhoo!
1:25 to 2:10 p.m.: OMI
2:25 to 3:10 p.m.: Fortunate Youth
3:25 to 4:25 p.m.: O.T. Genasis
4:45 to 5:45 p.m.: Felly
10:15 to 11:45 p.m.: Rebelution
8 to 9:15 p.m.: Dirty Heads
6:15 to 7:30 p.m.: Pepper

Lockers: Banks of lockers will be available for rental during the festival, should you need somewhere to stash your stuff. Each one is 11 inches wide, 13.5 inches high, and 18 inches deep. They include access to phone charging cords (Android and iPhone). It's $15 per day, per locker, or $40 for the entire weekend.

Water: Staying hydrated is a must at any festival, especially if you'll be drinking alcohol or spending the day on your feet. Each patron can bring two sealed one-liter bottles of water into the festival. CamelBak-style water packs and empty water bottles are also allowed, and there will be a free refill station. Sealed bottles of water can also be purchased at the event.

Food and Drink: A collection of vendors and food trucks will have vegetarian and non-vegetarian options available for purchase, as well as soda, energy drinks, and water. If you’d like something harder, they’ll also sell beer and mixed cocktails. 

Vendors: Pot of Gold will have a “Vendor Village” with a variety of products and apparel for sale. There will also be a merch booth with band and festival-branded stuff. Sponsors will also hand out promotional items and giveaways.

Attractions: According to the Pot of Gold website, there will be a few themed areas throughout the festival gounds, including a “Space Lab Area” with interactive activities, an “Arcade Alley” offering classic video and pinball games, a kickback spot called “Shady Lane,” and the “Art Land” featuring work by local creatives.

It's St. Patrick's weekend, which means all green everything.EXPAND
It's St. Patrick's weekend, which means all green everything.
Jim Louvau

What to Wear: Since it's going to be relatively cool, short or jeans with a t-shirt will suffice. Consider a hoodie or jacket, too, just in case it gets too chilly. And since it's St. Patrick's weekend, anything green is encouraged, as well as over-the-top hats or costuming items like necklaces, pendants, or hats.

What to Bring:Your I.D., for starters, in order to pick up tickets or buy alcohol. Cell and data service will get spottier as the crowd increases each day but have a fully charged phone just in case. Beyond that, sun protection (hats, sealed bottle of sunblock, sunglasses) are all recommended.

Fanny packs, blankets, flags, small bags and purses, lighters, and personal misters are also allowed, as are sealed packs of smokes, tampons, cosmetics, and ChapStick. When it comes to e-cigs and vaping devices, only ones that are disposable or don’t have a refillable juice chamber will make it past security.

You can also bring festival-friendly items like glow toys, flow toys, and illuminated costuming and jewelry. Totems are okay (but only if they’re less than 10 feet in height and made from softer materials like foam or lighter woods) and so are inflatables (provided they’re deflated upon entry).

What Not to Bring: Spiked jewelry, chain wallets, weapons, laser pens, air horns, fireworks, drugs, pepper spray, drugs, drug paraphernalia, or anything else dangerous or disruptive.

What else should you leave at home? Chairs, drones, gang attire, Native American headdresses, large bags, tents, or any outside food or drink.

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