If you’re heading out to your first music festival this spring, here are 10 things you NEED to know before you go.
Music festival season kicks off in earnest in March for the metro Phoenix area. There’s a festival for each taste, from oldies to country music to rock, rap, pop and more. Check out the fill 2017 music-festival list for Arizona below.
3/11: Viva PHX
Stateside Presents hosts this one-day music extravaganza, promising over 100 bands one night. The 2017 lineup is topped by Wyclef, Girl Talk, American Football, Mystikal, the Drums, Sharam, Temples and Kaiydo, along with many local performers.
Details: Saturday, March 11. At venues throughout downtown Phoenix. $25. vivaphx.com. ?
3/17-18: Pot of Gold music festival
Lucky Man Concerts has announced the dates for Pot of Gold 2017, which returns to Rawhide Events Center Friday, March 17, and Saturday, March 18. Friday’s lineup will feature hip-hop, reggae and rock acts, with Saturday’s lineup focused more on punk, alternative and pop. The headliners include G-Eazy, Flogging Molly and Death Cab for Cutie.
Details: 11 a.m. Friday-Saturday, March 17-18. Single-day tickets are $69. Weekend passes are $130. VIP tickets are $200 for a single day or $350 for the weekend. Rawhide Events Center, 5700 W. North Loop Rd., Chandler. 877-435-9849, www.potofgoldaz.com.
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: Road to Country Thunder festival
To welcome the biggest country-music festival in Arizona, downtown historic Florence will transform for the Road to Country Thunder festival. The third annual event, sponsored by the town, Country Thunder and KMLE-FM (107.9), will feature up-and-coming country music artists, a beer garden, food vendors and inflatables for the kids. The music lineup is yet to be announced.
Details: 5-11 p.m. Saturday, April 1. Historic downtown Florence. Free. 520-868-7585, florenceaz.gov.
4/5-8: Arizona Bike Week
Alice Cooper is playing Arizona Bike Week with his son’s band, Co-op, at Westworld Scottsdale’s RockYard at Arizona Bike Week 2017.
Bret Michaels of Poison gets Bike Week started on Wednesday, April 5.
Creedence Clearwater Revisited, featuring CCR members Stu Cook and Doug Clifford, will play the hits that helped provide the soundtrack for a generation on Thursday, April 6.
Friday brings Korn, last seen rocking the rotating stage when Alice Cooper’s Christmas Pudding returned to its old stomping grounds, the Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix.
And Alice Cooper headlines Saturday to benefit the Alice Cooper Solid Rock Foundation and the Solid Rock Teen Center.
All concerts begin at 9 p.m. The Wednesday and Thursday shows are $25. The Friday and Saturday shows are $30.
Tickets are available at 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.
4/8: Good Life Festival
The Good Life Festival is more an outdoor concert series than a festival held at Encanterra, a Trilogy Resort Community. Its seventh season features Kenny Loggins with Michael McDonald on Saturday, April 8. Loggins may be best remembered for his work with Jim Messina and the soundtrack smashes “Footloose,” “I’m Alright” (from “Caddyshack”) and “Danger Zone” (from “Top Gun”). Over the course of four classic Steely Dan albums, from “Katy Lied” to “Gaucho,” McDonald became an integral part of their sound.
Details: Noon. 36460 N Encanterra Dr., San Tan Valley. $40-$70. thegoodlifefest.com.
4/8-9: Phoenix Lights
Now in its third year, the two-day Relentless Beats festival is taking place across several stages at Margaret T. Hance Park the weekend of April 8 and 9. Headliners include Above & Beyond, Alesso, Tiesto, STS9, Vince Staples, 21 Savage, Griz and Zeds Dead. New to this year: a stage hosted by house, techno, and underground brand RBDeep. On Sunday, a special stage hosted by Universatile Music, Phoenix’s premiere hip-hop brand, will include performances by Tokimonsta, Cashmere Cat, Vince Staples – yes, Vince Staples! – 21 Savage, Griz and more. Phoenix Lights is an ages 18 and over event.
