Tag Archives: Jimmy Eat World

Top 5 Arizona Music Festivals (Spring-Summer 2012)

Viva PHX music festival features 20 venues

Viva PHX, a music festival going for its second round on March 14, will host more than 90 bands in 20 different venues in the downtown Phoenix area.

“The music is the No. 1 thing,” said Charlie Levy, creator of Viva PHX. “No. 2 is the experience.  If any of these bands don’t mean anything to you, you’re going to have a crazy great time.”

Usual music festivals have two stages and if you don’t know who is playing, then you don’t enjoy yourself, Levy said. But at Viva PHX, there are 20 venues playing at the same time.

“I want people to walk by a venue and poke their head in it and hopefully see the best show they’ve seen all year,” he said.

Three blocks of Monroe Street will be closed off for a giant block party with food trucks, vendors, artists and a Lucha Libre wresting stage in the dead center of it.

It’s a lot of small venues, but intimate ones like Grace Chapel, Phoenix Masonic Temple and the basement of the Orpheum Theatre, Levy said,  which most of Phoenix probably doesn’t know exists.

“That’s why we want to keep it around 8,000 like last year, to keep it crowded but not overwhelming,” he said.

Levy said he can’t wait for people to enter Grace Chapel, part of that burned-down 100-year-old abbey on Monroe Street and seeing flamenco. “That’s fun for me,” he said.

Wild Ones (a band Levy raved about), Best Coast, Coolio, Jim Adkins of Jimmy Eat World and Arizona locals are the type of artists being featured this year. Levy said he also brought in bands from Mexico and Tucson to recreate those world music venues at South by Southwest.

“We kind of went for really great artists and not necessarily for flavor of the day,” Levy said, comparing Viva PHX to Pot of Gold and other music festivals in the Phoenix area at the same time.

A Spotify playlist is on the site to share music from the artists performing at Viva PHX and for the audience to discover them.  “You don’t have to be the biggest music nerd to enjoy this festival,” Levy said.

Viva PHX was planned in three months last year, but more time did not make it easier because it had to be better, Levy said. “As long as the people keep wanting it, it’ll keep happening,” he said.

Fiesta Bowl Block Party in Tempe, AZ

The 27th Annual Fiesta Bowl Block Party in Tempe, AZ

Mill Avenue District in Tempe, Arizona.

Photo Credit: Flickr, planetc1

This year’s Fiesta Bowl Block Party is all about new traditions, new additions, and celebrating the New Year.

This year marks the 27th Annual Fiesta Bowl Block Party, Arizona’s biggest New Year’s Eve celebration. Attendees can expect to see headlining band Jimmy Eat World and opening band The Maine take the main stage, university bands marching through downtown, nonstop entertainment, the two fireworks displays kicking off 2011 and much more.

More than 100,000 locals and visiting college football fanatics annually attend the Fiesta Bowl Block Party, a family friendly event.

Because the Block Party had to relocate last year to the Mill Avenue District between Rio Salado and University, Rich Ripley, Fiesta Bowl Block Party’s event coordinator, said the relocation hasn’t and won’t hinder the success of the Block Party.

In fact, the relocation of the event has allowed them to put entertainment on every corner in downtown Tempe, and the light rail provides easy access to the Block Party.

Mill Ave. Bridge in Tempe, AZ.

Photo Credit: Flickr, twak

So what was the real challenge this year, according to Ripley?

“Our challenge every year is how to keep the event fresh for the people that attend,” Ripley said. “Some of the new things this year are a stage for Scandelesque, an outdoor sports club, [and] the video dance display. We also keep old favorites that people love like Dueling Pianos and the Craig Davis Magic Show.”

The multimedia displays are a new addition to the Block Party this year. They will add a sound and light experience never seen before.

“We have basically taken a dance club and put it into the middle of an intersection,” Ripley said. “We have had [it] at the Block Party for 7 or 8 years.  We decided to move it to the Center of the Party and make it fun for everyone who attends.”

As for a new tradition added to the event, it started last year – the confetti blast at midnight.

“Our midnight tradition now is our confetti blast with the fireworks in the sky,” Ripley said. “People love it and we have made it a tradition. It is quite amazing to be in the middle of that.”

27th Annual Fiesta Bowl Block Party:
December 31, 2010
5 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.
Please visit Fiesta Bowl Block Party’s website for more information.