Goldrush Festival, the festival known for fringed-cowboy hats and flared chaps in the wild west of Avondale, Arizona returned this 2023 to Phoenix Raceway as Goldrush: Sonoran Skies. On October 7-8, cowboys and cowgirls found themselves reinvigorated by the gold mine of special stages and sets curated especially for this backwater Sonoran Desert fest!
Setting the tone and setting of this corral-affair were five stages, one silent disco, and one art car will beautify the raceway with not only local names from Arizona’s underground rave scene but the hottest names in the EDM game such as Louis The Child (Playground Set), Nostalgix, Dion Timmer, and Alison Wonderland.
The five stages: Paradise Prairie, Moonrise Mountain, Coyote Cove, Sound Cabin Art Car, and Cowboy Corral Silent Disco weren’t the only novelty to this Arizonian experience. Adding to the ambiance was the Voodoo Ranger 1UP Arcade, The Playground’s Roller Disco, and The Highland Lounge featuring photo opps to accompany a jovial feast for the ears!
Night 1: Goldrushers’ Return to an EDM Saloon
Adding to the ambience of the old wild west, new stage production included larger and multiple screens to reach every side of the stage. The Weird And Wonderful Cast performers joined the front of every stage as face-painted cacti, cowboys in humongous hats, and more with sparklers to transform into a Sonoran-botanical-inspired character. The VooDoo ranger arcade attracted the vintage entertainment lovers in between stages, similar to a refuge away from the crowds but close enough to hear the music.
Paradise Prairie is the main stage designed to present the superstars of EDM: Tiesto, Ship Wrek, Madeon, and KAYZO’s Unleashed full band experience. Breaking Goldrush lineup records: Louis The Child (Playground Set) was the space cow’s helmet of the weekend! The duo mixed tracks from the beginning of their discography and recent fan-favorites like “Compass” ft. Zella Day and “Better Not (with Wafia)”. The two explained the special nature of Playground sets allows them to have fun with creative freedom, especially with once being teens in the industry, now grown into adults. Tiësto played the final set on night one before Walker & Royce claimed the Coyote Cover for the after party.
The Moonrise Mountain Stage is dedicated to bass-finatics, headbangers, feral railbreakers with the hottest names in heavy bass. Those artists climbing the top of the Moonrise Mountain Stage were Champagne Drip, Brondo, and Dion Timmer to name a few. Slushii’s dynamic performance caused security guards to make ugly bass faces and subtly dance as they monitored the crowd leaving nobody untouched from the Goldrush fun. Leaving the crowd on an even higher note, ATLiens’ finger dance moves predicted every bass drop as they knew they were playing one of the best sets of the weekend as they wore their black, red laser-eyed masks.
Night 2: Facing the Ace-High Music
The Coyote Cove was the stage for coyote-ravers in love with all kinds of flavors of house and techno. Dombresky, Cloonee, Will Clarke, and Ben Böhmer Live. BLOND:ISH’s performance of bubbly, tropical tech house sent feel-good vibes in every strobe of lime green laser hitting the back of the dark stage.
Continuing the wholesome and heartfelt Goldrush experience at Paradise Prairie was Madeon in his special “Good Faith DJ set: Playing Music For Fun”; the crowd listened to Earth, Wind & Fire’s, “September” as the farewell track of the set. Followed by my personal favorite set of the entire weekend, Zeds Dead created the expected spiritual union of 90s hip-hop/rap and bass.
Automatically, the dance floor couldn’t help their happy feet and bodies groove to tracks “Gassed Up VIP”, “Atmosphere”, and Tape B’s remix of TLC’s “No Scrubs."
Because it wouldn’t be a Zeds Dead if the duo didn’t add some soul in this mix, they mixed Ella Fitzgerald’s “Summertime” in her live1968 performance. The last performance at Paradise Prairie was Zhu as his set began in complete darkness, emotional song lyrics and paired basslines shook the hearts of every raver as this was a sentimental set for many.
As this performance came to the end of the weekend, Blacklizt (Zhu’s side techno project) was the forefront of the after party as bouncy, rhythmic techno sounds of different subgenres came together to fill the 2am atmosphere.
Meanwhile at Moonrise Mountain, Jessica Audiffred satisfied the ears of those in hopes of hearing DnB. Closing the weekend at this stage, Goldrushers collectively rocked the rails together in perfect unison to the deathcore bass drops in Kai Wachii’s set and grew in intensity until the end of the last track.
With such feral and excitable nature, it’s no surprise numerous performers said they loved Arizona’s crowd over the course of the weekend. Over the course of the weekend Arizona’s favorite local names claimed their name to fame in the sound cabin art car and Cowboy Corral Silent Disco like Gio Lucca, Raven & Ali, and BlvckRose.
Mining for Style: Goldrush Couture
Any recurring Goldrusher will tell future Goldrushers dressing on-theme enhances the experience of this Wild Wild West-inspired experience! From entire rave families dressed in costumes posing as space cows to men in leather chaps with matching fringe harnesses, the Goldrush couture never disappoints.
The famous black cowgirl hat with diamond rhinestone fringe (you’ve probably seen in an Instagram post at least once) was the most popular accessory of the weekend and looked perfectly on-theme yet versatile in every outfit. A few bolo ties made appearances while my favorite Goldrush fashion item were thigh-high cowboy boots.
The Champagne Corral VIP Experience
Relentless Beats’ VIP experiences always promise an elevated experience. Private bathrooms, viewing decks, bottle service, and exclusive sections on the dance floor closest to the stage can guarantee a positive experience in this fast-paced environment.
Because Relentless Beats makes VIP passes a novelty experience, this Goldrush poured an incoming of new additions for VIP Goldrushers. Goldrush debuted their “Glamour Booth” with hair and makeup stylists ready to pamper anyone in VIP in face paint, hair extensions, and fabulous glitter eye makeup.
The famous groove bus with fluffy, furry pillows and rugs intended for potential cuddle puddles made its way to the entrance just before Boothchella’s desert-themed photo booth. One of the most life-saving and essential additions in VIP were separate bathrooms and water stations which allowed more moments to be lived on the dance floor.Can’t wait to return to the dance floor? The next major Relentless Beats event is Decadence Arizona 2023: The Sky Realm featuring Bleu Clair, Green Velvet, and Steve Aoki. Buy your tickets now before prices increase!
There's a little something for everyone at Beyond Wonderland and I think that's usually expressed in the fashion, but here are some picks for what I recommend wearing to Beyond Wonderland from the new Beyond Wonderland collection from iHeartRaves.