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M3F Announces Dates For 2021 — And There Might Be Safety Rules Involved

The scene at M3F in 2019.
The scene at M3F in 2019. Jacob Tyler Dunn
If you’ve been wondering if M3F will be taking place next year, promoters of the annual springtime music festival just answered that question.

On Monday evening, they posted on social media that the 2021 edition of the multiday event, formerly known as the McDowell Mountain Music Festival, will happen on Friday, March 5, and Saturday, March 6.

Feel free to mark your calendars.

While the location and other details about M3F weren’t revealed, we’re assuming it will happen at Margaret T. Hance Park in downtown Phoenix, its site for the past several years.


Promoters also hinted in the announcement that COVID-19 safety measures might be in place at the event, as it mentioned they “couldn’t be more stoked to see you in 2021 – safely, of course.”

They also promise additional details will be “coming soon.”

M3F joins a handful of other local music festivals that have announced dates for next year, including Phoenix Lights (which will take place April 2 and 3 at The Park at Wild Horse Pass in Chandler) and Country Thunder Arizona (which is happening from April 8 to 11 at Canyon Moon Ranch in Florence).


This year’s M3F, which occurred in early March, had the distinction of being one of the few Valley music festivals to go off before the pandemic hit Arizona and brought the concert industry to a halt both locally and across the U.S.

Music industry pundits have speculated recently that festivals could return in 2021 via social distancing between patrons and other safety measures or under a "bubble" model.

Stay tuned to see if M3F 2021 uses any of those things. 
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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.