At the first Fool’s Gold Day Off in 2010, those still in New York City on Labor Day packed into a parking lot behind City Winery. A-Trak and Dave-1 roamed the crowd wearing matching fedoras, Roofeo introduced fans to his pocket-sized pooch and Yelawolf headlined.
Four years later, the hype has outgrown a Manhattan parking lot and graduated to Brooklyn’s Williamsburg Park, where 7,000 people and at least 50 Porta Potties fit comfortably. But on Monday, an hour before the festival start time, a weather alert warned of flash floods, and as rain poured down until 5PM, the place never reached more than half capacity. Still, the party must go on.
Nick Catchdubs warmed up the arriving crowd playing Disclosure and daytime dance tracks. As the crowd slowly grew, the only people who seemed rushed were the performers. With eleven scheduled artists and the promise of special quests, each act was allotted just 45 minutes. A mostly unrecognized Grande Marshall performed next, but went mostly overshadowed by games of soccer and Frisbee, while Action Bronson (who would later serve as special guest number one, with a performance of “Strictly 4 My Jeeps”) garnered plenty of attention while roaming the crowd.
Queens troupe World’s Fair invited Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire and Meech from the Flatbush Zombies out, amping the crowd for the set’s final song, “96 Knicks,” before Unibro—aka A-Trak and Boyz Noise—took to the stage.
“This day is all about special guests, family and new music,” A-Trak said before starting his set. “Good music that fits together even though you might not expect it to fit together.” It was foreshadowing for his surprise two-song collaboration with Mykki Blanco.
Among the rest of the fest’s highlights were Migos running through “Versace,” “Bando” and “Hannah Montana,” trap lord A$AP Ferg bringing A$AP Rocky out for “Work (Remix)” and “Shabba” to raucous reaction, and another Rocky guest spot during Danny Brown’s set on “Kush Coma.”