Phoenix has a robust festival scene that has been developed over the past few decades. One such festival popped up in 2004 and has seriously grown to have an impressive impact on the community. Previously known as McDowell Mountain Music Festival, M3F introduced a new name in 2018 and it seems to have stuck! Their festival tagline is “Community x Culture x Charity”. Something very important to note about M3F right off the bat is that 100% of all of the proceeds are donated to local charities. I feel like this is one of the most important things to highlight about this festival in an age where festival oversaturation is a real thing. Being able to differentiate your festival is key, as many festivals have been able to accomplish over the years. M3F however, differentiates in a way that creates a massive impact on the Arizona community. Four of the biggest charities that M3F supports include Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Teach for America, The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and Habitat for Humanity of Northern Arizona. M3F truly believes that #EveryTicketCounts as they have been able to donate over two million dollars since the genesis of the festival in 2004!!! I would say that it is a clear show of success from a local music festival.
M3F takes their tagline seriously and work really hard to build a strong sense of community at this festival. Some great news for the festival parents out there, children 10 and under are FREE!! I think this would make an excellent “first festival” for the younger music lovers out there. I know I’m really looking forward to introducing my kiddo to this whole world and this may be just the opportunity I’ve been waiting for. Another addition to their community and culture feel is the inclusion of yoga for all festival-goers before the music gets going each day. An awesome Arizona feature is the Drum Circle that is led by AZ Rhythm Connection. It’s described as a “fun group experience that’s all about getting into the groove”. Group experiences at festivals really help to bring down some of the anxious walls I may put up at a new festival so I’m all about the options! M3F also features local artists that will be on-site doing their craft live! I love watching the artists do their thing over the three days of the festival. Being able to pair the artist themselves with the work they produce and the process that is necessary brings a layer of appreciation to “festival art” that some people may glaze over when exploring festival grounds. I really urge you to take some time to scope out these unique pieces that are created in such a unique setting.
Okay, I guess this is an article about a MUSIC festival so now… for MUSIC! Previous year’s brought in some big talent and this year was no exception! M3F didn’t mess around with phases of their lineup, they just dropped it all at once! The top of the bill is Bon Iver, Rufus Du Sol, and Stick Figure. I’m a HUGE Rufus fan so I’m beyond excited to see them locally and for a good cause. Other notable names include San Holo, Snakehips, Justin Jay’s Fantastic Voyage, and Flamingosis. You can check out the full lineup below! M3F has also shared their single-day lineups which makes it really easy to plan ahead if you can only make it to a day or two of the festival. As you plan out your 2020 festival year I’d say check out M3F! The festival life really is something else and experiencing a festival like M3F is an absolute MUST for the bucket list.
*Featured photo via M3F Festival