Goldrush Festival is off to the best start of its four-year history

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The Goldrush Music Festival in Denver is returning for it's fourth year of underground music from around the country -- this time the festival will take place at the Larimer Lounge and the Meadowlark Bar. Goldrush announced the first half of the lineup last week, and sold out pre-sale tickets in one day, faster than it ever had before.

Crawford Philleo, one of the festival's founders, says the presale response was so encouraging that they are debating adding more early bird tickets, though that is still just an idea. "We've released maybe about half of what we really have planned," Philleo says. "I think people are just going to get more and more excited."

See also: Goldrush Festival co-founder Crawford Philleo on how this year's festival will be different

The rest of the lineup is scheduled to be released on August 5th, the same day that regular passes go on sale.

Pre-sale tickets were $20 for a two-day pass, and while they'll go up, Philleo says they aim to keep the price low because it isn't about showcasing tried and true artists, it's about exposing people to new, small and sometimes very different musicians.

"We are asking people to buy into this festival," Philleo says. "We are taking a chance on booking these obscure artists, and the audience is taking a leap of faith."

The idea for the festival came from a desire to take musicians mostly known online and expose them to a more physical music scene. "Originally when we had the idea, we wanted to put together a music festival that gave us the opportunity to share a lot of music that remained in the blogosphere," Philleo says. "I felt like the music was trapped in that zone so we wanted to put it on a stage."

The physicality of music is something that Philleo says is very important to the festival, and why they decided to include a zine and a companion cassette of festival bands for audience members to take home.

"The Internet is an informal void. It's like the vinyl versus .mp3 culture debate that is happening. It's a similar argument. We want to make music something that people can really touch and live and experience."

Though the festival is undoubtedly getting bigger, Philleo says they don't want to make it too big. They are still focusing on getting small bands (including a lot of locals) and keeping the audience small.

"I think that still holds true although this year Goldrush is starting to resemble to music festival in a more traditional sense. We are trying to figure out how to uphold our values while reaching a bigger audience. It's not as much about size as it is about quality. We just want to rep the music as best we can and the underground culture."

The lineup (so far) includes Mt. Eerie, from Washington, as well as Denver bands Thug Entrancer and Homebody, plus several others and many more to come next week.

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