• March Madness Music Festival hits capacity early

    March Madness Music Festival hits capacity early

  • Final Four hits the streets with a Dribble walk!

    Final Four hits the streets with a Dribble walk!

  • Gonzaga fans in Glendale react to win over S. Carolina in NCAA semifinal

    Gonzaga fans in Glendale react to win over S. Carolina in NCAA semifinal

  • Fans pack University of Phoenix Stadium lawn for Final Four

    Fans pack University of Phoenix Stadium lawn for Final Four

  • Which seats in the Final Four house are still available?

    Which seats in the Final Four house are still available?

  • Downtown Phoenix gets ready for NCAA Final Four

    Downtown Phoenix gets ready for NCAA Final Four

  • Piece by piece, the court for the NCAA Final Four tournament is put together in Glendale

    Piece by piece, the court for the NCAA Final Four tournament is put together in Glendale

  • Scoreboard installed at University of Phoenix Stadium for Final Four

    Scoreboard installed at University of Phoenix Stadium for Final Four

  • Preparing for the Final Four in Glendale

    Preparing for the Final Four in Glendale

The Final Four is on in Arizona. The March Madness Music Festival met capacity less than an hour after its doors opened Sunday, and the lucky 20,000 who got in saw a legendary Aerosmith performance.

Scroll down for a recap of Sunday’s Final Four fan events, including celebrity sightings and the Final Four Dribble that had more than 3,000 kids bouncing basketballs in downtown Phoenix streets.

RELATED: View our recaps of Friday’s events and Saturday’s festivities, or check back Monday for our live coverage of all things Final Four in Glendale and Phoenix.

Final Four comes to Arizona

8:30 p.m. Aerosmith rock out 

Legendary rock band Aerosmith took the stage to a massive crowd of cheering fans of all ages Sunday night.

They also shared video of their performance on Facebook Live so that fans around the world could see the show.

7:50 p.m. Waiting for Aerosmith

The at-capacity crowd of about 20,000 waited for Aerosmith to take the stage at the March Madness Music Festival, and in the meantime Aerosmith’s official social media accounts posted teasers.

Charles Barkley also helped entertain the crowd by getting on stage to sing karaoke, including “I Will Survive.”

7 p.m.: Snapchat Spectacles vending machines still here

Snapchat placed at least two of its bright yellow vending machines in downtown Phoenix for people to buy its newest product: Spectacles sunglasses that shoot video clips.

The $129 shades, which shoot 10-second clips that wirelessly transfer to the Snapchat photo/video sharing app, went on sale last fall and initially were only available from vending machines that would pop up in cities for a short times, usually just one day.

Anyone can buy them at spectacles.com, but there still is an allure to hunting down a machine — called a Snapbot — and buying them in-person.

The official Spectacles account posted photos of the machines Saturday and Sunday, but did not name where they were. One buyer figured out that a machine was near the Phoenix Convention Center.

Can you figure out where the other vending machine is in the Phoenix area?

6:35 p.m. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis take the stage

Rapper Macklemore took the March Madness Music Festival stage around 6:40 p.m. Sunday, starting with his hit “Ten Thousand Hours.”

Anyone can stream the festival live at ncaa.com/marchmadness/musicfest/live.


Show Thumbnails

Show Captions

6:30 p.m. Final Four closes doors for the night

Right before Macklemore and Ryan Lewis took the stage, Final Four officials tweeted the Music Festival hit capacity and the doors would not be reopening for the rest of the evening.

Watch the festival live at ncaa.com/marchmadness/musicfest/live.

6 p.m.: Police letting few into music festival

Police allowed groups of about 50 people into the March Madness Music Festival every 15 minutes or so, giving hope to those still waiting in the massive lines that formed at entrances. There also was at least one entrance where police gave priority to people with children or pregnant women.

