With nearly 80 musicians playing, Sidepony Express Music Festival in Bisbee promises to be one wild weekend. From Friday, November 14, to Sunday, November 16, folks from as far as Los Angeles, North Carolina, New Mexico, El Paso, Nashville, and Portland will make it to the southeastern Arizona mining town for some mile-high celebrations. Best of all, the festival is free and open to the public.
Some lineup highlights include Jerusafunk, Dadadoh, Wolvves, Japhy's Descent, Bad Neighbors, Captive Cooks, Manifest Sound, Watch for Rocks, Fairy Bones, and Field Tripp. Though it's a three-and-a-half hour drive from Phoenix and two hours from Tucson, it seems as good excuse as any to enjoy the cool weather the Grand Canyon State has gotten lately. Plus, this town promises plenty to do with a wealth of curios and little trinket shops, or at the very least, a change from the beige scenery in town to different shades of brown. Adventure!
Bisbee was once labeled one of the 'quirkiest' towns to live by some real estate magazine. More than a decade later, this place only seems to be growing into their reputation. It's a colorful township of around 6,000 residents, not unlike Jerome (in fact, during WWI, both mining towns suffered illegal deportations thanks to the Phelps Dodge Corporation who found it easier to round up demonstrators than pay them).
Sidepony Express is proof that Bisbee won't be stuck in the past as some novelty roadside attraction, however. And the festival serves as an interesting showcase of Phoenix artists, including Paper Foxes, Sweet Nothings, Genre, Sunset Voodoo, Zodiac Bash, and Where Are All The Buffalo? No genre has been left unturned, so whether you're into rock-punk-metal or reggae-Latin-world-beat or acoustic-indie-goth-grunge (actual festival descriptions) there's something to whet your experimental tastes.
There are also at least 13 music groups from the town itself, so while I haven't listened to any of it yet, this is promising, given the area's small population. There's a lot more on the festival website's lineup. But what you should mostly expect is an eclectic showcase of arts and music. It's a pretty good all ages event, too, if you're not of drinking age, although some venues do become 21-plus at night.
Located in the Mule Mountains, Bisbee has somewhat a reputation for art as well, although Sidepony stresses this is more about the music. If you want to find something besides music, it only takes a bit of exploring. In fact, exploring is kind of the entire point of Sidepony, so if that's your game, get out there.
Bad Neighbors Betsy Ganz Big Demons Blue Throne Poets C3Trio Captive Cooks Carol Pacey and the Honeyshakers Cassidy Alisa Cat Daddy Chasing Light DaDadoh DAMN Union DeadFoxx Deejay P-Phunk Dirt Moon
Fairy Bones Field Tripp Freeze Ray Vision Genre Greenwire Gus Hannah Bones Head Over Heart Injury Reserve Irenka Japhy's Descent Jason Messer Jeremiah Craig Jerusafunk John Craigie Karima Walker Korbe Canida Larkspurs Lawnchair Little Sugar Luau Manic Monkeys Manifest Sound Melissa Reaves and the Dead Bankers Society
Mill's End Mismash Mister Lucky Olio One Ghost Out of the Blue Two Paper Foxes Pride Through Strife Race to the Bottom Radio La Chusma Revizor Roethke Rogue Tribal Ruca Scattered Melodies
Sister Lip Steve and Kara Sunset Voodoo SURF T.S. Henry Webb Terry Wolf The Bittersweet Way The Cherry Bluestorms The Day Before Plastics The Exbats
The Haymarket Squares The Hill in Mind The Lonesome Wilderness The Redemptions The Sara McAllister Band The Sweet Nothings The Upper Strata The Woodworks Tin Can Tourists Treasurefruit Trevor Denton Watch For Rocks What's Left Where Are All The Buffalo? Wolvves WuT Zodiac Bash
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