An exciting event has raised Phoenix Underground from the ashes to report with much enthusiasm that the premier Arizona music festival~The McDowell Mountain Music Festival of Arizona~ is coming to central Phoenix. It will be a three-day musical festival taking place at Margaret Hance Park between March 22nd and March 24th. This has been an event that has been yearned for by this blog and many other cultural outlets who want to see premiere events in central Phoenix~where they belong.
The McDowell Mountain Music Festival’s move to Hance Park allows for a more populist event that reaches out to all residents of the valley to have equal access and travel time. In the meantime, it becomes an opportunity for Phoenix to shine as it hosts music lovers from around the country to enjoy the burgeoning downtown area.
The line up for the festival is outstanding and is far less esoteric then MMMF’s past festivals. It includes The Shins, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Les Claypool, Dr. Dog and the headliner of headliners will be The Roots that will be the top of the line on Saturday night. This event will be a locus of Phoenix pride that will allow local artists, musicians, deejays, and businesses to be able to step up their game and strut their stuff. It will be in the best interest of every town in the valley from Buckeye to Queen Creek to show off an Arizona music festival that will kick off next season’s music festival, even before Coachella starts. It will be going down at a time when Phoenix will have beautiful weather and at a time of renewed interest in downtown Phoenix life.
Another highlight of the event is Margaret Hance Park itself, which has been the subject of oft suggest improvements. However, there is nothing wrong with the park itself, it only needs events like the MMMF to give people an opportunity to appreciate it. In fact, the park has a very scenic atmosphere that has a beautifully lit underbridge that the lightrail passes over. The Burton Barr Library sits on the Northeast corner of the park and is in comfortable walking distance from the Evans-Churchill neighborhood where FilmBar, the Fair Trade Cafe, Portlands, Jobot, the Angel Trumpet Ale House, and a host of other cafes, shops, and restaurants that are opening on a regular basis. Plus, the park is only a short lightrail trip from cafes, pubs, and restaurants from Camelback all the way down to Jefferson Street.
The McDowell Mountain Music Festival is in its 10th anniversary in 2013. It is the brain child of John Largay who is the owner of Wespac Construction. It is a non-profit event that emphasizes “Charity, Culture, and Community“. McDowell Mountain Music Festival was rooted in the very underrated venue called Compound Grill that was located in the northeast of Phoenix, inside the corner of the 101 and Scottsdale Road. Unfortunately, the Compound Grill closed this year. However, the announcement of Hance Park as the location of the festival breathes new life into the MMMF.
With the relocation of the festival in central downtown and an outstanding line up, McDowell Mountain is posed to be one of the premiere musical festivals that will kickoff the music scene in 2013. The Crescent Ballroom will be supporting the event with afterhours featuring Orgone and Deertick to cap Friday and Saturday nights of the festival. John Largay and the MMMF deserve a salute for bringing the festival to the downtown where hopefully it will remain. (Now, if we can only convince the Phoenix Film Society to bring the Phoenix Festival downtown, the downtown may be even closer to making Phoenix a cornucopia of cultural celebration.)
Tickets will be going on sale on January 1st, 2013. A three-day pass is $120 and is more than worth it for the total experience of music and people, but daily tickets will range from $40-55 apiece.