People in the back third of the line said they had waited just 15 minutes, while people in the front liked waited for an hour or more. Meanwhile, Blink 182 rocked inside, and one fan posted that he saw Charles Barkley in a VIP area of the festival.

5:15 p.m.: Hopefuls wait to get in to festival

Sammi Digan and Maria Lafferty, both 21, were among the hundreds of people waiting in line in hopes of getting into the March Madness Music Festival, which reached capacity at 3:45 p.m. Sunday.

“It’s kind of mixed reviews, depending on the people,” Lafferty said. “We’ve already heard our fair share of curse words and people stomping away from the police for rejecting them, and we’ve heard our fair share of like, ‘maybe we should go somewhere else.’

“We’re kind of still hoping we’re going to get in, though, so here’s to hoping, you know?” she said. “If not, hey, we’ll just go to a bar.”


Sammi Dugan and Maria Lafferty were turned away from the March Madness Music Festival in downtown Phoenix, which hit capacity at 3:45 p.m. Sunday, April 2, 2016. (Alexis Berdine/azcentral.com)
Alexis Berdine/azcentral.com

4:30 p.m.: Music fest at capacity

The Phoenix Police Department tweeted at 3:46 p.m. that the March Madness Music Festival had reached capacity and they were closing the doors.

“They are still going to let in everyone who is currently in line. They will re-evaluate later to determine if they will re-open the gates or not,” Phoenix Police spokesman Alan Pfohl said at 4:33 p.m.

Many people were furious that the festival filled up so early, yelling as they stormed away from the park. Others stayed in line, hopeful that that would still be able to get in later.

4 p.m. Actor Josh Peck is here!

Actor Josh Peck of Nickelodeon’s “Drake & Josh” fame visited downtown Phoenix Saturday and Sunday for the Final Four festivities.

Peck, who currently voices Casey Jones in “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” posted a video of himself Saturday shooting a basketball in the Final Four Fan Fest.

Sunday afternoon he posted and later deleted a photo of him and a friend posing in front of the “sorry” sign outside FOUND:RE Phoenix hotel, which is steps away from the March Madness Music Festival.

3:30 p.m. Arizona pride at Fan Fest 

Many Arizonans at the Final Four Fan Fest said they take pride in having the Final Four in the Valley.

Kyle Hobbs, 23, said it makes sense this location was chosen. It’s big and spread out without too much traffic.

“It’s just a great city,” he said. Attendees from other states are able to see another side of Arizona beyond the fact that it’s a hot desert.

“The best thing about Phoenix is there really is so much stuff here,” local Troy Hutchinson said. “You really have to have a good plan if you do come to visit.”

Hobbs added that this isn’t just for visitors: Locals also get a unique opportunity to experience large-scale events and meet star athletes. He and his 16-year-old brother Zach were standing in line to meet Arizona Cardinals player Tyrann Mathieu.

“I think it’s a great turnout for the fans, gives them something to look forward to,” Hobbs said.

3 p.m.: Doors open for the music fest 

There were long lines to get into the free March Madness Music Festival before it opened at 3 p.m. Many people wore shirts displaying their favorite act of the night.

They’re smart to get a head start – officials closed the festival’s gates by 7:30 p.m. Saturday because it had reached capacity, rumored to be about 20,000, though officials were unable to confirm the number.

Famed concert lighting designer and director Cosmo Wilson posted a photo of a bunch of inflatable pool floats near the band gear, so it’s likely than giant swans, pizza slices and donuts will appear in the crowd during one of the shows Sunday.

2 p.m.: Fan recreates Christian Laettner’s famous shot

Christian Laettner, who many regard as one of the greatest NCAA players ever, recreated his most famous basketball moment with fans at the Fan Fest in Phoenix Sunday afternoon: He threw the full-court inbound pass so attendees could attempt his winning shot from the 1992 East Regional Finals.

Most fans missed. A few made it. Finally, at 2 p.m. on the dot, the emcee pumped up Shirley Peng to take the final shot. She made it.

