You won’t want to miss any of these concerts, festivals and other events in the weeks and months ahead in metro Phoenix.
3/31-4/2: NCAA March Madness Music Festival
Embrace the sunshine and sounds of the March Madness Music Festival in downtown Phoenix. The schedule for events includes the AT&T Block Party Friday (artists TBA), the Chainsmokers at the Coca-Cola Music Saturday, and Macklemore with Ryan Lewis along with Aerosmith at the Capital One Jamfest Sunday. This weekend-long festival is free for all ages.
Details: March 31-April 2. 4-10 p.m. Friday, 2-10:30 p.m. Saturday, 3-10 p.m. Sunday. Margaret T. Hance Park, 67 West Culver St., Phoenix. Free. ncaa.com/final-four.
4/1: El Tour de Mesa
With nearly 2,000 cyclists of all ages and abilities in the various distances, it is the centerpiece of CycloMesa, a three-day celebration that includes the El Tour Criterium (short-course races on city streets), the Arizona Bicycling Summit, a beer garden, food-truck alley and live music.
Details: Saturday, April 1. 6:15 a.m. (72-mile course); 8:15 (28-mile course); 11 a.m. (11- and 6-mile courses). Various starting locations in Mesa for each race. 520-745-2033, perimeterbicycling.com/el-tour-de-mesa.
4/1-2: Phoenix Pride Parade and Festival
More than 2,000 participants, including those with decorated vehicles, colorful floats and walking, are expected for the parade. It starts on Third Street and Thomas Road and heads north to Indian School Road. More than 150 entertainment performances on five stages, more than 300 exhibitors and food vendors, and Arts Expo, KidSpace, an Erotic World and Dance Pavilions are some of the highlights of the festival. This event raises funds for Phoenix Pride Community Programs.
Details: Noon-9 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, April 1-2. Steele Indian School Park, 300 E. Indian School Road. Prices TBA. 602-277-7433, phoenixpride.org/events.
4/2: Modern Phoenix home tour
For those fascinated with the Valley’s mid-century modern architecture, this is a must-do event. This year, the tour explores Paradise Gardens. The event has morphed into Modern Phoenix Week, with talks, socials and other activities.
Details: Sunday, April 2. Tickets go on sale Wednesday, Feb. 1. modernphoenixweek.com.
4/5-9: Arizona Bike Week
Hop on your motorcycle and help celebrate Arizona Bike Week’s 21st anniversary. Get together with fellow sons of anarchy for the biggest bike rally in Arizona, featuring vendors, shows and concerts from Brett Michaels, Creedence Clearwater Revisited, Korn, and Alice Cooper. Events include stunt shows, charity rides, an awards presentation, flat track racing and motorcycle drill teams.
Details: April 5-9. Full event $58; Wednesday and Thursday, gates open at noon, $25; Friday, gates open at 10 a.m, $30; Saturday, gates open at 9 a.m., $30; Sunday, gates open at 10 a.m. $20. Passes include admission to concerts. Westworld of Scottsdale, 16601 N. Pima Road. 480-644-8191, azbikeweek.com.
4/6-9: Country Thunder Arizona
They’re calling it “one of the greatest lineups ever assembled in the Grand Canyon State.” Phoenix native Dierks Bentley, Blake Shelton (who also headlined in 2015), Thomas Rhett and Chris Young are set to headline Arizona’s biggest country music festival. In 2016, Country Thunder Arizona drew an average of 29,000 fans a day, with headlining sets by Kip Moore, Florida Georgia Line, Jake Owen and Eric Church.
Details: Thursday, April 6-Sunday, April 9. 20585 E. Price Station, Florence. $160. countrythunder.com.
