12 music and arts festivals to experience this spring

Above: Arizona’s M3F Fest is a music festival that operates as a nonprofit, giving 100 percent of the proceeds to local nonprofit organizations. Experience AZ | 2 Mar |

With Arizona’s pleasant spring weather comes the season for music and arts festivals across the state. If you are looking to make friends who are equally interested in arts and culture as you are, or if you just want to spend a relaxing day listening to live music and exploring local artists’ work, be sure to check out some of these upcoming music and arts festivals in the Valley.

Innings Festival: Feb. 29 & March 1

Fans of music and baseball alike will not want to miss the Innings Festival at Tempe Beach Park. The festival features a full lineup of musicians as well as appearances by MLB superstars. This year’s music headliners are Dave Matthews Band on Saturday and Weezer on Sunday. The Innings Festival celebrates MLB Spring Training in Arizona.

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M3F: March 6-8

Arizona’s M3F Fest is a music festival that operates as a nonprofit, giving 100 percent of the proceeds to local nonprofit organizations. Located at Margaret T. Hance Park in Phoenix, the festival will bring 40+ musicians to the Valley for a three-day-long celebration. The festival also features other forms of entertainment including live art, food and a kid zone. Music acts include Bon Iver, RÜFÜS DU SOL, LANY and more. To see the full artist lineup, visit the M3F website: m3ffest.com/lineup.

Scottsdale Arts Festival: March 13-15

The annual Scottsdale Arts Festival celebrates its 50th anniversary this year at Scottsdale Civic Center Park. The festival features over 170 artists from around the U.S. and Canada, with two live music stages, food trucks, vendors and creative activities for the whole family. Varying mediums of art such as ceramics, sculpture, digital art and more will be on display throughout the festival. 

Chandler Ostrich Festival: March 13-15

The Chandler Chamber Ostrich Festival at Tumbleweed Park has been a staple tradition in Arizona for 32 years. Guests can observe and take photos with ostriches and enjoy other attractions such as live music, food, rides, games and more. Musical guests in the past have ranged from local acts to bigger-known headliners. This year’s headliners are 98 Degrees and Blues Traveler.

Stagecoach Village Fine Arts Festival: March 20-22

The Stagecoach Village Fine Arts Festival features outdoor shopping, dining and entertainment. Guests can browse the wonderful selection of paintings, sculptures, mixed media, blown glass, handmade furniture, ceramics and more. Enjoy patio dining and refreshments from one of the several attending restaurants and watch the sunset over the mountains nearby. Located at Stagecoach village, the event hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and admission and parking are free. 

Phoenix Blues, Brews and BBQ: March 21

Blues fans in Arizona will not want to miss the Phoenix Blues, Brews and BBQ festival, coming to Margaret T. Hance Park on March 21. The stellar lineup includes former International Blues Challenge (IBC) winner Zac Harmon​​​​​​​, Blues Music Awards Rising Star winner Amanda Fish​​​​​​​, Tucson’s own Bad News Blues Band​​​​​​​ and Phoenix’s two-time IBC representative, Cros. Tickets range from $15-$25 and can be purchased either in advance or at the door.

Tempe Festival of the Arts: March 27-29

The Tempe Festival of the Arts is a biannual tradition of Downtown Tempe which showcases a variety of mediums of art from artists all over the country who compete for an invitation to display their work to the festival-goers. The event also features several live music stages and street performers up and down Mill Avenue and the surrounding streets. 

Spring Festival of the Arts: March 28 & 29

Now in its seventh year, Oro Valley’s Spring Festival of the Arts is one of the biggest art events held in Southern Arizona. The festival features over 150 artists of all mediums exhibiting their work, plus live music performances, vendors and family activities. The event lasts from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, at the Oro Valley Marketplace. Admission to the festival is free. 

Chandler Jazz Festival: April 3 & 4

Anyone who is a fan of blues or smooth jazz will not want to miss the Chandler Jazz Festival. Each April, the City of Chandler celebrates Jazz Appreciation Month in a way that brings the community together for a weekend of live music and fun. For those more interested in the festival atmosphere but who are not into jazz, the festival also hosts an assortment of vendors that include wonderful art and food. 

Phoenix Lights: April 3 & 4

The Phoenix Lights Festival is coming to the park at Wild Horse Pass on the April 3 and 4. Featuring popular artists such as Afrojack, Alesso, Ben Böhmer and more, Phoenix Lights is a must for EDM fans in the Valley. Fans must be 18 years or older to attend, with tickets starting at $129. 

Fountain Hills Music Festival: April 4

Formerly known as the Fountain Hills concert series, the town of Fountain Hills will be hosting their annual music festival this April. The festival showcases multiple artists demonstrating a variety of music genres, and will also have food trucks and other dining options. It is known as a low-key music festival, and invites locals to bring their blankets and chairs for a relaxing evening of live music.

Country Thunder: April 16-19

If you are a fan of country music, you will not want to miss the Country Thunder music festival in Florence this April 16-19. Featuring performances from 25+ artists including Dustin Lynch, Luke Combs, Kane Brown and Eric Church, Country Thunder is a massive event that allows guests to camp overnight on the festival grounds so as not to miss a moment of the action. If camping isn’t your thing, you can also purchase day tickets for any of the individual four days, or the entire weekend. 

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