Downtown Chandler energized by live music scene

Experience AZ | 19 Feb |

Live music brings people together and creates heightened emotions for memorable experiences. And one way Downtown Chandler is offering that experience is through their first Friday Night Live concert series, which began in October 2019 and will run through May this year. Residents and visitors can enjoy monthly performances by local bands and visit restaurants to watch more performers on their stages.

Mary Murphy-Bessler, executive director of the Downtown Chandler Community Partnership, said the concert series has taken up organically, as a lot of restaurants in Downtown Chandler are putting stages in their businesses.

“Seven days a week on any given night, there’s live music in Downtown Chandler. We have anywhere between 10 and 12 stages in downtown within a three-block radius where live music is scheduled. So we really have quite the live music scene going on,” Murphy-Bessler said.

Some venues that have stages include Bourbon Jack, West Alley BBQ and Smokehouse, Murphy’s Law Irish Pub, The Perch Pub and Brewery, QuartHaus, El Zocalo Mexican Grill, The Local Chandler and Chandler Center for the Arts that play all sorts of music from country western at Bourbon Jack, jazz and blues at West Alley BBQ and rock at Murphy’s Law- check out the schedule here.

Prior to the Friday Night Live series, Murphy-Bessler said there was an artwalk on Friday evenings, but the Downtown Chandler Community Partnership wanted a project that was “unique and part of the character of downtown Chandler.” And as the live music scene is growing in the area, “we felt that was the most important part of telling the story of what downtown chandler has to offer,” Murphy-Bessler said. Hosted from 6 to 9 p.m. on an outdoor stage in Dr. A.J. Chandler Park West, which Murphy-Bessler said is the epicenter for the live music scene, afterwards they encourage people to go to some of the businesses downtown to check out their stages and live music.

The format entails an opening act, which is usually a local, community performance group, and a neighborhood band, which Murphy-Bessler said a lot of families will come out to see, and a headliner afterward.

“It’s an opportunity for a lot of our musical talent locally and give them a platform to be able to perform as well, and that again creates momentum because one of the things we’re also seeing as a benefit to this concert series and kind of this marketing initiative that we have started, is that there’s more and more bands that want to play downtown because we’re starting to be known as a good music scene,” Murphy-Bessler said.

That growth as an emerging music scene is partly due to the “people who come to Downtown Chandler that want to hear some music and go to a couple of the venues and a growing number of musicians who are coming and talking to our various venues and wanting to perform in those venues,” Murphy Bessler said.

The Downtown Chandler Community Partnership hopes they can continue to host the concert series on an annual basis and build up Downtown Chandler’s nightlife scene with new bands. They have had positive reception from their previous shows. “We’ve had several people comment that they are really enjoying it and they like our efforts in terms of putting an event on that helps bring people into the businesses and supporting the businesses through those measures,” Murphy-Bessler said.

Downtown Chandler Friday Night Live schedule

February 21 

Jam Pak Blues ‘N’ Grass Neighborhood Band

Mogollon

March 20 

Chandler High School Jazz Band

Pearl Ridge

April 17

Willis Junior High Jazz Band

Sugahbeat

May 15

Corona del Sol Steel Drum

Shallow Water

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