GoldRush Arizona 2022 Recap
Relentless Beats Present GoldRush: Neon Dreams, is a very popular music festival in Phoenix that attracts both locals and out-of-state EDM lovers. This 2022 edition is a three-night event starting Friday, October 7 to Sunday, October 9, and it’s the perfect time of year because the weather in Phoenix is the perfect warm temperature where attendees won’t overheat.
When I first saw that the lineup had up-and-coming breakout House DJ Dom Dolla, combined with Noizu, Chris Lake, and AC Slater, this lineup has the names to rival other popular House Music Festivals such as CRSSD in San Diego. Other popular headliners include Kaskade, Seven Lions, Excision, Rezz, Ghastly, Joyride, and Wuki to name a few.
I was so excited to see Dom Dolla, Noizu, and Chris Lake that I bought my flight from San Francisco (where’s your disco) to Phoenix right away when the lineup was released months ago.
This year the lineup consisted of major headliners such as Excision, Kaskade, and Rezz on the main stage. Other artists on the first day at the same stage were Hesh, Wuki, and Troyboi! The second stage on day one had local artists open up the show. Then came G jones, AC Slater then Bob Moses to close out their club set!
Day 2- Relentless beats opened up with local DJs to start off the show, but later on, we had ARMNHRM, Joyryde, and Chris lake to get the party started before the legend Kaskade came on the main stage! That being the main stage there was also other talents of music at the moonrise mountain stage consisting of artists such as Dreso, Lucii, and herobust! This stage was mostly dubstep stage, which threw a variety of different types of music throughout the festival!
Day 3- Day 3 of Goldrush consisted of Local Arizona DJs DISTRICT 13, LICK , DARK MARK, BIGSTABES, and the biggest AZ local Ghastly! Throughout the night of day 3, this night was definitely for everyone to hang out and chill to good vibes for the last night!
For the first time in GoldRush history, Relentless Beats has moved the event from Rawhide in Chandler to their new venue at the Phoenix Raceway in Avondale. For many loyal patrons of Rawhide, this venue change is mostly inconvenient due to the distance, but when you finally get to the venue, you do see that it has its benefits.
First off, the Phoenix Raceway has the logistics to put on a big show, plenty of free guest parking and two direct ways to get in and out of the Raceway. At first thought, you think the event would be inside the Raceway on the racetrack, much like EDC Las Vegas and Hard Summer, but the grounds between the box office and grandstand building were more than enough to set up 2 main stages and an indoor stage.
The main stage(Paradise prairie)
The main stage at Goldrush this year was very different than any other Goldrush because it was at a brand new venue and it being a megastructure stage at a new venue it’s hard to adapt to the new grounds! That being said the main stage was definitely nothing like anyone has ever seen before for the main stage!
The barn (Coyote cove)
As you are leaving the main stage to walk to the next you come across the inside stage called coyote cove! This stage was strictly local Arizona artists! Not only just Arizona artists at this stage, but this stage also included the after parties every night once the actual show was over. Headlining the after parties was AC Slater on Friday, ACRAZE on Saturday, and Space Laces closing out Sunday! These after-parties also included local Arizona DJs opening up before them.
Walking on from the coyote cove stage you would come across the moonrise mountain stage! This stage consisted of headliners such as AC Slater, G jones, HEROBUST, BOOGIE T, NOIZU, DOM DOLLA, plus many more! This couldn’t have been a better stage to be at considering it is such a close-up intimate stage! The setup for this stage plus the V.I.P. section couldn’t have been any better!
Every festival in Arizona has always had a silent disco! But this year it was something special for it being a brand new venue for relentless beats! This year’s silent disco consisted of many local DJs playing varieties of music from House, trance, dubstep, and throwback 90’s music! All these varieties could be listened to through the same headset! All you needed was to switch the channel on your headphones!
The Food, Drink & Merch
Every year at Gold rush they have many different sponsors such as Deep eddy vodka, mikes hard lemonade, and the Phoenix Suns, and their main alcohol partner this year being Beatbox. And now to GoldRush this year there was a small enclosed area called the highland cannabis park which concluded of different local dispensaries such as Curaleaf, melted, Ogeez, and timeless to promote their dispensaries and give out prizes and coupons to their stores!
For it being the first time at the phoenix raceway there were more opportunities for more space and food! Walking throughout the festival near every stage you could find food and drink stands! Food consisting of chili cheese fries, Hamburgers, Hot dogs, and your usual chicken fingers! Walking from the Paradise prairie to moonrise mountain you could find a place to sit and relax on benches to eat your food or just a quick relaxation spot!
