Whether you’re a baseball buff, burrito junkie or just want to bust out your cowboy boots and cut a rug, this festival season truly has something for everyone. Here’s your guide to five of the biggest music events going down this spring as festival fever takes over the Valley. Stay tuned for big acts, big fun and lots of burritos.
M3F (MCDOWELL MOUNTAIN MUSIC FESTIVAL)
When: Friday, March 2, 3 to 11 p.m., Saturday, March 3, 2 to 11 p.m. and Sunday, March 4, 2 to 9:30 p.m.
Where: Margaret T. Hance Park, 1200 N. 1st Street, Phoenix
How Much: $50 for a 1-day pass, $90 for a 3-day pass, $180 for a 1-day VIP pass, $540 for a 3-day VIP pass
Who: Anderson East, Big Gigantic, Cut Copy, Daisy, Dr. Dog, Father John Misty, Griz, Mura Masa, Washed Out, Wyves
What sets it apart: A diverse lineup of more than 30 local and national acts ranging from the exuberant 16-piece Phoenix Afrobeat Orchestra to sleepy, synth-heavy songwriter Washed Out will bring the noise while local eateries like The Hungry Monk and Nomad bring the grub. Attendees can also expect daily drum circles, live painting and vendors selling one-of-a-kind wares. But what really sets this festival apart is its commitment to giving back to the community; 100 percent of M3F’s proceeds benefit local charities like Phoenix Children’s Hospital and Golden Gate Community Center. Since the festival’s inception in 2004, M3F has donated more than $1 million to Arizona nonprofits while simultaneously creating a space that celebrates the vibrant culture of the Valley.
POT OF GOLD
When: Friday, March 16 to Sunday, March 18, noon to midnight
Where: Rawhide, 5700 W. North Loop Road, Chandler
How Much: 1-day GA: $75 for Friday and Sunday, $100 for Saturday
2-day GA: $155 for Friday/Saturday and Saturday/Sunday, $135 for Friday/Sunday
3-day GA: $220
1-day VIP: $230 for Friday and Sunday, $345 for Saturday
2-day VIP: $545 for Friday/Saturday and Saturday/Sunday, $430 for Friday/Sunday
3-day VIP: $699
Who: Dirty Heads, Lil Skies, Magic!, Pepper, Phil Lesh, Pouya, Rebelution, Russ, Ski Mask the Slump God, Sturgill Simpson
What sets it apart: Pot of Gold always has one of the most varied lineups in the Valley, allowing festivalgoers to fully embrace their diverse music taste. This year, seasoned roots rock crooner Sturgill Simpson shares a stage with SoundCloud sensation Lil Skies and Phil Lesh, who was a founding member of the iconic jam band the Grateful Dead. In between sets, attendees can indulge in an abundance of adult beverages while lounging in one of the festival’s four recreation zones: The Space Lab, Arcade Alley, Art Land and Shady Lane, where festivalgoers can play games, look at live art or just take a breather before the next band.
When: Friday, March 23 to Sunday, March 25, 3 p.m. to midnight on Friday and Saturday and 1:30 to 10:30 p.m. on Sunday
Where: Tempe Beach Park, 80 W. Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe
How Much: $89 for GA Friday and Saturday, $95 GA Sunday, $159 3-day GA, $225 1-day VIP tickets, $499 3-day VIP tickets, $599 1-day platinum tickets, $1,200 3-day platinum tickets
Who: Chris Stapleton, Cold War Kids, Counting Crows, Eagles of Death Metal, Gin Blossoms, Local Natives, Queens of the Stone Age, Sylvan Esso, The Avett Brothers, The Decemberists, The Head and the Heart
What sets it apart: There’s a new festival in town! The inaugural Innings Festival marries Phoenix’s two true loves: sports and music. Presented by the same team that put on major music festivals like Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits, Innings was created as an exciting ancillary event to Arizona’s spring training festivities. With big names like Queens of the Stone Age and The Avett Brothers on the bill, Innings is sure to be a home run in its rookie season.
FLYING BURRITO FESTIVAL
When: Saturday, March 10, 4 to 11 p.m.
Where: Crescent Ballroom, 308 N. 2nd Avenue and The Van Buren, 401 W. Van Buren Street, Phoenix
How Much: $10 for festival, $25 for festival and after party
Who: Albert Hammond Jr., Anarbor, Caleborate, Courtney Marie Andrews, La Luz, No Age, Porches, Talib Kweli, The Frights, Us Girls, Vox Urbana
What sets it apart: You don’t have to worry about this event being B.Y.O.B (Bring Your Own Burrito), as dozens of Valley vendors will be cooking up the savory snack at the first Flying Burrito Festival. This all-ages, burrito-fueled block party will take place on 2nd Avenue in Downtown Phoenix and will feature dozens of bands and tons of Mexican munchies from local faves like Left Coast Burrito Company, Ladera Taverna and Cocina 10 (aka the Crescent Ballroom kitchen). The fun doesn’t end there, though, as The Van Buren will be hosting the festival’s after-party, which boasts hip-hop legend Talib Kweli as a headliner.
When: Thursday, April 5 to Sunday, April 8, gates open at 2:30 on Thursday and 1:30 Friday through Sunday
Where: 20585 E. Price Station Road, Florence
How Much: $75 single-day, $190 for 4-day general admission
Who: Big & Rich, Brett Young, Cody Johnson, Cole Swindell, Jason Aldean, Lauren Alaina, Luke Bryan, Toby Keith, Tracy Lawrence
What sets it apart: If a four-day country dance party/camping trip in the desert sounds like your cup of whiskey, Country Thunder is definitely for you. The festival has not only continuously brought some of the biggest names in country to Arizona, but also offers a slew of attractions and activities to keep the party going, including a mechanical bull, hot air balloons and, of course, camping.