Phoenix at Grandoozy 2018. Photo by: Matthew McGuire
Phoenix at Grandoozy 2018. Photo by: Matthew McGuire

The Kickoff to Grandoozy Included Sweet Cow Ice Cream, Dancing on Shuttle Rides, and Thousands of Music Hungry Guests at Overland Golf Course

The Grandoozy Music Festival is officially underway in Denver, Colorado. From September 14-16 guests from all over the globe will be attending the inaugural Grandoozy to experience Kendrick Lamar, Florence and the Machine, and Stevie Wonder on stage.

An estimated 30,000 – 40,000 guests were on hand Friday evening. After covering large-scale festivals for close to a decade, I can gauge and estimate the crowd based on size. I also used the overall estimate from the festival organizers over the three days, and divided it by three.

When arriving to Grandoozy, it is smart to plan ahead to see which method of transportation works best for you and your group. I was able to park at I-25 and Broadway Station. After parking, I used the free shuttle bus provided by the event. The light rail will get you to Broadway Station, and the shuttle can transport you to the event.



Once I made it to the festival grounds, I connected with the media team for Grandoozy, and headed to my first set of the day with BIG K.R.I.T. on the Paper Stage.

It took me about an hour to figure out the stage setup without a map. I had the option to look at my phone; the Internet connection was fairly strong for being a large event, but I wanted to get lost in some of the confusion in finding the stages. One element that the festival organizers may be trying to get people to do is forgo the idea of pre-selecting the music you want to watch, and try to help the guests run into some new music.

This set marked my first time seeing BIG K.R.I.T. I found his southern form of hiphop to be engaging and refreshing. The crowd reflected the music on stage. A young male asked for me to take his photo nicely, and we talked for a bit. People might assume fans of hiphop music are rowdy, but deep down they are good people listening to all genres of music.

After the BIG K.R.I.T. set I headed over to check out Miguel on the Rock Stage.

Miguel performing at Grandoozy 2018 on Friday, September 14. Photo by: Matthew McGuire
Miguel performing at Grandoozy 2018 on Friday, September 14. Photo by: Matthew McGuire

Overall, I would not normally attend a Miguel concert, that being said, Grandoozy provides a window of opportunity for people to check out new music on stage. Even though I’m not big into R&B, the fans loved his performance.

Recently Miguel fans almost went apes**t when he had to cancel a performance at a festival in Chicago due to bad weather. Thankfully, the weather was clear and sunny for this show.

At the same time as Miguel’s performance, Phoenix was also performing on Scissors Stage.

During their set, one of the comments from the lead singer that stood out to me was the way he pointed out the maturity of the festival by the use of beach balls being knocked around in the crowd.

Thomas Mars, lead singer for Phoenix, made the connection of the progression of festivals during the set. He talked about how they tend to start with beach balls mirroring an innocent vibe, and then festivals move to these industrial moments with large unicorn floaties being knocked around. It was a beautiful metaphor.

“You can make this event anything you want to. ” – Thomas Mars

This marked my second time seeing Phoenix perform. The first time was at Bonnaroo 2009. The 2018 set provided new music from the band. At times I could feel the rush and energy of Europe pumping through their music.

The War on Drugs at Grandoozy 2018. Photo by: Matthew McGuire
The War on Drugs at Grandoozy 2018. Photo by: Matthew McGuire

The War On Drugs took the Paper Stage around 7:30 p.m. Overall, the sound and tech crew at Grandoozy was extremely on the ball all day on Friday. They did excellent work with the sound between the three main stages.

One of our media producers within our outlet mentioned that I needed to check out The War On Drugs, and I am glad she did because their set was an enjoyable alternative rock show. At times the band reminded me of The Black Crowes, but pushing more to the outer edges of alternative rock, and moving more into experimental rock.

Kendrick Lamar headlined on Friday evening with an intense set at Grandoozy.

Lamar made it to the Rock Stage around 8:40 p.m. The lights went to black and the crowd erupted.

He opened the show with DNA. Along with the music, Lamar also presented a short film with his live set. This marked my second time seeing his concert. My first show was at Bonnaroo 2015. This 2018 performance was more entertaining and enjoyable as a spectator.

Browse over the entire set list from his performance on Friday. Check out the photo gallery, and stay tuned for updated regarding Grandoozy on their social media. Download the app for additional information.


Grandoozy 2018 – Friday Photo Gallery

Guests look for different stages at Grandoozy. Photo by: Matthew McGuire
Guests look for different stages at Grandoozy. Photo by: Matthew McGuire
The Break Room at Grandoozy 2018. Photo by: Matthew McGuire
The Break Room at Grandoozy 2018. Photo by: Matthew McGuire
Food truck line at Grandoozy on Friday. Photo by: Matthew McGuire
Food truck line at Grandoozy on Friday. Photo by: Matthew McGuire
Food truck line at Grandoozy on Friday. Photo by: Matthew McGuire
Food truck line at Grandoozy on Friday. Photo by: Matthew McGuire
BIG K.R.I.T at Grandoozy 2018. Photo by: Matthew McGuire
BIG K.R.I.T at Grandoozy 2018. Photo by: Matthew McGuire
Guests enjoying the shade and music during BIG K.R.I.T at Grandoozy 2018. Photo by: Matthew McGuire
Guests enjoying the shade and music during BIG K.R.I.T at Grandoozy 2018. Photo by: Matthew McGuire
BIG K.R.I.T at Grandoozy 2018. Photo by: Matthew McGuire
BIG K.R.I.T at Grandoozy 2018. Photo by: Matthew McGuire
Miguel performing at Grandoozy 2018 on Friday, September 14. Photo by: Matthew McGuire
Miguel performing at Grandoozy 2018 on Friday, September 14. Photo by: Matthew McGuire
Phoenix at Grandoozy 2018. Photo by: Matthew McGuire
Phoenix at Grandoozy 2018. Photo by: Matthew McGuire
The crowd getting into the music during Phoenix at Grandoozy 2018. Photo by: Matthew McGuire
The crowd getting into the music during Phoenix at Grandoozy 2018. Photo by: Matthew McGuire
Phoenix at Grandoozy 2018. Photo by: Matthew McGuire
Phoenix at Grandoozy 2018. Photo by: Matthew McGuire
The War on Drugs at Grandoozy 2018. Photo by: Matthew McGuire
The War on Drugs at Grandoozy 2018. Photo by: Matthew McGuire
The War on Drugs at Grandoozy 2018. Photo by: Matthew McGuire
The War on Drugs at Grandoozy 2018. Photo by: Matthew McGuire
Kendrick Lamar performing at Grandoozy 2018 in Denver, Colorado on Friday, September 14. Photo by: Matthew McGuire
Kendrick Lamar performing at Grandoozy 2018 in Denver, Colorado on Friday, September 14. Photo by: Matthew McGuire