Tag Archives: McDowell Mountain Music Festival

Crowd party

McDowell Mountain Music Festival returns to Phoenix

Listen up music fans, the 13th annual McDowell Mountain Music Festival (MMMF) will take the stage on March 11-13, 2016 for three full days of music, food, art, culture and more in the Arizona sun. Presale ticket packages for MMMF 2016 will be available for purchase at a discounted rate starting on August 1, 2015. Plus, the first 150 presale purchasers will receive a special limited edition ticket package directly from the festival organizers, with all details about the package deemed “top secret.”

Boasting a soon-to-be-announced lineup of both top national and local bands (with previous headliners ranging from Widespread Panic to The Roots), the McDowell Mountain Music Festival annually lures thousands of music fans nationwide to the grass-lined fields of Margaret T. Hance Park in downtown Phoenix. Even better, the MMMF is Arizona’s premier charity-based music festival, with 100-percent of all profits donated to worthy local charities. In fact, with help from contributors, donors, sponsors and, most important, loyal fans, MMMF 2015 donated $120,000 to benefiting charities, Phoenix Children’s Hospital and UMOM New Day Centers, the largest shelter for homeless families in the state.

Previously hosted in late March, the 2016 McDowell Mountain Music Festival was moved up to take advantage of Arizona’s mild spring weather and hopefully ensure the perfect mix of sunny days and cool nights, said MMMF founder and organizer, John Largay. “Spring is an outstanding time in the Valley. We want festival-goers to enjoy the sun and music all the same, and early March is certainly the month for both.”

Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, Photo: Kaci Demarest

McDowell Mountain Music Festival 2015 in review

McDowell Mountain Music Festival took over Margaret T. Hance Park in downtown Phoenix over the weekend.

The three-day festival featured more than 30 bands from a wide range of genres between the local and main stages.

For the 12th year, Wespac Construction hosted the event as a fundraiser for charity. McDowell Mountain Music Festival benefits UMOM Day Centers and Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

The festival was kicked off Friday with a mixture of pop, rock and electronic music.

Once the sun set, Portugal. The Man captivated the crowds with their slow-paced pop tones. They played their set without many breaks. It was challenging to determine where one song ended and another began, but the flow of the set was extremely smooth and consistently held the crowd’s attention.

Portugal. The Man closed out their set with a fusion of Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall” before melting into their song, “Purple, Yellow, Red and Blue.”

Passion Pit closed out the first night with a constantly fast set. Lead singer Michael Angelakos was never idle for long as he bounced all over the stage.

Although they closed out their main set with their hit “Take a Walk”, Passion Pit came back minutes later for an encore with “Sleepyhead” that put the first day of the festival over the top.

Saturday’s lineup featured a slower pace of music with bands such as Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue and Phantogram. The mixture of fast jazz and electronic music created a quelling evening.

Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue played a set that exploited the number of brass instruments the band uses. Despite the lack of vocals in the group’s songs, the group had the entire crowd moving and shaking.
Phantogram kept the energy with their electronic pop music, which allowed Thievery Corporation to come in and wrap up the second night on a high note.

A conglomeration of bands on Sunday brought the festival to a close. From rock to folk to country, Sunday offered the most diverse day of them all.

Widespread Panic closed out the festival with energized country music with a number of guitar solos.

Overall, the festival featured a variety of music to satisfy the tastes of everyone in attendance.

Although some of the bands have a more popular ring to them, the lesser-known bands were definitely able to pull out their fair share of tricks.

For example, the Revivalists, a band out of Louisiana, played early Sunday afternoon. Lead singer David Shaw was in and out of the pit throughout the performance, bringing fans closer to the music.

The local stage featured a variety of talent as well. For Saturday and Sunday, festival attendees could experience a Drum Circle.

Other local stage talent throughout the weekend highlighted mostly alternative bands from around the Valley.

Aside from the music, there were a variety of vendors offering food, clothes, jewelry, and more to enhance the average festival attendees’ experience.

Hourglass Cats

The Hourglass Cats shake up genres at MMMF

The Hourglass Cats might sound familiar to those who attended McDowell Mountain Music Festival last year. The band played on the local stage last year, though it has members that come from Arizona, California, New York and Germany.

Band members are comprised of Cori Rios (guitar/vocals), Jason Sessler (bass/vocals), Chaz Fertal (tenor sax/ percussion/vocals), Lisa Lizanec (trombone/vocals) and Johnny Groove (drums/percussion).

Formed in 2010, the independent band plays music that can only be described as a combination of Latin, reggae, rock ‘n’ roll, funk, ska and hip hop.