With there being so many DJs every day at this festival the merch tent was bigger this year than any other! For the lineup day by day march tent consisted of who was playing that day!
Dom Dolla may not have been the #1 headliner of this event, but to me, he was the #1 DJ I was looking forward to experiencing all weekend, and he did not disappoint. Dom Dolla’s set was so amazing that he should have been on the Paradise Prairie Mainstage instead of the 2nd Moonlight Mountain stage. But regardless of the size of the stage, Dom Dolla performed one of the best sets of the weekend and the crowd was dancing and grooving start to finish. Australian DJ wasted no time to get the crowd dancing by playing some of his house music hits like “San Frandisco,” “Pump the Breaks” and “Take It.”
The visuals early on from the set consisted of a combined mix of red lights and blue lasers, with the colors eventually combining into purple as Dom Dolla started to transition the music to tech house. The colors of the visuals then started to turn green: just like a dollar. As the set went on, the tech house music started to get faster, amping up the crowd even more. The good thing about the Moonlight Mountain stage is that the DJ is on a raised platform a short distance from the crowd, so you can see Dom Dolla dancing along with the crowd and you can feel his energy as he plays hit after hit.
Dom Dolla later play a remix “Lose Control” by Missy Elliot, which made the fans feel like they were in a club. Near the end of the set, Dom Dolla played his popular hit “San Frandisco”, but this time, it was a remix that made it sound like a completely new song. As the set started to conclude, Dom Dolla gave the crowd a treat, playing some never before heard unreleased songs, wrapping up this already amazing festival.
This is the second time I have seen Chris Lake play live, the first time was earlier this year at Decadence NYE 2022, and he gets better every time as his GoldRush was one of the best sets of the entire weekend at the Paradise Prairie stage on Saturday night. Beginning his set with red lights and lasers, Lake quickly got the entire crowd dancing by playing popular songs like “Can You Feel It?”
Chris Lake’s house music set had the whole crowd vibing and grooving from start to finish. The visuals for Lake’s set were stimulating and visually pleasing, which included videos of the moon spinning and snakes slithering up pillars. So both your eyes and ears were getting immersed into the music.
Lake kept the house theme for most of the set and played his most popular songs, like “I Want You,” “Deceiver” and “A Drug from God.” He also brought more energy and got the crowd dancing by playing a remix of the mid-2010 smash hit “Gas Pedal”. At the end of the set, Lake played “Turn off the Lights,” to wind down an amazing performance.
Kaskade is always a fan favorite because his progressive house sets always get the crowd dancing and feeling good. I love it when he gets the crowd to sing along to his hits, like “Something Something”, “Disarm You” and “Atmosphere”. Kaskade has been a major headliner for over a decade now and he never disappoints, With a phenomenal set at the Paradise Prairie stage that felt like a blast from the past, Kaskade put on a progressive house spectacle, as he has for 20 years.
Kaskade kept EDM fans from all generations dancing by playing a nice mix of his 2000s hits like “Something Something” and “Move for Me,” but also mixing in his recent hits including songs like “Take Me High,” “Escape,” “On Your Mind” and the remix of Imagine Dragons “Believer.” The throwback visuals featured vibrant and stimulating animated videos that look straight out of the 1980s. This is coupled with vibrant orange lights and lasers, with some of the most memorable visuals resembling orange and purple waves. Kaskade also played a good amount of trance and techno music, for fans that enjoy a wide range of EDM genres. Kaskade ended his set by playing his smash hit “I Remember” to go along with visuals of a purple-themed city, making for a beautiful ending to GoldRush day two, and sending the fans home feeling good on the drive home, having experienced his amazing Saturday Night set.
One of dubstep’s most popular artists, Excision closed out day one of the Paradise Prairie stage with an exhilarating performance. The dubstep legend opened with an unreleased song that ignited the crowd.
As expected, the set featured tons of lasers that wowed and shot across the crowd. The visuals on the screen featured everything that Excision fans have come to expect in his chaotic sets — from futuristic robots to roaring dinosaurs, and many other prehistoric creatures.
The first half of the set featured a lot of Excision’s signature dubstep, including the fan-favorite song “Decimate.” He also played his two collaboration hits with popular EDM artist Illenium, “Feel Something” and “Gold.”
As the set progressed to the middle, he changed the music up from dubstep to drum and bass making the crowd go from headbanging to dancing. He also played experimental bass, a welcome surprise. As Excision’s set and day one of Goldrush reached its conclusion, Excision yelled, “I got one more song for ya, are you ready?!” and circled back with almost 10 straight minutes of dubstep.
