Goldrush founder tells us the secrets of successful event promotion in AZ [Q+A]

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Goldrush founder tells us the secrets of successful event promotion in AZ [Q+A]Goldrush Credit Goldrush Fest

Arizona’s general interest in dance music had been on the rise for quite some time, but it seemed to have needed a true place it could call home within the state — outside a number of select venues and events. Enter institutional brand Relentless Beats with their newest Goldrush endeavor. The shiny new Western-themed gathering, which, despite its short tenure on the circuit, has risen as a hub for mining the shiniest artistic nuggets that the industry has to offer. Goldrush carved out a niche in the Arizona sphere with ease for its inaugural 2017 edition, bringing a multitude of dance acts across the spectrum spanning from Migos, to Nicole Moudaber, to Barclay Crenshaw.

A festival of this nature would not be successful had it not been for the tenured organizers behind-the-scenes who perpetually have their ears to the ground, and a vision of success. Relentless Beats in particular has risen as the voice of dance music in the region, having created some of Arizona’s most sought-after events to date — like the New Year’s celebration Decadence, for example, or a number of club nights that bring in talent from across the country and world. Goldrush, however, is shaping up to be their largest venture yet, despite being in just its second year of production. Curious as to the mechanics behind throwing a festival that’s a guaranteed success among a saturated market in general, we sat down with one of the prime leaders of Goldrush and Relentless beats, Thomas Turner, to pick his brain on putting a gargantuan event together, hurdles they’ve faced, new additions to the festival, and more.


Tell us a bit about yourself. How did you get started in event promotion/organization?
I started producing underground electronic events in the 90s, after being influenced by European house music. Specifically progressive house.

How did the idea for Gold Rush come about, and what kicked its formation into action for you?
The western town we produce Goldrush in was a tourist destination North of Scottsdale, when i was growing up. When i saw it in its setting at Wild Horse Pass, many years after being relocated, i salivated at the idea of producing a western themed music event- it was just many years to soon and we needed to pick the right time for something so niche. I had a lot of time to think about the name and it finally felt right in 2017.

We’ve read your goal is to curate cutting-edge lineups. What is your methodology for finding acts that you feel haven’t been booked for an event of this nature before?
For us the process is long and detailed when it comes to breaking and sustaining an act’s brand in the market. We want the fans to get a great show as well as the act.

How was the process of getting Gold Rush off the ground last year? Any kinks you encountered while throwing its first edition that you’ve ironed out for this year?
Certainly the first year always encounters some hurdles and we are constantly looking to fine tune the experience, but the thing I like most is us getting our arms around hosting the best event in the space. And while it years to see our ultimate vision, we have made major strides this year.

What kinds of expansions or cool things can we expect for year 2 of Gold Rush, now that the festival is hitting its stride?
For one the mainstage is now on a new patch of grass called The Riverwalk, which we are very excited about. In addition, we have moved from 16+ to 18+ with later hours to better serve our core fan base.

What can you say about the AZ dance scene and how it’s grown over the years?
The Arizona dance scene is tremendous and i really can’t say enough good things about how strong the electronic music culture is here. We rival major markets in overall ticket volume, yet are a fraction of their size.

Who are you most excited about on the bill this year?
I’m personally most excited to see Vince Staples, Chris Lake, Loud Luxury, & of course my boy illenium

Any final words for Gold Rush attendees?
I can’t wait to see all the costumes & outfits and spend two amazing nights with everyone. Let’s ride AZ!

Mystery substance kills seven, leaves five comatose following Vietnam’s Trip to the Moon festival

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Mystery substance kills seven, leaves five comatose following Vietnam’s Trip to the Moon festivalStatement Festival Annika Berglund

City officials in Vietnam’s capital have instituted a city-wide ban on music festivals after an unknown substance claimed the lives of seven attendees and left five in a coma following Hanoi’s Trip to the Moon festival on September 16. All of those affected by the mystery drug, which were Vietnamese festival-goers between the ages of 18 and 30, tested positive for the substance. Officials are now investigating the source of the substance, as the situation marks the “largest mass death from drugs at a music festival” in recent events.

“They didn’t dance much, just swayed a bit and they didn’t like the lights shining directly at them,” an anonymous Trip to the Moon festival-goer told reporters. The very same attendee additionally stated that many fellow ticket holders appeared lethargic and disoriented and mentioned that the pre-entry security check was only cursory.

Vietnam remains an area in which the sale of illicit synthetic substances continues to grow in tandem with the increased popularity of electronic music events hosted in the country. Although Vietnam police previously uncovered and subsequently closed large-scale domestic labs, the drugs nevertheless infiltrate Vietnam through the borders of Laos, Myanmar, and Thailand — three points that collectively makeup a drug hotbed otherwise known as “the Golden Triangle.”

