Merced County Times Newspaper
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Aftershock, GoldenSky festivals attract more than 220,000 to Sacramento in October


Sacramento was the place to be for music fans this October as two back-to-back weekends offered nonstop entertainment from a wide range of topline artists, including the heavy rock and metal event Aftershock (held October 5-8) and the country music-themed GoldenSky (held October 14-15), both at Discovery Park.

The two events brought in 220,000 people combined including a massive sold-out crowd of 160,000 music fans for Aftershock, which has retained its title as West Coast’s Biggest Rock Festivalfor another year. Notably, the 2023 edition brought in fans from all 50 states, 40 countries, and every continent besides Antarctica. The second year of GoldenSky Country Music Festival also broke records with 60,000 people over the course of two days. Both events, presented by Danny Wimmer Presents, directly impacted the local Sacramento community with approximately $40 million in economic impact, according to Visit Sacramento, who partnered with DWP to present GoldenSky.

Those in attendance were treated to a stacked lineup of performances from incredible artists in both genres. At Aftershock, headliners included Guns N’ Roses, Tool, Avenged Sevenfold and Korn (their last performance of 2023) as well as memorable sets from Godsmack, Incubus, Queens of the Stone Age, Limp Bizkit, Rancid, Turnstile, 311, Megadeth, The Cult, AFI, I Prevail, Sacramento’s own Dance Gavin Dance, and many more. Jose “Metal Ambassador” Mangin also returned as 2023’s host.

In total, more than 100 bands played on four stages over the course of the Aftershock weekend and fans were treated to some of the best food and drinks that the Sacramento area has to offer, as well as various sponsor activations and experiences.

Throughout the Aftershock weekend, DWP’s music news show “The Power Hour” — hosted by Matt Pinfield, Caity Babs, and Josh Bernstein — filmed interviews with various artists as well as skits that will appear on upcoming episodes of the show, which just was renewed for a second season on AXS TV.

At GoldenSky Country Music Festival, the stacked music lineup was led by Eric Church, Sacramento’s own Jon Pardi, Maren Morris, and Parker McCollum. There were also appearances from Jordan Davis, Country Music Hall of Fame member Wynonna Judd, Lainey Wilson, Jackson Dean, and the recently crowned “Rising Star” Winner, Sofia Claire.

The event also offered attendees the chance to partake in the GoldenSky Beer Festival, dance hall saloon, Sacramento farm-to-fork food offerings, local artisans, and more. Festival pre- and post-parties were held at Revival (in the Kimpton Sawyer Hotel) and Goldfield Trading Post, respectively.

As well, CMT Hot 20 was at GoldenSky all weekend long, filming exclusive behind-the-scenes content and interviews that will air this coming weekend, October 21 and 22.

The 2024 dates for both festivals have now been announced, with GoldenSky expanding to three full days due to fan demand. Aftershock will be held October 10-13, 2024, while GoldenSkywill be held October 18-20, 2024. Passes for Aftershock are available now at while passes for GoldenSky will go on sale this Friday, October 20 at Both events are offering limited-time promotions with passes starting at $10 down.

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