“It was amazing,” she said.

Peng was with her husband, Seth Fager, who shot and missed right before her. He said he saw the highlight as a kid but wasn’t watching the actual game.

“It was cool,” he said. “It was definitely something I’ll cherish forever.”

Peng said she’s not among the crowd that still hates Laettner. He is so widely disliked that ESPN even produced a “30 for 30” titled  “I Hate Christian Laettner.”

“I think he’s a great basketball player,” she said with a laugh.

1 p.m.: Fans line up to meet Steve Nash 

Hundreds of people stood in line for hours in the Final Four Fan Fest in downtown Phoenix Sunday afternoon to meet former Phoenix Suns player and eight-time NBA All-Star Steve Nash.

Organizers had to cut off the line before Nash even arrived. Some at the front of the line said they waited for three hours to meet the legend.

Joshua Haslip, 14, said his favorite Nash memory was when Nash fractured his nose on court in 2010 and just popped it back into place himself.

Tyler Lamoreaux, 13, said he doesn’t really remember watching Nash play but brought a photo of himself when he was 2, wearing a Nash jersey, to be signed.

Noon: Dikembe Mutombo meets fans

Four-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award winner and eight-time All-Star Dikembe Mutombo appeared at the Fan Fest at noon Sunday. He posted a photo with former San Antonio Spurs player David Robinson and ESPN broadcaster Dick Vitale, who he towered over. Mutombo is 7′ 2″.

11 a.m.: Ready, set, dribble!

Young basketball fans were able to bounce into action Sunday morning by participating in the Final Four Dribble in downtown Phoenix.

Armed with special NCAA Final Four-themed basketballs, about 3,000 children maneuvered through the heart of Fan Fest, showcasing their ball handling skills.

For the older kids, it was taking their talents from off the court and onto the streets. But for the youngsters in the pack, who were accompanied by their parents, it was more about joining in on the fun and trying their hardest to dribble in a straight line.

With their oversized dribble shirts hanging to their knees, they attempted to control the unwieldy balls that were nearly half their size.

“She’s been practicing,” Blanca Ardon said, watching as her daughter, Mia, 9, raced in front of her.

“Mom, look!” the girl shouted proudly.

Catching up to her older brothers, Mia shared that she loved to play basketball and was enjoying her time out with the other children.

Blanca, from Phoenix, said she was happy when she heard about the event because it was a great way for her kids to get involved with Final Four and to stay active.

Just up ahead Maya Gutierrez, 9, and her brother, Esteban, 10, bounced their balls toward the final destination: Fan Fest inside the Phoenix Convention Center.

“They play soccer, but this might have sparked something,” said their father, Andy Gutierrez. “It’s been a great event … all of the Fan Fest activities for the Final Four. We came out for the Super Bowl activities a few years ago but this might be better.”

With a bit more skill and grace, a basketball team from the West Valley Warriors sports club were up near the front as they approached the doors to Fan Fest.

“We’re hoping to see one of the college players,” said Nyuol Makuei, 15.

“Yeah, that’d be cool!” said teammate Stacy Goree.

According to Reginald Tahy, a Fan Fest supporter who was helping guide the crowd as they funneled near the doors, the Final Four Dribble was one of the most anticipated events for the organizers as they got to see the children participate and interact with the activities.

“It’s running smoothly … it all is,” Tahy said. “Everything so far this weekend has gone off without a hitch.”

MORE: Map of the downtown Phoenix events

TV schedule for Monday

Semifinal winners, 6:19 p.m., Channel 5 (Play-by-play: Jim Nantz. Analysts: Bill Raftery, Grant Hill. Reporter: Tracy Wolfson)

Compiled by Arizona Republic reporter Kaila White from reports by Republic reporters Yihyun Jeong, Logan Newman and Alexis Berdine. 


Show Thumbnails

Show Captions

Read or Share this story: http://azc.cc/2nLVjve