MORE: Country Thunder’s lost and found | The 6 types of people you see | Social-media recap | Best, craziest things we spotted so far | Arizona singer: ‘It was never something I’d imagine would happen’ | Day 4: Eric Church is icon in the making | Day 3 review: Chris Janson steals Thunder with tribute | Day 2 review: Florida Georgia Line | Day 1 review: Kip Moore (eventually) | Photos: Country Thunder through the years | Performers honor Merle Haggard | Country Thunder playlist
4/8-9: Phoenix Lights Festival
Attend this open-air electronic music festival to see artists like Alesso, Above and Beyond, Tiesto, Oliver Heldens, Hucci and more. VIP packages include preferred seating and VIP entrance, 2 drink tickets, complimentary hors d’oeuvres and catered food and premium views of the main stage.
Details: Noon-11 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, April 8-9. 1202 N. Third St., Phoenix. General admission $159-$179 and VIP for $349-$399. Table experience available starting at $500. 323-908-0607, phoenixlightsfest.com.
4/8: Flavors of the West
Eat, drink and mingle at the annual event featuring local restaurants, cooking demonstrations, a silent auction and raffle, and a kids zone. The event includes live music, a locally grown zone and pet-friendly area.
Details: 2 -7 p.m. Saturday, April 8. Wigwam Boulevard and Old Litchfield Road, Litchfield Park. $60; $125 for VIP. Free for children ages 12 and under. 480-250-8378, flavorsaz.com.
4/12-16: Maricopa County Fair
True to its agricultural roots, the fair includes a livestock show with pigs, sheep, goat, cattle, rabbits and chickens. But it also has thrill rides, fried foods, carnival games, performances and a shopping pavilion with more than 60 vendors. Food choices include fried coffee, deep-fried Oreos and Twinkies and mac-and-cheese hot dogs.
Details: April 12-16. 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday; 10 a.m.-midnight Friday and Saturday. Arizona State Fairgrounds, 19th Avenue and McDowell Road, Phoenix. $9; free for age 7 or younger; $8 per vehicle for parking. maricopacountyfair.org.
4/13-16: Disney on Ice ‘Dream Big’
Tinker Bell will take audiences on a tour of favorite Disney stories when Disney on Ice “Dream Big” comes to Talking Stick Resort Arena. Ariel, Rapunzel, Snow White, Anna, Elsa and Olaf will all be part of the family-friendly show.
Details: Thursday-Sunday, April 13-16. Times vary, check website for details. Talking Stick Resort Arena, 201 E. Jefferson St., Phoenix. $11.25-$15. talkingstickresortarena.com.
UFEST is going by a new name in 2017. KUPD’s annual festival is now BRUFEST, a Sabaso Craft Beer, Taco and Music Festival presented by Bud Light at Fear Farm on Saturday, April 15, with headlining sets by the Offspring, Pennywise, All That Remains, Atreyu, Hell or Highwater and Through Fire. Need more fun? There’s also Lucha Libre Mexican wrestling. The event begins at 1 p.m. but you enter at noon to enjoy additional craft beer tastings for $65, or if you purchase a VIP pass.
Details: Saturday, April 15. Fear Farm, 2209 N. 99th Ave., Phoenix. Festival admission $49-69; craft beer tasting $65; VIP passes $125. 98kupd.com/events_and_concerts/brufest/.
4/15-16: Phoenix Pet Expo
The Phoenix Pet Expo is the ultimate pet event. Highlights include pet-friendly exhibitors and rescue groups, obedience training and pet care demonstrations, prizes and giveaways, product discounts, talent and costume contests, vendors, complimentary nail trims, discounted vaccinations, adoptable animals and more. Pets welcome.
Details: April 15-16. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday. WestWorld of Scottsdale, 16601 N. Pima Road, Scottsdale. Free. 480-312-6802, scottsdaleaz.gov/WESTWORLD.
4/21-22: Rachel Barton Pine
The violin virtuoso is known for her passion and versatility — as well as her love of thrash metal. But we have no idea what to expect from her guest-solo spot with the Phoenix Symphony, as she’ll be performing a world-premiere violin concerto by New York composer (and fellow metal fan) Earl Maneein. Also on the program: Schubert’s Symphony No. 9 and “Invisible Overture” by Christopher Cerrone, another young American composer.