Details: Saturday-Sunday, April 8-9. Margaret T. Hance Park, 1202 N. Third St., Phoenix. $159 for a two-day pass or $280 for a pair; $349 for a two-day VIP pass. Single tickets are $89 Saturday and $79 Sunday. www.phoenixlightsfest.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/.
4/22: The 1975 at Alt AZ 93.3 Spring Fling
The 1975 will headline the Alt AZ 93.3 Spring Fling with Phantogram at Mesa Amphitheatre on Saturday, April 22. The young rock sensations from Manchester, England, won Best Album at the Q Awards for last year’s model, a sophomore effort called “I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful yet So Unaware of It,” which also topped the Billboard album charts. That album also sent four single to the Top 10 on the Billboard rock charts – “Love Me,” “Ugh!,” “The Sound” and “Somebody Else.” Prior U.S. hits include “Chocolate” and “Girls.”
Details: 6 p.m. Saturday, April 22. Mesa Amphitheatre, 263 N. Center St., Mesa. $42. mesaamp.com.
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.
4/30: Country Splash
The crowds at Big Surf will switch gears from EDM to country music for Country Splash. The headliners are TBA, but you can expect some serious barbecue, beer and water-park fun. Country Splash is an 18 and over event.
Details: Sunday, April 30. Big Surf, 1500 N. McClintock Dr., Tempe. $25; $85 VIP. www.wet-electric.com.
5/6: Bassrush Massive
Relentless Beats is partnering with Bassrush to bring Bassrush Massive to Rawhide Western Town & Event Center on Saturday, May 6, with music by Adventure Club, Flux Pavilion, NGHTMRE, Andy C and more. Beginning in the ‘90s, the Bassrush brand has evolved from its strictly drum & bass roots to include dubstep and other bass-oriented genres. Along with exclusive one-off events, Bassrush hosts stages at all major Insomniac festivals such as EDC Las Vegas, EDC Orlando and Beyond Wonderland. In 2011, the brand expanded beyond California, hosting multi-date national tours for major artists including Skrillex, Excision and Datsik. Bassrush Massive is an 18 and over event.
Details: Saturday, May 6. Rawhide, 5700 W. North Loop Rd., Chandler. Tickets TBA. www.relentlessbeats.com.
5/12-14: FORM Arcosanti
There’s a music festival happening May 12-14, 2017, in the experimental town of Arcosanti, Arizona. Here’s everything you need to know about FORM Arcosanti, from applying for tickets, camping there and who’s performing.
FORM Arcosanti, the unorthodox music festival held in the tiny experimental community of Arcosanti in Arizona, is returning May 12-14. EDM producer Skrillex will return this year, and he’s joined by Solange Knowles, Future Islands, Father John Misty and James Blake, who will do a solo piano set. Organized by indie band Hundred Waters, festival-goers, performers, volunteers and Arcosanti residents co-mingle and share a collaborative and creative journey that stretches beyond your typical music festival experience. The experimental set-up has attracted the attention of publications including the New York Times, Billboard and Spin magazine.
Details: Friday-Sunday, May 12-14. Arcosanti, about 65 miles north of Phoenix near Cordes Junction. $389. experienceform.com.
– Kellie Hwang
BONUS: 4/14-16 and 4/21-23: Coachella 2017
Lady Gaga (filling in for Beyonce), Radiohead and Kendrick Lamar will top the bill at this year’s Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. Friday’s bill also features sets by the xx, Travis Scott and Father John Misty. Saturday’s bill includes Bon Iver, Future, DJ Snake, Martin Garrix and Schoolboy Q. Sunday also features Lorde, Justice and New Order.
Details: April 14-16 and April 21-23. Empire Polo Field, Indio, Calif. $399 or $474 with a shuttle pass. Camping is $113. coachella.com.
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