H/T: Mixmag

Now you can relive Pendulum’s full set from Reading Festival [Watch]

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Now you can relive Pendulum’s full set from Reading Festival [Watch]Pendulum Festival Live

Pendulum gave Reading Festival’s BBC Radio 1 stage a treat this weekend, with an hour straight of live favorites and deep cuts. For fans who couldn’t make it to the UK for their Pendulum fix, there’s good news — the band’s performance has appeared on YouTube in full. Their headlining performance tears through fan favorites from their 2010 LP Immersion like “Witchcraft” and “The Island Pt. 1,” alongside fan favorites like “Tarantula” and “Blood Sugar.” The crowd’s elated singalong with the vocal breakdown in “Watercolour” is a must see.

Rob Swire announced in 2017 that the live electronic pioneers were back, returning from a six year hiatus. The band announced tour and festival dates, with the promise that new music was in the works. So far, they’ve held fans’ appetites at bay with the release of an album’s worth of remixes in June of 2018 called The Reworks, with help from names like Noisia, Skrillex, ATTLAS and more.

Note – the first three minutes of the recording are audio only, before video kicks in.

Photo Credit: Rukes

Dreamstate SoCal stacks its 4th edition lineup high with B2Bs and new acts

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Dreamstate SoCal stacks its 4th edition lineup high with B2Bs and new actsDreamstate 2 ALive

Insomniac‘s trance brand Dreamstate has grown unbelievably over its short time on the dance circuit, expanding from its singular stage flagship event in San Bernadino to an international brand with festival stops in Australia and Central America — plus an ongoing rotation of themed events to boot. However, the aforementioned home of the brand remains as a steadfast leader of its events, and a good indicator of what’s to come. This year, Dreamstate bookers have picked quite the fresh lineup for the Southern California event’s fourth edition.

A variety of fresh, new acts have made the roster this time around — a usual for Dreamstate SoCal, which last year hosted the world debut of Key4050, among others. This year, Gareth Emery‘s new audiovisual Laserface show is indicated to be the most anticipated headlining performance, with other huge names like Paul van Dyk, Sander van Doorn‘s Purple Haze alias, and Ruben de Ronde likely joining van Dyk on the main stage. Two notable resurrections — First State, and Ferry Corsten under his System F moniker — are also on the list.

Two other notable new duos making their California debut are Gentech and Lost In Noise. The former is comprised of Mark Sherry and Scot Project, while the latter is a combination of Indecent Noise and Lostly. They’re joined by a multitude of other B2B performances as well, like Arctic Moon & RAM, Chris Schweizer & Heatbeat, and Sneijder & Sied van Riel, among others.

It’s also worth noting that there are fewer acts appearing on the lineup than usual. Pasquale and the Insomniac team have yet to reveal if they’ve scaled the event down to fewer than four stages, or if they’ve granted fan requests of longer set times — potentially to compensate for the wide array of B2B performances on the bill.

 

Photo credit: aLive coverage

OWSLA’s Josh Pan confirms Skrillex is dropping new music this year following Fuji Rock Festival performance

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OWSLA’s Josh Pan confirms Skrillex is dropping new music this year following Fuji Rock Festival performanceSkrille Form Arcosanti 2015

Skrillex returned to the festival circuit recently, taking on Japan’s Fuji Rock with a widely acclaimed hiatus-ending performance. Warming an enormous crowd for Kendrick Lamar’s headlining slot, Skrillex’s set came littered with personal edits, mash-ups, newer material, canonized Skrillex classics, and best of all — a handful of brand new, yet-to-be-identified burners. While nearly everyone, from Fuji Rockers in Japan to eager viewers and listeners across the world, were just enamored to see the OWSLA honcho’s first main stage DJ set of the year, one onlooker in particular — Josh Pan — had their mind set on what’s coming next. The proverbial “soon” passed around by Skrillex fans seems to be closer than anyone thought, and those unidentified new tracks may be getting their names in the very near future.

OWSLA’s Josh Pan confirms Skrillex is dropping new music this year following Fuji Rock Festival performanceSkrille Reddit Josh Pan Dancing Astronaut

In a social media post, in which Pan confirms new music of his own, the young experimentalist couldn’t help but share some words of endearment about his label head, though some key words in his post jump right off the screen,

“We’re both about to put out some crazy music this year. He’s back!!!!”

This year. He’s back.

It has been four years since Moore’s seminal studio debut, Recessand it didn’t take long for fans to start calling for more. And while the former screamo frontman has delivered a steady stream of material in the last near half decade since his first LP, we haven’t been treated to a cohesive body of Skrillex work like Recess since. As it goes, earlier this year Diplo confirmed Jack Ü could once again return, though only after Skrillex finishes a full-length project he’s working on. We can take Diplo’s words at face value, though without any concrete details, the story behind Skrillex’s sophomore LP remains unsubstantiated. Now, with Josh Pan’s keen choice of words, it looks like “soon,” may finally have an expiration date.