Details: 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, April 21-22. Coffee Classics (shortened program), 11 a.m. Friday, April 11. Symphony Hall, 75 N. Second St., Phoenix. $18-$79. 602-495-1999, phoenixsymphony.org.
4/22: Southwest Cajun Fest
Celebrate Cajun culture and handcrafted beer. Featuring live jazz, blues and contemporary swing music, patrons of the event will feel as though they have gone to the southeastern region of Louisiana. Local restaurants will be on hand offering crawfish, jambalaya and po’ boys and cornbread.
Details: Times TBA. Saturday, April 22. Dr. AJ Chandler Park, 178 E. Commonwealth Ave., Chandler. $10. southwestcajunfest.com.
4/21-23: 31st annual Pow Wow at ASU
The ASU band practice field will transform into the site for an exciting Pow Wow. Come watch the Grand Entry, gourd dancing ceremony and more.
Details: Friday-Sunday, April 21-23; times vary, please check Facebook page for details. ASU band practice field, E. Sixth St. and S. Rural Road, Tempe. $8, $6 for students, free for under 6 and over 60. facebook.com/PowwowASU.
4/29: Wet Electric with Diplo
America’s largest waterpark music festival, Wet Electric, has announced its first headlining act. And Diplo is as good a place to start as any. Even the people at Relentless Beats consider this the most fun festival they do, with artists and DJs performing on a massive floating stage in the middle of a 2.5-million-gallon wave pool. You can expect the biggest Wet Electric lineup yet at the seventh edition of the annual pool party — with waterslides, luxury cabanas, bars and more. The festival is the first chance attendees will have in 2017 to experience Big Surf, which officially opens for the season on May 6. Wet Electric is an 18 and over event; VIP is a 21-plus area.
Details: Saturday, April 29. Big Surf, 1500 N. McClintock Dr., Tempe. $55; VIP passes and packages start at $99 plus fees. Lockers are available for rent at $15 plus fees. www.wet-electric.com.
4/29-30: Phoenix Arab American Festival
The Arab American Festival in Phoenix celebrates the rich traditions and diversity that make Arab-American culture unique. The two-day event features dozens of international musicians, performers and dancers as well as folklore shows, a hookah lounge, arts & crafts, authentic Middle Eastern fare, kids’ rides and a Miss Arab USA Pageant.
Details: 4-10 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, April 29-30. Steele Indian School Park, 300 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix. $5. Free for children 10 and younger. 602-412-1525, arabamericanfestival.org.
4/29: Sweets Con and Dessert Expo
Taste a variety of desserts, candies and other sweet treats from vendors, including options for anyone on a gluten-free or vegetarian diet. Decorating competitions include the best dessert table, most creatively designed novelty cake, “Candy Land” novelty cake and sugar art competition. The festival will also feature demos and decorating tips from the pros, and a kid-friendly area with the Sweets Con and Desserts Candy Fairies. VIP tickets include a special goodie bag, one-hour early access to the event, a VIP Candy Land Soiree and celebrity meet-and-greet. Proceeds benefit Toys for Tots and St. Mary’s Food Bank.
Details: April 29. Peoria Sports Complex, 16101 N. 83rd Ave., Peoria. $25, $11 for children ages 4 to 17. VIP tickets, $45, $21 for children ages 4 to 17. sweetsconexpo.com.
5/22: Brian Wilson presents ‘Pet Sounds’
The legendary Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys has extended the final performance run of his Pet Sounds 50th Anniversary World Tour, including a return to Phoenix for a Celebrity Theatre concert on May 22. Wilson is joined on this tour by former bandmates Al Jardine and Blondie Chaplin, with whom he performed 99 shows in 2016 in sold-out venues all over the world. In addition to playing Pet Sounds in its entirety, the concerts feature an entire second set of hits and deep cuts.
Details: 7:30 p.m. Monday, May 22. Celebrity Theatre, 440 N. 32nd St., Phoenix. $60-130. www.celebritytheatre.com.
