Phoenix Afrobeat Orchestra is always a good time.EXPAND
Phoenix Afrobeat Orchestra is always a good time.
Melissa Fossum

Downtown Goes International With the Phoenix Unknown Festival

Crescent Ballroom effortlessly combines food and music with one of the best and diverse menus in downtown Phoenix. Leave it to Charlie Levy, the venue’s owner and founder of Stateside Presents, to take things up a notch.

The inaugural Phoenix Unknown: World Music and Night Market will feature a dozen bands and over 30 food vendors that represent the array of cultures in the Valley. The event will take place from 7 p.m. until midnight on Friday, September 13, at The Van Buren. (Full disclosure: Phoenix New Times is a sponsor.)

"We have such a diverse culture in our community,” says Levy. “Over 160 different languages are spoken in Phoenix alone. This is an opportunity to discover and enjoy music and food from our neighbors. We hope everyone will join us to explore our ‘Phoenix Unknown.’ It's going to be a great time.”

There will be four stages of local music located around the venue, located at 401 West Van Buren Street, that will suit your mood. The lineup includes Phoenix Afrobeat Orchestra, local band Cafe Jaleo playing Colombian music, and the eclectic Djentrification spinning Thai and Cambodian funk.

"We are excited to host such a culturally diverse lineup of artists that live right here in Phoenix,” says Blair Brejtfus, talent buyer for Stateside Presents. “When we started booking the stages, we realized there were even more acts than we thought in our Phoenix music scene that embodied the sound of so many different parts of the world — from Afghan to Thai to Serbian to Burkina Faso. We hope this event helps shine a light on some lesser-known styles of music and artists."

On the culinary front, Chris Bianco will be representing Italy, but you can also grab some savory French food at Curbside Crepes, stop by Cornish Pasty Company for an Oggie, or sample some Ethiopian at Abyssinia Restaurant and Cafe.

The full lineup of bands and food vendors is below. A portion of the proceeds from the event will go to the International Rescue Committee in Phoenix. Early-bird tickets for this all-ages event are $10 and can be purchased here. Visit The Van Buren’s website for more information.


PAO Phoenix Afrobeat Orchestra
Cafe Jaleo
Arroz Con Mango
Qais Esar
Around Diarra
Fushico Daiko
Samba De Carvalho
DJ Vex
Firebrass Village Blasting Club
Kristopher Rein

Food Vendors:

Mein Man
Chang Noi
Curbside Crepes
Angelo's Italian Ice & Gelato
Hibachi Bot
Sana Sana
Ocho Rios Jerk Spot
Nykhols Island Taste & Some
The Beignet & Coffee Shack
Satay Hut
WaaMo Restaurant
Abyssinia Restaurant
Arepa Soundtracks
Phoenix Coqui
Made in Argentina
Hummus Express

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