M3F, Pot of Gold, and Innings Festivals highlight Phoenix spring music festivals


As we begin to look forward to winter warming up into spring (as little winter as we get here), it’s time to look forward to MUSIC FESTIVALS.  This is our favorite time of the year.  Beautiful spring weather, free-flowing beer and LIVE MUSIC.  Did we mention MUSIC.  Here are the festivals and bands (bolded) that we are most excited about in upcoming order:

McDowell Mountain Music Festival (M3F)

O.A.R. performs in Scottsdale in 2015 (Photo by Greg Cohen)

The McDowell Mountain Music Festival (M3F) returns to Margaret T. Hance Park from March 2-4 this year.  It’s a great downtown location, close to light rail and imbued with a great urban vibe (as urban as we get in this land of suburbia).  Highlights from the lineup include:

Nick Murphy (Chet Faker) ● Big Gigantic ● Griz ● Father John Misty ● The Revivalists ● Gorgon City (live) ● CutCopy ● O.A.R. ● Mura Masa ● Dr. Dog. ● Jai Wolf ● Washed Out ● LeMaitre ● Anderson East ● The Motet ● White Denim.

One of the stand-out features of M3F is that proceeds from the event go to charity.  The recipients last year were UMOM Shelter and Phoenix Children’s Hospital.  So, it’s easy to feel good about enjoying a libation (or many) knowing that you’re doing it for a good cause.  More info can be found at the McDowell Mountain Music Festival website.

Pot of Gold Music Festival

Dirty Heads perform in Tempe in 2017 (Photo by Robbie Flores)

The Pot of Gold Music Festival returns to Rawhide in the southeast valley from March 16-18 this year.  Rawhide is a nice, wide-open location that provides plenty of space to enjoy without feeling overcrowded.  Lineup highlights include:

Russ ● Phil Lesh & the Terrapin Family Band ● Rebelution ● Dej Loaf ● Sturgill Simpson ● Dirty Heads ● PNB Rock ● Cody Jinks ● Pepper ● They. ● St. Paul and the Broken Bones ● Magic! ● Lil Skies ● Big Head Todd and the MonstersG. Love and Special Sauce

More info can be found at the Pot of Gold Festival website.

Innings Festival

Avett Brothers perform in Phoenix in 2016 (Photo by Greg Cohen)

The Innings Festival is the new kid on the block.  Launched by the veteran festival organizers that produce Lallapalooza, Innings Festival will launch at Tempe Beach Park March 23-25.  According to advance press info, the festival will include appearances by Major League Players in town for spring training.  The lineup includes:

Chris Stapleton ● Queens of the Stone Age ● The Avett Brothers ● Counting CrowsYoung the GiantThe Head and the HeartThe DecemberistsDispatchCold War Kids ● Local Natives ● Lord Huron ● Sylvan Esso ● Luke Combs ● Gin Blossoms ● Phosphorescent ● Eagles of Death MetalBishop Briggs

More info can be found at the Innings Festival website.

Phoenix Lights Music Festival

The Phoenix Lights Festival is one of the biggest celebration of electronic music in Phoenix on April 7-8 at The Park at Wild Horse Pass.  The festival features:

Diplo  ● Gucci Mane ● Mar+in Garric ● Travis Scott ● Arius ● Atliens ● Autograf ● Bad Decisions ● Bear Grillz ● Beats Antique ● Boombox Cartel ● Brownies & Lemonade ● Chris Lake ● Gerry Gonza ● Goldfish ●  Joyride ● Kasbo ● Krane ●Midnight Tyrannosaurus ● Morgan Page ● Seven Lions ● Wuki ● Zomboy ● Green Velvet

More info can be found at the Phoenix Lights website.

Ufest 2018

Hosted by radio station 98KUPD, UFest in an unabashed one-day celebration of hard rock and metal.  This year’s event will be April 20 at Tempe Meadows, which brings it closer to the middle of the valley from last years event at Fear Farm.  I don’t recall a music festival being held previously at Tempe Meadows so here’s hoping it turns out to be a great, central venue.  Acts that have been announced so far include:

Five Finger Death Punch ● Jonathan Davis ● SevenDust

More acts are likely to be announced prior to the show.  More info can be found at the KUPD website.

Viva PHX

You may notice that Viva PHX is on the list.  Festival producers Stateside Presents have put the festival on hiatus for 2018.  There’s no word yet on whether it will return it 2019.


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