Watch Skrillex tear down Japan’s Fuji Rock in his only major festival set of the year

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Watch Skrillex tear down Japan’s Fuji Rock in his only major festival set of the yearSkrille Jasmine Safaeian

It strange when a whole festival season comes and goes without much mention of Skrillex. Amid what appears to be a relaxing, productive year off, which many believe Skrillex may be using to write a sophomore album, performances have been few and far between, and festival appearances have become a coveted rarity. FORM Arcosanti‘s billing this year included its annual set from the OWSLA boss, but the only other lineup to bear a Skrillex booking so far this year is Japan’s Fuji Rock, next to acts including Kendrick Lamar, N.E.R.D., Bob Dylan, and MGMT. Taking on Saturday’s sundown slot, Skrillex decidedly crushes his only major festival outing of the year, giving Japan one of his best performances in recent memory.

Creatively, Skrillex has always kept close ties to Eastern culture, and for his most recent visit, the “Would You Ever” producer connected with Japanese metal band X Japan’s drummer Yoshiki for the final minutes of his Fuji Rock performance. The pair play a live medley of both of their hits, with Yoshiki on paino and eventually drums and Skrillex on the guitar.

STREAM SKRILLEX’S FULL FUJI ROCK PERFORMANCE HERE

ODESZA announce end of annual Red Rocks run, duo possibly plotting Foreign Family music festival for 2019

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ODESZA announce end of annual Red Rocks run, duo possibly plotting Foreign Family music festival for 2019Odesza Lost Lake Jeff Kravitz

A Foreign Family Collective music festival just might be within ODESZA‘s ‘line of sight.’

The duo recently revealed that they would not be returning to Colorado’s famed Red Rocks Amphitheater in 2019, thereby ending a consecutive four-year streak of annual shows at the venue. The pair assuaged any disappointment that their announcement inspired among listeners in their promise that they had “something big in the works” instead.

Fans have been waiting attentively to see what Harrison Mills and Clayton Knight’s next joint move will entail, though a festival venture seems like the most likely next move. ODESZA indicated interest in a festival featuring talent from their Foreign Family Collective label in a Reddit AMA hosted in 2017. Fans have speculated that the producers will not only debut a Foreign Family Collective festival in 2019, but will host the rumored event at another iconic outdoor venue — the Gorge Amphitheater, a space that ODESZA has yet to play.

Foreign Family Collective enjoyed an Electric Forest first in 2017 with ODESZA’s own stage, programmed with talent curated from their imprint including Jai Wolf, Chet Porter, Kasbo, and RÜFÜS DU SOL. Launching a festival-style event would be a logical progression, though as speculation continues to mount, ODESZA remain tight lipped. We’ll have to wait and see.

Photo Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Coachella

Here’s how to turn your Spotify listening habits into concert tickets

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Here’s how to turn your Spotify listening habits into concert ticketsHow To Listen Spotify Music Offline For Free

Spotify has officially teamed up with the leading music festival travel-booking platform Festicket, to help listeners find festivals that align with their listening habits. It’s appropriately called “Festival Finder,” and it seems really easy to use. Simply connect your Spotify account with Festicket, and the platform digs into listening history, coming up with ten upcoming festival lineups that the listener might be drawn to. Festival goers can also buy tickets and book travel arrangements on Festicket.

Co-founder and CEO Zack Sabban told Billboard,

“We now offer over 1,000 festivals on the platform, and we know first-hand how overwhelming it can be when trying to pick out the one to go to. Our Festival Finder solves that problem by presenting a tailored list of festivals that best match your listening habits, including some under the radar gems that could soon become your new favorite festival destination.”

Sabban and Jonathan Younes founded Festicket in 2012, transforming their technology platform in the last six years into an intelligent engine for festival discovery.

H/T: Billboard   

JAY-Z denounces Philadelphia mayor over Made in America’s eviction from Benjamin Franklin Parkway in open letter

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JAY-Z denounces Philadelphia mayor over Made in America’s eviction from Benjamin Franklin Parkway in open letterJay Z Live The Meadows 2017

JAY-Z‘s Made in America Festival will host its final iteration at the Ben Franklin Parkway from September 1-2, 2018, after which the annual Labor Day Weekend event will relocate.

Made in America’s need to identify a new venue for its succeeding years of production comes after a statement from the office of Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney. “This is the last year MIA will be held on the Parkway,” the office proclaims, “It’s unclear how MIA will want to proceed in the future but the City is interested in discussing alternate locations within Philadelphia for future years.” Made in America’s coerced migration from the Parkway will disrupt the festival’s six-year streak at the locale, hosted in the heart of the city since its inception. The statement continues, “Over the years, tourism has grown overall and the need for an event of this scale at this location may no longer be necessary.”

