Big Sean and more to bring rap to the Wild West for Pot of Gold music festival

While St. Patrick’s Day may only be one day of the year, those looking to extend their celebration need to look no further than the second annual Pot of Gold music festival. The event will be at Rawhide in Chandler on Thursday and carries on into Saturday night.

Although this year’s festival has seen a few changes from the previous year (such as a venue change and cutting back a day), the lineup still features a remarkable mix of major rap and reggae artists, some lesser known acts and an additional stage exclusively for local bands to perform.

Festival producer Tom LaPenna said he is looking forward to two great days of music.

“I am glad that fans of all different types of music are coming out to the festival,” he said.

Anyone who has been to a music festival firsthand can tell you that one of the biggest conundrums of the weekend is deciding which acts to prioritize seeing, and with a lineup as jam-packed as Pot of Gold’s, that is no easy task.

So, to help make planning the weekend a little bit easier, here’s a guide to four artists not to be missed at this weekend’s festival.

Thursday

Dirty Heads

The hip-hop/ska band, based out of Huntington Beach, California, returns to play its second Pot of Gold festival at 5:15 p.m.

“We’re really excited about coming back and playing Pot of Gold again,” frontman Jared “Dirty J” Watson said. “We had an awesome time last year and the vibe was great, so we’re really looking forward to coming back and playing for another awesome crowd.”

While fans can surely expect to hear hits such as “Lay Me Down,” the band has also been working on a new album, so there should be no shortage of new music in the band’s set.

“This new record has been really fun for us because it’s sort of a return to our more traditional sound,” Watson said. “There’s definitely some new stuff that we’re really excited to play and even more excited to see how the fans respond to it.”

Watson said fans can anticipate more of the band’s signature sound on its new record, which is expected to drop later this year. The band recently announced a summer tour with Sublime and Rome, so their gig at Pot of Gold could be a great precursor to that.

“I worked on my solo album and that had a different sound than most of our group stuff,” Watson said. “Our new record definitely has a lot of that reggae-type music we love, so we’re really excited about it.”

Slightly Stoopid

Also returning after playing in Tempe at last year’s Summer Ends Music Festival, Slightly Stoopid looks to bring its chill vibes back for another stellar set when they take the stage at 8:30 p.m.

It’s hard to describe, but the energy from their performance at Summer Ends was really something special. From firsthand experience, I can say that it genuinely seemed as if everyone somehow managed to get completely lost in the music together during last year's performance. When paired with the energy that lead singers Kyle McDonald and Miles Doughty bring to the stage, Slightly Stoopid’s set has the potential to be one of the most enjoyable and memorable of the weekend.

This weekend’s festival is packed with big name headliners and by the time it is over, there will surely have been no shortage of great moments. But if the crowd is as into the performance as they were at Summer Ends, seeing Slightly Stoopid play their hit “2am” could prove to be one of the highlights of the entire weekend.

Saturday

Katastro

Pot of Gold serves as a homecoming show of sorts for Katastro, a band whose sound plays on a mix of all different genres, including rock, funk and hip-hop.

“Three of us still live in Tempe when we aren’t touring, so we’re really excited to play for a hometown crowd,” bassist Ryan Weddle said. “Any chance to play a hometown show is great, but playing one at a festival like this one with so many other great bands makes it especially great.”

The Tempe-based band has toured heavily with several other bands playing the festival, including Dirty Heads and fellow Saturday headliners 311. 

Like Dirty Heads, Katastro has been hard at work on new songs, and although the band has not recorded them, it may still play some new music at the festival.

“We leave the day after the festival to go and record new music,” Weddle said. “So we’ve been running down the set list and looking where we might be able to put in a new song or two. I think we have a really good idea as to how we’ll mix the old music with some new stuff.”

Weddle said while playing new music is always exciting, being able to play it in front of a hometown crowd always makes it extra special.

“Playing new music is always great,” Weddle said. “But getting to do that for our friends and family and a crowd in our hometown? That’s even better.”

Fans can see what new music the band plays or just participate in the homecoming party when the band takes the stage at 1:45 p.m.

Big Sean

With names like Earl Sweatshirt and 311 also headlining on Saturday, picking and choosing which acts to feature on this list has been no easy task. But with a headliner as well known as Big Sean is, it’s tough not to give him the final spot on the list.

After playing Summer Ends in September, Big Sean has become an even bigger name in the rap community. He has since been the featured half-time act in his home town of Detroit during the Lions game on Thanksgiving day, and now he is returning to close out Pot of Gold on Saturday night. While fans can expect him to play hits such as “One Man Can Change the World,” it will be exciting to see if Sean brings any of his friends from Kanye West’s GOOD Music label on stage to join him during his set.

Regardless of whether that happens or not, Big Sean provided one of Summer End's most lively sets, and seeing a name that large in the Valley once again will definitely be a treat. We’ll see who (if any) guests join him when he hits the stage at 11:15 p.m.

Pot of Gold has two shows, one on Thursday, March 17 and the other on Saturday, March 19. Full lineups, ticket information and more can be found at the festival’s official website

Related Links:

The Campus Closet: What to Pack For A Music Festival

Getting the most out of a music festival


Reach the reporter at seweinst@asu.edu or follow @S_Weinstein95 on Twitter.

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