Rios explained that his favorite singer, De La Soul, inspired the band’s name. De La Soul’s song “Ego Tripper” has a lyric that says, “I’m somethin’ like a phenomenon/ Well I’m the hourglass cat.” Thus, the band’s name was born.

The Hourglass Cats play all over the Valley including shows at local restaurants, Tempe Marketplace, and Last Exit Live. In addition, they played shows in California and Mexico over the summer.

In the last year, The Hourglass Cats have doubled their fan base with the shows that they have been playing.

Their debut album, 432-EP, hit iTunes in 2013.

The band’s most recent success stems from their first professional music video for their song, Be That Way. The video was produced in conjunction with Marcus Eden.

Music festival attendees can expect a mixed set list from The Hourglass Cats.

“It’s going to be a good time,” Rios said.

The Hourglass Cats take the main stage March 27 at 2 p.m. to kick off the three-day festival.

Adam Kowalski (Hardhead Evil Teen)

The Revivalists take MMMF by storm

The Revivalists are a rock band that started in 2007 in New Orleans out of the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

The Revivalists garnered their name in reference to the rebuilding efforts occurring in their state. The band was coming up on their first show and still didn’t have name. Guitarist Zack Feinberg offered a suggestion. Feinberg was watching “60 Minutes” when the term “revivalist fervor” came up. Something clicked.

The rock/soul band is comprised of David Shaw (guitar/ vocals), Feinberg (guitar), Andrew Campanelli (drums), George Gekas (bass), Ed Williams (pedal steel guitar), Rob Ingraham (saxophone), and Michael Girardot (keyboards and trumpet).

The Revivalists signed with the record label Wind-Up Records in 2013. They re-released their album City of Sound in 2014, which elevated their recognition.

In recent months the band has been touring and working on a new album in various studios. Music festival attendees can expect a mixture of all The Revivalist songs. Shaw says they’ll work oldest to newest in terms of their set.

As far as their favorite part of music festivals, Shaw said the band enjoys the community feel that is created at these types of festivals.

McDowell Mountain Music Festival fans can first catch The Revivalists at the Late Night Show Saturday night. They hit the main stage at 1:45 p.m. on March 28.

Portugal. The Man

Concerts and festivals you need to catch this weekend

McDowell Mountain Music Festival
Arizona’s only nonprofit music festival returns this weekend. Performers for this year’s show include Passion Pit, Portugal. The Man, Thievery Corporation, Widespread Panic and more. The profits from the show go on to benefit Phoenix Children’s Hospital and UMOM New Day Centers. In addition to diverse music on the main and local stages, the three-day festival will offer food and beverage via food trucks. Festival attendees also have the option of upgrading to VIP experiences as well as purchasing camping spaces. Tickets for the event can be purchased by visiting mmmf.com.
Margaret T. Hance Park, 1202 N. Third St., Phoenix, March 27-29, $60+

Phoenix Bike Festival
The 2015 Phoenix Bike Fest will take over Westgate for three days. Event attendees will have the chance to try out a variety of bikes from Yamaha, Suzuki and Kawasaki. The event will also hold performances by Dead or Alive and TNT. There will also be MMA fights. More than 50 bike related vendors will be on hand for the event.  This event welcomes spectators and bike enthusiasts alike.
Westgate Entertainment District, 6770 N. Sunrise Blvd., March 26-28, Free

Phoenix Film Festival
Arizona’s largest film returns for it’s 15th year. The festival screens over 150 films on 7 screens in the theatre. The event initially began as an opportunity for independent films to be showcased. Categories include Horror, Sci-Fi, Shorts, and more. The festival will also host events and seminars for filmmakers of any level. Fans will have the chance to participate in Q&A sessions with producers, talent, and directors as well. Movie attendees have the option to purchase single tickets or bulk packages.
Harkins Scottsdale 101, 7000 E. Mayo Blvd., Phoenix, March 26- April 2, $13+

Romeo and Juliet
Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo? The classic Shakespearean tragedy comes to the Herberger Theater in downtown Phoenix. Presented by the Arizona Theatre Company, this story of betrayal features the famous feud of the Capulets and Montagues. Director Kirsten Brandt and designer David Lee Cuthbert offer a fresh taste on an old favorite.
Herberger Theater Center, 222 E. Monroe St., Phoenix, March 26-April 12, $36+

Tempe Spring Festival of the Arts
Almost 400 artists will take over Mill Avenue to showcase their work in 16 different mediums. The spring festival attracts close to 225,000 visitors to the three-day event. The committee for the event awards cash prizes to the overall top artist as well as the top artist in each category. Sunshine Art Magazine ranks the festival in their Top 200 art festivals. The event will feature live entertainment, street performers. The Tempe Festival of Arts gives a portion of the proceeds to local Tempe charities that assist with the event.
Mill Avenue District, 281 S. Mill Ave., Tempe, March 27-29, Free


McDowell Mountain Music Festival returns March 27-29

The three-day McDowell Mountain Music Festival, which takes place March 27-29, features a lineup that includes Widespread Panic, Passion Pit, Thievery Corporation, Phantogram, Portugal. The Man, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, Beats Antique, Trampled by Turtles, StrFkr, Robert Delong and Break Science.