While the office adds that it remains, open to the event continuing elsewhere, Made in America’s eviction from its long term home did not please festival founder and rap mogul JAY-Z, who since penned an open letter expressing his disappointment with the mayor’s ousting of MIA from the Parkway. The rap mogul counterclaims that Kenney’s move, “signifies zero appreciation for what Made In America has built alongside the phenomenal citizens of this city.”

“Made in America is a multi-cultural platform that represents strength, freedom of speech, and perseverance for artists and music lovers,” JAY-Z writes. He continues, stating, “The Parkway is a cultural arts center that is symbolic to over 600 artists that have performed at this event. The Parkway captures the freedom and spirit of inclusivity that drew us to the city of Brotherly Love.” HOV does not indicate whether his festival property will leave Philadelphia altogether, or how the event organizers plan to relocate the festival in the future. JAY-Z goes on to disclose that the Kenney administration even tried to put a halt on this year’s edition of MIA.

Nicki Minaj and Post Malone headline Made in America’s 2018 edition, joined by Ty Dolla $ign, Diplo, Meek Mill, and Zedd, among other artists.

Read JAY’s full letter below:

The Made in America festival is a multi-cultural platform that represents strength, freedom of speech and perseverance for artists and music lovers. Philadelphia, an iconic city, represents those ideals. The location is integral to the pulse of the festival. The Parkway is a cultural arts center that is symbolic to over 600 artists that have performed at this event. The Parkway captures the freedom and spirit of inclusivity that drew us to the city of Brotherly Love. The celebratory nature and essence of this festival has inspired locals as well as visitors from across the nation to enjoy Labor Day in Philadelphia.

We are disappointed that the Mayor of the City of Philadelphia would evict us from the heart of the city, through a media outlet, without a sit-down meeting, notice, dialogue or proper communication. It signifies zero appreciation for what Made In America has built alongside the phenomenal citizens of this city.

In fact, this administration immediately greeted us with a legal letter trying to stop the 2018 event.

Since 2012, Made in America, one of the only minority-owned festivals, has had a positive $102.8 million economic impact to Philadelphia and the festival has paid $3.4 million in rent to the City. Made in America employs over 1000 Philadelphians each day and 85 percent of our partners are Philadelphia based companies.

We have studies and reports that prove the festival significantly contributes to Philadelphia’s tourism bottom line. We cannot comment if the Mayor has reviewed any of these materials.

We consider this stance a failure on the Mayor’s part. Is this an accurate representation of how he and his administration treat partners that economically benefit his city? Do they regularly reject minority-owned businesses that want to continue to thrive and grow alongside his city’s people?

In addition to contributing to Philadelphia, since its inception, Made in America has donated $2.9 million to the United Way of Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey. Cause Village, the festival’s philanthropic footprint and hub for social action, averages more than 15,000 social actions taken over the two-days via ongoing partnerships with more than 56 charitable and activist organizations representing all causes.

How does an administration, merely discard an event that generates millions in income and employs the city’s people as if we are disposable now that we have served our purpose? The city is right, in one respect, the first Made in America festival took place when there was a great need for tourism. By their admission, the festival first started as a “unique attraction to the City on an otherwise quiet Labor Day weekend. Over the years, tourism has grown overall.” Our question is, “How do you think that tourism grew, Mayor Kenney?”

We will discuss our options internally and handle accordingly.

H/T: Complex

Pretty Lights partners with Akomplice Clothing on ‘The Kit’ festival pack

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Pretty Lights partners with Akomplice Clothing on ‘The Kit’ festival packUnnamed 2

Pretty Lights knows festivals. The Denver-based electronic veteran has made a career of headlining them, curating his own festivals, and designing his shows specifically for the outdoors, making indoor shows a rarity in his repertoire. With an upcoming string of performances at his home turf of Red Rocks Amphitheater approaching in August, Pretty Lights has teamed up with apparel company Akomplice to release a unique capsule pack of necessities geared at today’s modern festival-goer.

The festival survival kit includes all the finest camping event accouterments, from walkie talkies to bandanas, a reliable grinder, light refraction tools, and even palo santo to ward off bad vibes. The items in the limited release pack are ready for camping, festival music, and creativity, along with a handy dopp kit to pack it all in. Available on July 13 at 11:30 AM PST, the new Pretty Lights Akomplice merchandise can be purchased here.

The full kit includes:

  • An iconic WWII trench lighter.
  • The signature AK grinder.
  • Palo Santo to light and clear your energy.
  • Festival Walkie Talkies
  • Channel 1 for Pretty Lights fam to connect.
  • Channel 2 for special announcements from Pretty Lights.
  • A bandana to protect your face at shows.
  • A crystal x-cube to refract light at shows.
  • A dopp kit for everything to live within.
  • A notebook for high-vibe, magical ideas.