IT’S FESTIVAL SEASON
It’s now February 1st and we’re a full month into 2017. As the days get just a little longer and the temperature gets just a little warmer, we start thinking about coming out of hibernation and can’t help but begin to look forward to MUSIC FESTIVALS. If you ask us, one of the things we like most about springtime in Phoenix are the music festivals. The weather’s usually perfect for live music, an adult beverage and some serious enjoyment. There’s definitely a music festival for every taste so there’s definitely no excuse not to get out there and listen to some live music beneath a desert sky. Here’s a non-exhaustive list of a number of outdoor festivals coming this spring:
Gilbert Folk Festival – February 18
The Gilbert Folk Festival features over 50 artists across 5 stages, all within walking distance in downtown Gilbert. Besides the high quality of the music and musicianship, the best part of this festival is its free. The music covers a wide field from Americana and Roots to Folk and Bluegrass. More info at www.gilbertfolkfestival.com.
Phoenix Blues Blast – February 25
Hosted by the Phoenix Blues Society, this one-day event is held at Margaret T. Hance Park in downtown Phoenix. This one-day festival runs from 10:00 am to 7:00 PM and features performances by the Delgado Borthers, Karen Lovely, Sistahs Too, Mike Eldred Trio and Eric Ramsey. More information and tickets at www.phoenixblues.com.
McDowell Mountain Music Festival – March 3 – 6
Margaret T. Hance Park in downtown Phoenix is the location for the first big festival of Spring. The park is a great location – plenty big enough for the festival and configured just right for two stages and a vendor village. The lineup for the festival this year is moving back towards being a little heavier on the EDM and dance music than in the past couple years and includes headliners The Shins, Flume and Gov’t Mule. The M3F is a non-profit affair with $50k donated to local charities following the 2016 festival. Full schedules and tickets can be had at www.mmmf.com.
Viva Phoenix – March 11
Viva Phoenix is a one-day festival blanketing downtown Phoenix. Utilizing a number of different bars, restaurants, clubs and public spaces, the festival currently has 60 acts announced for its 1 day event. The scheduled artists are an eclectic bunch ranging from Girl Talk and American Football to Reverend Horton Heat, the Mowgli’s and Tone-Loc. More info and tickets can be had at www.vivaphx.com.
Pot of Gold Music Festival – March 17 & 18
Celebrating its 2nd year at Rawhide in Chandler, the Pot of Gold delivers a 2 day lineup of top-notch national acts. The lineup includes headliners G-Eazy, Flogging Molly, Sublime with Rome and Death Cab for Cutie. The Pot of Gold Festival has evolved from being an annual St. Patty’s Day concert featuring Flogging Molly to a true, top-of-the-line music festival featuring a diverse array of national acts. The festival relocated to Rawhide in 2016 after outgrowing its original location in Tempe. Set times and tickets are at the Pot of Gold website at www.potofgoldaz.com.
Arizona Country Thunder – April 6-9
This Arizona country music staple is being held in Florence, AZ once again. About an hour south of central Phoenix, This year’s strong line-up includes Blake Shelton, Thomas Rhett, Chris Young and Dierks Bentley. Definitely deserving a mention is an appearance by the Oak Ridge Boys. Camp sites may already be sold out and tickets appear to be moving that way quickly so act fast if you want to go. More information is available at www.arizona.countrythunder.com.
Phoenix Lights Fest – April 8-9
This dance and EDM festival is back at Margaret T. Hance Park in downtown Phoenix. Celebrating its 3rd year in the valley, announced artists include Above & Beyond, Alesso, Coyu, Ekali, Tiesto, Vince Staples and Zhu. Note that this is an 18+ only event. www.phoenixlightsfest.com
FORM Arcosanti – May 12-14
Billing itself as a full weekend of “total creative immersion,” FORM Arcosanti is held at the Paolo Soleri’s Arcosanti which is about 65 miles up I-17 from Phoenix. You doesn’t so much purchase tickets to FORM Arcosanti as you apply for them but for the first time this year there is a required $229 contribution for the experience and on-site camping and amenities (You can also skip the application process by purchasing a luxury Patron Package for $1,150). Attendees are expected to be on-site for the entire 3-day event and single day passes are not available. The line-up hasn’t been announced yet but the experience also includes eco-centric art, talks, meditation, yoga and similar experiences. The New York Times has a lengthy review of the 2016 effort that featured Skrillex, Drake and Four Tet.