They’ve gone and done it again! The intimate, unique 3-day fest nestled in the heart of Downtown Phoenix brought a variety of music fans to enjoy exciting performances from an array of artists. Did McDowell Mountain Festival find success on their fifteenth anniversary? The answer is hell yes.
On top of delivering a top-notch experience to music-loving attendees, the relaxed atmosphere was stress-free. Stuffy, overcrowded festivals can be a pain point for those who become overwhelmed in large crowds. In addition to the laid-back vibes, the weather was surprisingly chilly. Festing in Arizona usually brings a guaranteed sunburn, but this year’s event managed to bring crowds in right before the state turns into an oversized oven. Among many other factors, comfortable temps made this weekend an unforgettable one. Oh, and don’t get us started on Arizona sunsets. Nothing compares.
The 2018 installment brought a stacked line-up, despite a last-minute back-out from Brasstracks (we’re still wondering what happened). The festival delivered on many fronts – accessible bathrooms, decent food, and easy entry to name a few. Local vendors showed off their products in the heart of the park, with three stages, Tito’s drink tents, and food stops filling in the gaps. Plenty of grass allowed for quick cat naps in-between sets.
By choosing Margaret T. Hance Park as the official location, M3F allowed for attendees to support local businesses like Angels Trumpet House. We made sure to take advantage of some exceptional pre-fest brewskies. This festival had a beautiful way of binding the Phoenix community together.
Enthusiastic crowds and jam-worthy beats filled the park until midnight. Day one brought a handful of killer performances from Big Gigantic, Mura Masa, Dr. Dog, Wyves, and Cut Copy.
Chet Faker, also known as Nick Murphy, brought the house down with a near-perfect performance. Are we really that surprised, though? Talent oozes from his pores, and that’s a gross understatement.
Day two proved just as flawless. Minus Brasstracks essentially disappearing from the line-up, artists brought their A-game and followed set-times to the second. Truthfully, as a festival goer, this is HUGE. I can remember very vividly waiting for an artist for over 45 minutes at Coachella last year. She who shall not be named lost me as a fan immediately. Time is of the essence at each and every music festival.
Jai Wolf secured a special place in my heart on Saturday night. His energy spread throughout the crowd like wildfire. Fluorescent lights, viral hits, and flawless transitions in between songs produced a life-changing show.
Gorgon City’s live performance was groovy on all fronts. Try sitting still to Imagination. I dare you. GRiZ followed with his always impressive sax-heavy future funk. There’s something to be said about artists who look truly happy. You can’t help but smile and dance along with them. Day three wrapped up a stellar weekend with Sunday Funday performances from O.A.R, The Revivalists, The Motet, and Anderson East.
M3F brought a deep appreciation for Phoenix and the artists this fest pulled together, giving us the excitement we needed for the upcoming festival season. The best part? The 100 percent nonprofit event benefited local, family-based charities. You can’t beat that. Until next year!