Fun in the Sun: The Annual Goodyear Lakeside Music Festival returns to the West Valley

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Spring is already here, and temperatures are rising once again. With summer approaching fast and plenty of sunny weather to boot, Goodyear is gearing up for the return of its popular annual music festival.

On Saturday, April 8, the Goodyear Lakeside Music Festival will return to the Estrella Lakeside Amphitheater for its fourth installment. The free festival, which is presented by the West Valley Arts Council (WVAC), aims to offer a day of fun and entertainment for fans of all musical genres.

“The whole point of this is multiple genres,” says Rhiannon Miett, assistant director for WVAC. “We want a music festival where maybe you come because you love reggae but the band right after that is jazz, so you’re hearing something new.”

The festival’s large line-up features everything from blues to pop and rock. Spanning the eclectic two-stage, nine-hour schedule are 12 bands, which include Spooky Kool, RastaFarmers, JIMFAB, Sugar Thieves, Moonlight Howlers and many more.

“We want to give people a taste of multiple genres–as many as we can fit in,” Miett continues, adding, “We do only book bands that are Arizona-based.”

While the heart of the festival comes from the performances, WVAC and the City of Goodyear are looking to promote the arts and provide fun for the whole family in more ways than just on the stage. Goodyear Mayor Georgia Lord will also be present to announce the student winners of the Mayor Select Art Show in the midst of the music.

The festival also features a kids’ zone, which is fully equipped with African drum lessons and Lego car building, as well as a race track on which to test your car.

“The kids’ zone is not your typical kids’ zone,” Miett says. “We’re not going to just put up a bunch of bouncy houses. We are an arts organization, so our kids’ zone is centered around the arts.”

Although the festival will provide countless entertainment for the whole family, there are plenty of opportunities to take a break from the fun and grab a bite to eat. A variety of local food vendors, as well as a full beer and wine tent for adults, will be on site. For the event, WVAC has enlisted local favorites Burgers Amore, Queso Good, Boomers Gourmet Cheese Steaks and Sandwiches, Waffle Love, Karen’s Kreamery, Kona Ice and many others to provide snacks.

“We try to do all West Valley food vendors since this event is in the West Valley,” Miett says. However, she adds, “We do have some coming from the Phoenix area as well.”

While the festival is in the business of entertaining its guests, WVAC also utilizes this time to continue spreading its message: the importance of the arts. Next to a selfie station sits an info booth where they provide information about their organization.

WVAC also offers free booth space to other local nonprofit organizations during the festival, only asking for the organizations to provide free engaging activities for patrons in return.

“This is an opportunity for nonprofits to come out and talk about themselves,” Miett explains. “Some get really creative with their activity.”

The Goodyear Lakeside Music Festival is also home to an artisan village. The area, which Miett describes as evolving every year, is set to feature a display from the Desert Springs Community Church’s Call to Art program. This ministry aims to support creativity in Christian artists.

Goodyear, WVAC and Estrella by Newland Communities have partnered to transform the Estrella Lakeside Amphitheater for nearly 20 years. While they traditionally booked the Phoenix Symphony, the council saw the need for a change to bring in a wider audience, and thus, the Goodyear Lakeside Music Festival was born.

“We wanted to do something more grassroots that anyone could come to – people of all ages and different backgrounds and everything,” Miett says.

While the 2016 festival amassed over 7,000 attendees, this year’s projections range from 7,000 to 7,500 patrons, depending on the weather.

“This is somewhere where you can grab everyone from your grandma to your toddlers, and everyone can come out an enjoy it. There’s something for everyone here,” Miett says.

“We just want to introduce people to the arts, and what better way to do it than multiple genres of music and fun in the beautiful Estrella community?”

Goodyear Lakeside Music Festival, Estrella Lakeside Amphitheater,
10300 S. Estrella Pkwy, Goodyear, AZ, 623.935.6384, westvalleyarts.org, Saturday, April 8, 12 p.m., free.

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