Goldrush attendees roam the western-themed grounds on Sunday, September 26, 2021. Photo by Marissa Novel.
Goldrush attendees roam the western-themed grounds on Sunday, September 26, 2021. Photo by Marissa Novel.

Goldrush Music Festival was held from September 24 to September 26, 2021, at Rawhide Western Town and Events Center in Chandler, Arizona. Upwards of 12,000 people attended the event for its first three-day production.

As we reflect on the 2021 festival season, we can’t help but notice the rocky road so many events have experienced while fighting their way out of the COVID-19 rut. From cancellations due to weather to less-than-ideal staffing situations, we’ve seen it all. 


However, Goldrush Music Festival managed to be a shining star this season, accommodating thousands of people with great music and excellent production at a comfortable and convenient venue. 

The festival provided a good mix of big room house, bass, techno, dance, and dubstep performances by artists such as Above & Beyond, Illenium, Zedd, Diplo, CloZee, Green Velvet, TroyBoi, and the highly anticipated, first-ever Zeds Dead b2b GRiZ collaboration. 

As festival culture becomes more mainstream, it takes more than just a great lineup to please fans. Adequate logistics, upgrade opportunities, and even non-music-related activities take festivals to the next level these days. 

Here’s how Goldrush Music Festival treated festival-goers this past weekend. 

The Grounds

Goldrush is hosted at Rawhide Western Town and Event Center, a sprawling events venue in Chandler, Arizona. While Relentless Beats has hosted numerous festivals and events at Rawhide, they definitely turned things up a notch for Goldrush. 

The festival grounds were home to three stages, a silent disco, performance theatre, circus tent with performers, and even a gold panning station. Vendors were tucked into the cute western-themed strip malls and on the perimeter of the main stage. 

There were ample indoor and outdoor spaces to relax, whether you’re chowing down on vegan eats or recharging at one of the stages before the next set. Several areas were lined with artificial turf, giving attendees a nice area sit and chill.

Photo opportunities were plenty, with several Goldrush-themed backdrops and art-inspired murals for fans to get pictures in front of with their festie crews. 

Overall, the grounds were well maintained and the layout was pretty intuitive – essentially a big loop would take you to each of the stages. Getting to and from the festival venue was relatively easy. Parking was well managed, with several staffers to guide vehicles to their proper spot. 

The Production

The production at Goldrush Music Festival was absolutely massive. In the past, Goldrush was only a two-day festival. This year, the production expanded to three full days with music beginning at 5 p.m. and ending at 2 a.m. The official onsite after parties went until 5 a.m.

The three stages included the Golden Gorge (main stage), Hideout (house stage), and Pioneer’s Peak (bass stage). In years prior, the Pioneer’s Peak was the largest stage at the festival. This year it was the smallest, with the Golden Gorge main stage taking most of the glory for the weekend. 

Decked out with seven projection map screens covered with a huge arch, Golden Gorge viewing was enjoyable whether you were up against the rail, in the middle of the crowd, or checking out the entire production from afar. 

The sound quality at each of the stages was top-notch, and the visuals and lasers were impressive. Each stage was also equipped with pyrotechnics, stunning festival-goers with huge flames during the most opportune bass drops. 

The Music

This year’s well-rounded lineup had something for just about every electronic music fan. One of the main highlights, though, was Zeds Dead b2b GRiZ.

Both electronic music legends in their own respects, Zeds Dead and GRiZ had never gone back to back before – until Sunday. Both artists have been around for more than a decade, which basically makes them electronic veterans at this point. 

The western theme was strong at Goldrush, as even Hooks, DC, and GRiZ took the stage decked out in cowboy hats. 

Zeds Dead and GRiZ pump up the crowd for the debut of their first back-to-back set at Goldrush Music Festival on Sunday, September 26, 2021. Photo by Marissa Novel.
Zeds Dead and GRiZ pump up the crowd for the debut of their first back-to-back set at Goldrush Music Festival on Sunday, September 26, 2021. Photo by Marissa Novel.

The set began with an all-original opener created especially for the back-to-back set between the two acts. Before the epic drop, a robotic voice asks “What is something people are not ready to hear?” and a deeper voice answers “GRiZ and Zeds Dead.” 

Check out this fan clip below to hear the unreleased track. 

Watch the following video with a closer view. Be sure to select 1440p to view the video in the best possible quality.

Shortly after, Zeds Dead teased the old school tune “Adrenaline” and the set progressed with fun flips of Ben E. King’s “Stand By Me” and Run-DMC’s “It’s Tricky.” The set was electric and the crowd was going wild for the entire hour and a half performance. 

GRiZ delivered his classic, soulful saxophone solos and dropped the hits “Vibe Check” and “Astro Funk” off his newest album “Rainbow Brain.” 

Altogether, the debut of Zeds Dead b2b GRiZ was truly something special that only Goldrush attendees were able to witness firsthand. We can only hope this will lead to more collaboration in the future.


Other Entertainment

Walking around Goldrush, you were likely to find Weird & Wonderful circus performers strutting their stuff on stilts and even doing acrobatic tricks.

Or perhaps you stopped by the Six Gun Performance Theatre, where local comedians were spitting one-liners and stunt performers were doing crazy things like jumping off rooftops. 

Plus, the Moonshiner’s Art Walk hosted live painters, giving festival-goers another medium of art to appreciate.

These are just a few examples of the other types of entertainment Goldrush offered attendees over the weekend. 


Those who opted for the VIP upgrades were able to experience special vendors, premier viewing areas, dedicated bars, air-conditioned portable restrooms, and complimentary meals in the Platinum VIP lounge. 

The dedicated viewing areas included side stage access, viewing bleachers, and a VIP area on the rail at each of the stages. If you’re a fan of a little more space to see the show and you’ve got some extra funds to spare, consider a VIP upgrade next year at Goldrush. 

The Crew

Those working the event were pleasant and happy to be there. Relentless Rangers were found wandering the grounds throughout the weekend, misting festival-goers and keeping everyone cool. Upon the doors opening Sunday, attendees were showered with high fives from the Relentless Beats team. The team’s good spirits gave Goldrush a nice touch of fun energy throughout the weekend. 

The Takeaway

During the 2021 festival season that has been plagued by a myriad of unexpected circumstances, including varying COVID-19 requirements, inclement weather, and even low staffing, Goldrush Music Festival delivered a weekend filled with music, art, and additional forms of entertainment. Plus, there’s not much better than witnessing a first-ever collaboration that’s likely going to be history in the making for Zeds Dead and GRiZ fans.

As music festivals become more and more common, differentiators like a massive production and other fun festival activities found at Goldrush Music Festival certainly set the event apart from the rest. 

If this is how Relentless Beats is getting back into producing major festivals, 2022 is looking to be bigger than ever before. 

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Marissa is currently a desert dweller with an affinity for festival culture, the outdoors, eco tourism, and health and wellness. Her musical interests include experimental bass, funk, electronica, bluegrass, jam, and reggae.