Stop me if I’m wrong, but traditionally when you think of Arizona— Hip-Hop is probably the furthest thing from your mind. In a state that’s been labeled, “The South of the West” on numerous occasions, it can be easy to see why events like Country Thunder and Decadence take priority over rap-centric festivals and shows. Despite this, Arizona has shown an affinity for Hip-Hop, with venues like Talking Stick Resort and Club Red serving as both victory laps and proving grounds for acts all over the spectrum. Striking while the iron’s hot and noticing a possibility to marry the state’s two musical interests, Thomas Turner, head of EDM promotional company Relentless Beats, created Goldrush Festival.
Goldrush is an old-western themed event held in Chandler, AZ that brings together some of the hottest acts in EDM and Hip-Hop. Some of this year’s performers include Marshmello, RL Grime and Dilon Francis on the electronic side, while Lil’ Uzi Vert, Migos and probably the most talked about new artist of the year, Lil’ Pump, carry some of the weight in the Hip-Hop realm. With such a diverse line-up and an equally unique venue to match, we sat down with Turner to discuss the idea behind the festival, his dream headliners and what to expect in the future.
RESPECT. Magazine: How did the idea for the festival start?
Thomas Turner: I grew up going to Rawhide, which was previously in a different part of the greater Phoenix area, called Scottsdale. Many years ago they relocated it to Wild Horse Pass about 20 miles away, in Chandler. When I saw it there at Rawhide, I knew right away what an amazing site it could be.
Why Chandler, Arizona?
Turner: Chandler, Arizona is basically a suburb of Phoenix. Its only 15 min from the University, airport, & tons of major hotels & resorts–so its in fact very conveniently located.
Growing up, was music something that stuck out as a passion for you at an early age, or did it manifest later?
Turner: Yeah, I was always listening to something. Growing up, I loved country music, classic rock, then alternative prior to falling in love with European electronic music in the 90’s.
Can you talk a little bit about the business side of throwing a festival and some of the challenges you and your team faced with getting this one off of the ground.
Turner: There’s literally thousands of moving parts to each large event. Relentless Beats is blessed with a great team and partners alike that help us make things stay on track.
With such a diverse group of acts, what is your goal for this year’s festival?
Turner: You have the two hottest music sectors at Goldrush. We are aiming to throw the best party of the year, with Goldrush.
One of the performers on your line-up, Lil’ Pump, has been one of the most talked about artists in the country this year. When you and your team decided on him to be on the line-up, did his buzz or his actual music play more of a factor—or was it a combination of both?
Turner: For Lil’ Pump, it was definitely about the music, but we also speculated he might be really hot around the time of the festival. It’s always cool to see that in fact happen.
Who are you most excited to see?
Turner: You can catch me at the RBDeep stage a lot, but I’m also really excited to catch San Holo, Malaa, Hosh, Barclay Crenshaw, & Gerry Gonza.
If you could pick a dream line-up for your festival, who would be the three headliners?
Turner: Flume, Skrillex, & Deadmau5 always bring the big crowds.
You can purchase your tickets to the festival, which takes place on 11/18-11/19 in Chandler, Arizona–here.