“I never win anything like this so it was surreal. I didn’t believe it was real, then it was.”
Max Thornton is the lucky winner of Weedmaps and Atlantic Record’s Spotify playlist flyaway to the Rolling Loud Festival in Miami with Lil Uzi Vert. Not only was Rolling Loud Thornton’s first festival and trip to Miami, but it was also an unexpected reward for a grueling end to college finals.
Thornton attends Kennesaw State in Atlanta, Georgia, where he’s majoring in information security. He has become a recent fan of Lil Uzi Vert, specifically the “XO Tour Llif3” track, which led him to the Weedmaps and Rolling Loud Spotify playlist. “I signed up not expecting anything. I was listening to Lil Uzi on Spotify and I saw that there was a Weedmaps thing going on the playlist. I was like, this is a pretty good playlist and it said “You could win a trip,” so I literally took two seconds to put in my information and then two weeks later I get the email. “Congratulations!”
Thornton and his best friend Nate Artis recounted receiving the winning email, the lucky guest gleefully explained how his friend’s career choice helped verify the Atlantic Records Rolling Loud Spotify email. “I was like, what’s this spam s**t? It could be somebody trying to phish me. The emails addresses were from Atlantic records, I thought ‘oh s**t this could be real.’ I actually traced the IPs from the original email back,” said Artis.
Rolling Loud presented an incredible lineup of some of the biggest hip-hop names. Thornton and Artis jammed with mutual favorite Flatbush Zombies and Playboi Carti. They then moshed to A$AP Rocky, who brought out the A$AP mob (minus Ferg), Flatbush Zombies, Lil Yatchy and XXXtentacion.
The Weedmaps and Lil Uzi Vert Rolling Loud winners enjoyed access to the VIP sections during the festival. Thornton and Artis grabbed front row seats for Action Bronson who was debuting his new track. Later, the pair made their way to the front for Kendrick Lamar who played mostly tracks from his latest album release Damn.
The lucky winners also caught Lil Yachty, Migos, Chief Keef, and Ski Mask the Slump God. Thornton was most looking forward to Japanese hip-hop artist Keith Ape. “When Keith Ape’s hit track ‘Ichibon’ came on, so many people moshed. I got so many videos of it. Nate, like, fell down. It was crazy. It was awesome.” The excitement of experiencing the energy of a 40,000-fan-filled crowd could be clearly seen in both of their never-ending smiles.
Lil Uzi Vert was the closing act for Max Thornton and Nate Artis and delivered a performance the winners that the audience and entire hip-hop world would never forget. Lil Uzi Vert came out at the Rolling Loud festival like a true rockstar, arriving a little more than fashionably late. After his intro amped up the audience, the emerging artist took a huge leap of faith into the crowd.
For the boys, the festival couldn’t have ended on a more electric note. “I didn’t even know before he jumped off. I saw him up there and I was like who the hell is that? We were right there! He jumped into the crowd and he played the rest of his set.” It was unanimous energy felt throughout the festival that Lil Uzi stole the show.
Adorned in a Kendrick Lamar sweater and Rolling Loud dad cap, Max Thornton shared the final days leading up to the experience. Admitting to the stress of passing finals, the college student felt that the win would set the tone for his summer. This win was a wonderful surprise since he only planned to work a new job and hang out at home in Atlanta. Thornton showed his best humble quality when he shared with us that his sweatshirt was actually for his sister and the cap for his friend. When asked about his personal swag, he modestly responded, “this festival with my best friend is all I need.”
Despite a crazy number of hip-hop fans and an ever changing schedule, both Thornton and Artis recollected their first festival experience with a dreamy glance and afterglow smiles.
“We saw everyone we wanted to see. I’m usually a homebody but I would definitely put this on my list for next year. Although we might not tell our friends about the (future playlist sweepstakes) to heighten our chances!” Stay tuned for Weedmaps events in the future, you could be the next lucky Max Thornton!
Written by Kay Dinsdale