9 Best Festivals in Metro Phoenix

Festival attendees gather to talk all things movies.
Festival attendees gather to talk all things movies.
Courtesy of Phoenix Film Festival

New Times' Best of Phoenix is out now. Here's our list of the best festivals.

Best Film Festival: Phoenix Film Festival

The Phoenix Film Festival isn't where you go to see big blockbusters. Instead, it offers films just on the cusp of breaking out, indie comedies, weird horror, documentaries, television programs, and other oddball flicks. Spread over a week on seven screens, the works are varied and range in quality, but the curation is smart and well-put-together year after year.

Meet Genevieve Rice, the founder of Bird City Comedy Festival.
Meet Genevieve Rice, the founder of Bird City Comedy Festival.

Best Comedy Festival: Bird City Comedy Festival

Every big city needs its signature festival that people from all over the country (and if it's good enough, the world) flock to. Los Angeles has FYF Fest. Denver has the Great American Beer Festival. Chicago has Taste of Chicago. And while Phoenix does have the McDowell Mountain Music Festival, the Strong Beer Festival, and the Devoured Culinary Classic, we think Bird City Comedy Festival could be the one to really put Phoenix on the map.

Grant Street Studio for artist John Tuomisto-Bell.EXPAND
Grant Street Studio for artist John Tuomisto-Bell.
Lynn Trimble

Best Arts Festival: Open Studios @ Grant Street

Atop concrete floors and divided into rooms without ceilings by bright white walls often tacked with notes and works in progress are the studios for select graduate arts students at Arizona State University. The studios are open once a year during Phoenix's annual art walk blowout called Art Detour, during which anyone can tour the spaces, peek in on artists at work, discuss what they're up to, and see someone who very well might be the next big thing.

Treasure on display at the Fall 2016 Junk in the Trunk.
Treasure on display at the Fall 2016 Junk in the Trunk.
Alexandra Gaspar

Best Junk Festival: Junk in the Trunk

If one man's trash is another man's treasure, then Junk in the Trunk is basically the vintage and resale equivalent of the Cave of Wonders in Disney's Aladdin. Seriously, this craft fair/antique mall hybrid takes over WestWorld of Scottsdale and turns it into a Pinterest addict's wonderland.

Beck at McDowell Mountain Music Festival, Friday, March 11, 2016.EXPAND
Beck at McDowell Mountain Music Festival, Friday, March 11, 2016.
Melina Dellamarggio

Best Music Festival: McDowell Mountain Music Festival

Upcoming Events

Music festivals are all about lineup and vibe, and McDowell Mountain Music Festival checks both those boxes and then some. The nonprofit event brings major headliners to downtown Phoenix (for example, Avett Brothers, Beck, and Widespread Panic), all while being an exemplary model of how music festivals should treat their guests.

Read on for more of Phoenix's best festivals



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