“This festival is a party for the people,” said John Largay, president of Wespac Construction, which has produced the festival since 2004. “It’s a community effort, engaging music enthusiasts to come out to enjoy an eclectic mix of talents and also to support notable charities in the Valley.”

The 12th annual festival will be held at Margaret T. Hance Park in downtown Phoenix, March 27-29, 2015. VIP, three-day and single-day tickets are now on sale at www.mmmf.com. After hours event passes will also be on sale at a later date. For more information about concert details and ticket prices, visit www.mmmf.com.

As Arizona’s only 100 percent nonprofit music festival, Largay said the McDowell Mountain Music Festival is proud to continue its alliance with two local, family-based, non-profits beneficiaries: Phoenix Children’s Hospital Foundation and UMOM New Day Center, which provides homeless families and individuals with safe shelter, housing and supportive services. Over the years, the festival has raised more than one-million-dollars in funds for charity.



The 10th Annual McDowell Mountain Music Festival (MMMF) is scheduled to take place at the Margaret T. Hance Park in Phoenix, March 22 – March 24. The 14-band, main stage lineup includes The Roots, The Shins, Umphrey’s McGee and Duo de Twang, among others.

McDowell Mountain Music Festival

Umphrey McGee/Photo by Chad Smith

MMMF is Arizona’s only non-profit music festival, donating 100 percent of the proceeds to local, family-based charities. This year, the festival has chosen to support UMOM New Day Centers, Phoenix Children’s Hospital and Ear Candy Charity.

Although MMMF has traditionally been held in Scottsdale, this year it will move to downtown Phoenix. “ We’re looking forward to creating a relationship with the City of Phoenix and all that it has to offer, especially downtown,” said John Largay, the festival’s founder.

The three-day event will feature an Artist’s Marketplace, Kids Zone, Drum Circle and several performances from local bands on the Local Stage.

General admission and VIP tickets for this year’s event are available online at MMMF.com.


National Acts Scheduled for the 10th Annual McDowell Mountain Music Festival Benefiting Local Charities

The 10th Annual McDowell Mountain Music Festival (MMMF) is scheduled to take place at the Margaret T. Hance Park in Phoenix, March 22 – March 24. The 14-band, main stage lineup includes The Roots, The Shins, Umphrey’s McGee and Duo de Twang, among others.

MMMF Logo2MMMF is Arizona’s only non-profit music festival, donating 100 percent of the proceeds to local, family-based charities. This year, the festival has chosen to support UMOM New Day Centers, Phoenix Children’s Hospital and Ear Candy Charity.

Although MMMF has traditionally been held in Scottsdale, this year it will move to downtown Phoenix. “ We’re looking forward to creating a relationship with the City of Phoenix and all that it has to offer, especially downtown,” said John Largay, the festival’s founder.

The three-day event will feature an Artist’s Marketplace, Kids Zone, Drum Circle and several performances from local bands on the Local Stage.

General admission and VIP tickets for this year’s event are available online at MMMF.com.

Top 5 Arizona Music Festivals (Spring-Summer 2012)

Top 5: Arizona Music Festivals (Spring-Summer 2012)

The Top 5 Arizona Music Festivals — as voted on by Experience AZ readers:

Country Thunder

20585 E. Price Station Rd.,
Florence, AZ 85132
Dierks Bentley, Big & Rich, Blake Shelton and Alan Jackson headline the 2012 Country Thunder, which runs April 12-15.

McDowell Mountain Music Festival

N. 68th St. and E. Mayo Blvd.,
Phoenix, AZ 85054
Winner of Phoenix New Times Best Music Festival in Arizona, the festival brings together a number of bands from a wide variety of genres from all over the world to Arizona. The Festival takes place April 13-15, 2012. Bring your kids. Make some friends. There is a drum circle, acoustic stage, Kid’s Zone and more.

Glendale Jazz & Blues Festival

7010 N. 59th Ave.,
Glendale, AZ 85301
The Glendale Jazz & Blues Festival at Murphy Park in Historic Downtown Glendale features a tremendous lineup of local, regional and national entertainment takes place April 14-15, 2012.

Sedona Jazz On The Rocks

2155 W. State Route 89A, #115,
Sedona, AZ 86339
Red rocks, blue skies and hot, hip jazz — Sedona Jazz on the Rocks is a non-profit arts organization dedicated to preserving jazz for the Next Generation. It produces a jazz festival each year in September. It also sponsors instrument workshops, jazz master classes, a summer youth band and scholarship programs.