5/25-28: Phoenix Comicon
The four-day extravaganza in downtown will take place Memorial Day weekend at the Phoenix Convention Center, and feature vast programming that touches on everything from comic books to sci-fi, anime to steampunk, and horror to fantasy. The 16th annual Phoenix Comicon was held in June 2016, and brought out a record attendance of 106,000.
Details: Thursday-Sunday, May 25-28. Phoenix Convention Center, 100 N. Third St. $55 for full event, $20 for Thursday only, $25 for Friday only, $45 for Saturday only, $30 for Sunday only, $249 for Fast Pass, $10 for Sidekick (ages 3 to 12), free for children younger than 2. phoenixcomicon.com.
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5/26: New Kids on the Block
New Kids on the Block will bring the Total Package Tour to Talking Stick Resort Arena, Phoenix, on Friday, May 26, with Paula Abdul and Boyz II Men. Assembled in 1984 by Maurice Starr, this Boston-based boy band was able to sell more than 70 million albums worldwide before their breakup, a total the New Kids are adding to now that they’re back on the reunion trail. In 1990, New Kids topped the Forbes list of highest paid entertainers.
Details: 7 p.m. Friday, May 26. Talking Stick Resort Arena, Second and Jefferson streets, Phoenix. $25.20-95.20. 800-745-3000, ticketmaster.com.
6/14: Roger Waters
Roger Waters is set to bring his Us + Them Tour to Gila River Arena in Glendale on Wednesday, June 14. He’s promising a mix of Pink Floyd classics and solo material, including new songs. “We are going to take a new show on the road, the content is very secret,” Waters says. “It’ll be a mixture of stuff from my long career, stuff from my years with Pink Floyd, some new things. Probably 75 percent of it will be old material and 25 percent will be new, but it will be all connected by a general theme. It will be a cool show, I promise you. It’ll be spectacular like all my shows have been.”
Details: 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 14. Gila River Arena, Loop 101 and Glendale Avenue, Glendale. $50.25-$194.75. ticketmaster.com.
7/15: Shawn Mendes
The singer’s first headlining tour of arenas shares a name title with his sophomore album, out Sept. 23 on Island Records. The Canadian pop star peaked at No. 24 on Billboard’s Hot 100 with a platinum breakthrough called “Life of the Party” in 2014 but things really took off last year with the quadruple-platinum success of “Stitches,” which hit No. 4.
Details: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, July 15. Gila River Arena, Loop 101 and Glendale Avenue, Glendale. $42.75-62.75. 800-745-3000, ticketmaster.com.
8/13: Steve Martin and Martin Short
Two of the most enduring names in comedy, Steve Martin and Martin Short, are promising no less than “An Evening You Will Forget for the Rest of Your Life” when they share a stage at Comerica Theatre in Phoenix on Sunday, Aug. 13. The show includes stand-up, film clips, musical numbers and conversations about their lives in show business. Martin and Short will also be joined by the Grammy-winning Steep Canyon Rangers, the bluegrass band with which Martin frequently performs.
Details: 8 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 13. Comerica Theatre, 400 W. Washington St., Phoenix. $55-$175. ticketmaster.com.
9/3: Idina Menzel
Tony-winning actress and chart-rocking singer Idina Menzel will bring her concert tour to Comerica Theatre in Phoenix on Sunday, Sept. 3. After releasing her fifth solo studio album, “idina.,” last fall, the Tony-winning star announced today that she will head out on a tour of more than 50 cities from Japan to Phoenix, where the tour concludes. Menzel earned her first Tony nomination as Maureen in the Pulitzer Prize-winning “Rent,” and won a Tony for her performance as Elphaba in “Wicked.” She crashed the Top 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 with a song called “Let It Go” from Disney’s “Frozen,” which won an Oscar and a Grammy. She earned another Tony nomination for her role in the musical “If/Then” and turned in a well-received nation anthem when the Super Bowl played Glendale.
Anthony Sandoval and Alison Stanton contributed to this article.
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