The Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, Barrett-Jackson, Cactus League Baseball… and a music festival?
Plenty of events attract visitors to Arizona, but one in particular is new to the state: True Music Festival, a one-day, multi-genre event. Founder Jarid Dietrich taps into the rich, cultured music scene of the area — one that, he says, just doesn’t get enough credit.
“For whatever reason, people just don’t think of the Phoenix music scene on a national level,” Dietrich says. “It’s the sixth most populous city in the nation and is made up of a lot of people who are first- and second-generation Phoenicians. What that means is there are people from all over, bringing their music culture with them from across the world. If nothing more, I want this event to be a vessel for them to shine in the national spotlight. Let’s put them on stage with the biggest acts in the world and let them share their gift.”
True Music Festival is a first of its kind in the state, embracing and showcasing both local and national acts ranging from electronic dance music (EDM) to rock and hip-hop.
“I think the caliber of artists we are selecting from each genre is incredible,” Dietrich says. “These artists are well respected, not just by fans, but the music community in general.”
On the lineup so far is Bassnectar, Wiz Khalifa, The Flaming Lips, Lord Huron and Capital Cities, who have skyrocketed to success with their single “Safe and Sound.”
“We love festivals because of the energy you feel there,” Ryan Merchant of Capital Cities says. “This is a result of bringing together a bunch of bands in one place. It creates an excitement you don’t find in other concert settings.”
The artist Merchant looks forward to seeing the night of the festival?
“I’m a huge Flaming Lips fan,” he says. “[I'm] looking forward to their set.”
Securing these artists may not have been the simplest task, but Dietrich says as soon as he revealed details on what he had planned for the festival, musicians started listening.
“It can be very difficult to get major artists to Arizona for a number of reasons, including political,” he says. “But when we started discussing with the artists, I think the concept spoke for itself, and they jumped at the opportunity.”
In addition to live music, the festival will also include live, interactive art installations and roving performers, so attendees are able to watch artists work, and in some cases, create their own.
“We want our first year to have a major impact on our guests and are working on some new experimental concepts that will really blow people away,” Dietrich says. “We’re working heavily on dimensional entertainment — things going on around you, beneath you and above you… I can’t say much more without giving too much away, but there are some really cool things we’re working on.”
True Music Festival’s goal is to provide a bit of everything, but just how did the name come about?
“We spent months discussing internally on what we thought would be appropriate,” Dietrich says. “We also wanted something that would get our message across right off the bat and keep in line with what we set out to accomplish — an authentic, genuine music experience.”
And it’s this experience that Dietrich hopes will draw thousands of attendees to the Salt River Fields at Talking Stick in Scottsdale.
“Since it’s such a trek for people in Arizona to get to a major festival,” he says, “a lot of them have never even had that incredible, grandiose feeling of being part of something larger than themselves. People have been waiting a long time for something like this.”
For more information about True Music Festival, head to truemusicfestival.com.
True Music Festival
Where: Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, 7555 N. Pima Rd., Scottsdale
When: December 14, 2013