Red Rocks Music Festival

P.O. Box 34, Sedona, AZ 86339
877-RED-RCKS (733-7257)
The Red Rocks Music Festival — which takes places from August 24 – September 2, 2012 — educates, engages and challenges audiences through a unique collaboration of musicians from leading Arizona performing arts organizations and world acclaimed artists.

Experience AZ Spring-Summer 2012

McDowell Mountain Musical Festival

Rain Or Shine, McDowell Mountain Music Festival 2012 Hosted A Great Time [PHOTOS]

Donning last season’s coats they thought they stored away for the year, hauling their lounge chairs and blankets to the corner of 68th and Mayo, festival-goers wouldn’t let anything stop them from guzzling their brew of choice and enjoying the three days of live music at the McDowell Mountain Music Festival.

Held from Friday, April 13 to Sunday, April 15, the McDowell Mountain Music Festival welcomed attendees of all ages — from the little ones hula hooping in the Kids Zone and the hippies who felt at home, to the Grateful-Dead-fanatic folks who swayed and boogied to every track the Dark Star Orchestra performed on Saturday night. (And let’s not forget how hot and bothered and shirtless and sweaty it got Saturday night inside the Compound Grill during EOTO’s performance.)

While the weather was far from clear and sunny that weekend, one message was far from muddled — the attendees were there to have a good time with friends and family, and all for a great cause. With a “do good, feel good” attitude boasting from plenty of festival-goers, 100 percent of the proceeds benefited the Phoenix Children’s Hospital and Ear Candy, a non-profit music organization.

The McDowell Mountain Music Festival main stage welcomed artists including Galactic, Ozomatli and Endoplasmic (improvisational dance music) on Friday; Dark Star Orchestra, funky Big Head Todd and the Monsters, Anders Osborne, Trevor Hall (a hybrid of rock and reggae), Tramps and Thieves and relatively-new-to-the-scene Nameless Prophets on Saturday; and on Sunday, bluegrass band the Travelin’ McCourys featuring Keller Williams, Soulive and Carolina Chocolate Drops.

The festival also hosted after hours performances in the Compound Grill for those who wanted to continue the party indoors. The Motet performed on Friday; and EOTO, a 100 percent improvised mix of dubstep, trip-hop, breakbeat, house, and drum and bass, performed Saturday.

During the day, attendees were able to filter in and out of Compound, the music transitioning “from the mainstream to the indie scene,” featuring artists and bands including Quick Henry and PHX on Friday; Spafford, Future Loves Past and Synaptic Soul on Saturday; and Voluntary String Band and Decker on Sunday.

One of the most vibrant performances in the Compound Grill, however, came from attendees of all ages who partook in the drum circle, playing the drums, shakers, tambourine, bells and more as patrons dined and others danced.

View photos from the McDowell Mountain Music Festival
on our Facebook!

McDowell Mountain Musical Festival

For more information about the McDowell Mountain Music Festival, visit mmmf.net/2012.

McDowell Mountain Music Festival Concert

McDowell Mountain Music Festival Hosts Charity Event

From April 29 to May 1, music lovers are gathering together in the Phoenix area to “party with a purpose” at the 8th annual McDowell Mountain Music Festival (MMMF).McDowell Mountain Music Festival Kids

“We started it as a charity element to our construction company Wespac,” says John Largay, founder of MMMF. “We quickly realized it was a three-legged stool: interacting with community, culture and charity.”

All proceeds for the event will go to two Arizona children’s charities, Ear Candy and Phoenix Day Family & Learning Center, which are only the beginning for Wespac Construction as they wish to expand their charity element in the future.

“There’s a huge amount of need out there,” says Largay. “We would like to grow it to include others, but [right now] we have these two.”

The music festival will feature performances for all ages – though some bands are 21+ only – along with a silent auction & raffle, a marketplace with 12 to 15 vendors, a drum circle, an acoustic stage, the Kid’s Zone where there will be arts and crafts, and more.

Many of the artists are not age specific and music genres range from folk rock to dance party music, which fits well with MMMF’s goal to bring music and a diverse culture to its community.

McDowell Mountain Music Festival Concert Day“None of them are well-known artists,” says Largay. “The quality of music, though, is great, and the artists are great.”

Links to the artists’ sites where you can listen to their music and learn more about them can be found on MMMF’s website.

Gates open at 4 p.m. on the first day of the event; Saturday and Sunday activities will begin at 11 a.m.

For more information about MMMF and to purchase tickets, visit McDowell Mountain Music Festival’s website.