In one of the more creative sets of the festival, Arizona’s very own Ghastly took over the stage at Paradise Prairie and took his music to the next level.
The set started with an epic laser show, then Ghastly started to play the bass house for which he is known. The visuals to start the set were hues of purple and blue, including the lasers and videos on the screen that featured psychedelic looking visuals.
Ghastly also debuted a song near the beginning of the set, before jamming a remix of Drowning Pool’s “Bodies.” Ghastly gave the crowd a little hometown love. “Hey Arizona, I grew up about 2 miles in that direction,” pointing toward Avondale. “Let’s hear it, hometown!”
He also played remixes of the popular songs “Behemoth” by SVDDEN DEATH and “Griztronics” by GRiZ and Subtronics. Ghastly then brought his parents to the stage to the delight of the crowd. During the last 20 minutes of the set, Ghastly shocked the crowd by “evolving” his persona and music to “Ghengar,” similar to Pokemon’s “Gastly,” who evolves to “Gengar.” With his alter ego, he played riddim dubstep and new music that, displaying the “evolution” of the West Valley native DJ.
Seven Lions started his majestic set at the Paradise Prairie stage with a festival remix of his popular song “Falling Away,” pairing it with strobing white lights and red visuals.
He continued the future bass with songs like “See You Again,” “Oceans” and “Freesol” to go along with mystical fantasy landscapes that appeared on the big screen. He also dropped “Pantheon,” a hit collaboration featuring seven artists, all from his own record label Ophelia Records. He carried on his set with trance and bass-hitting songs. Seven Lions then played his classics, “Rush Over Me” followed by “First Time,” making the crowd sing their hearts out.
He then transitioned to playing some experimental bass, including the song “Take a Trip” by Liquid Stranger. The set was concluded by Seven Lions playing one of his older songs, “Higher Love,” concluding a masterful performance and sending the festival to its final performances of the weekend.
This is my first time going to the GoldRush Music Festival in Phoenix, as all my past festivals in Phoenix have all been Decadence NYE events, and this GoldRush Music Festival is now in the top 5 all-time favorite festivals, mostly due to the warm weather, great WiFi connection, amazing vibe and energy from the beautiful crowd, the DJ’s putting on a great performance and the VIP experience. Having to cover this event for Shralpin media company, I was blessed with a Media Pass that allows access into all the VIP areas and backstage.
The many perks of the VIP experience is really having more space and a closer view of the stage. The drinks and food choices and prices are the same throughout the venue, so there is no additional value there, but the access to the VIP A/C bathrooms, VIP raised platforms and the ability to be within 10 yards of the DJ is a very exciting feeling, especially when you can see the crowd going crazy for their favorite DJ’s point of view. Even if I was given a GA pass, the space you have to walk around, and dance, and the ability to get to the front rail or to quickly use the bathroom or get a drink, made this festival very easy to navigate and very accessible.
You can tell this festival was very well organized because there was an easy flow from the short will-call lines, thorough security screening that moved quickly, not much traffic getting to the venue and into the parking lot, and even the walk from the parking lot to the entrance was quick and convenient. The size of this festival was perfect, as it never felt overcrowded. The walk between the stages was reasonable and it was very easy to meet up with friends because the WiFi made it possible to communicate with one another on your cell phone.
The Ranger Station was a hidden gem, as the Rangers there are always looking out for your best interest, and can help you sit down or lie down, to take a break from all the partying. The Rangers had fans, chairs, cots, water and good vibes to help you get rejuvenated and back on your feet.
I’ve always said that there are three things you need for the perfect music festival experience; Great Music, Amazing Friends, and Good Vibes, and this festival had the best of all three! I got to dance my ass off to Dom Dolla and Noizu, so I can check to see them off my bucket list. I got to reconnect and build on my relationships with my Arizona RaveFam and even made some new friends add to my ever-growing RaveFam. And I came into this festival with a very happy mindset and just the right Vibe, of wanting everyone to have a good time with me because I always have a good time. The experiences and memories I had at GoldRush AZ, I’ll cherish forever.
I’ll always look back and smile and laugh at the one time in the VIP when we met Julie with a G and Riana with an R, and we introduced ourselves as Kole with a K, Zach with an H, and Vu with a U, HAHA. It’s been a long time since I’ve been to a summer music festival like this, and I often forget how much I love partying at these music festivals, so when I have the best time of my life, I always remind my friends, that Raving Is Fun Again.
Written By: Vu Ho and Zach Campbell