Things to Do

Your Guide to Memorial Day Weekend 2021 Parties and Events in Metro Phoenix

Memorial Day poolside partying at Maya in Scottsdale.
Memorial Day poolside partying at Maya in Scottsdale. Benjamin Leatherman
Memorial Day weekend is typically a big weekend for celebrations, and this year is no exception. After taking 2020 off (for obvious reasons), local bars, clubs, hotels, and other party havens in the metro Phoenix are planning to make up for lost time this year with a weekend filled with events.

As always, there will be plenty of EDM offered during MDW, including gigs by a number of high-profile and attention-grabbing electronic dance music artists and DJs throughout the weekend, as well as a few music festivals.

What follows is a compilation of the best Memorial Day weekend events happening in the Valley from Friday, May 28, to Monday, May 31, including daytime fetes, afternoon pool parties, and nighttime blowouts.


The Saguaro Scottsdale

4000 North Drinkwater Boulevard, Scottsdale, 480-308-1100


Memorial Day weekend editions of this boutique hotel’s Swim Meet pool parties will take place on Saturday, May 29, and Sunday, May 30, with drinks, dancing, and sessions by DJs like Madd Rich and MJ. Hours are from 12:30 to 5:30 p.m. Admission prices vary.


Under Construction

Rawhide Event Center, 5700 West North Loop Road, Chandler, 480-502-5600


Local promoter Relentless Beats will stage its first outdoor EDM festival since the pandemic at this two-night event on Saturday, May 29, and Sunday, May 30, that will be headlined by Fisher and Chris Lake. Expect plenty of beats and bass each evening as well as different openers each day, including Testpilot and John Summit on Saturday and Dubfire, Lee Foss, and Anabel Englund on Sunday. Gates open at 8 p.m. both nights. Tickets are $50 for daily general admission and $125 for daily VIP admission.


MDW Weekend Pool Parties

Maya Dayclub, 7333 East Indian Plaza, Scottsdale, 480-625-0528


Maya will host pool parties throughout the holiday weekend, kicking off on Friday, May 28, with a special Night Swim session featuring electro-pop producers Win and Woo. Gates open at 9 p.m. and limited free admission is available when you RSVP through the club’s website. Daytime pool parties will take place the rest of the weekend with special DJ performances, including Gryffin on Sunday, May 30, (tickets are $75) and SNBRN on Monday, May 31 (admission is $20 to $30). Gates open at noon each day. Full details and dress code requirements can be found on Maya’s website.

click to enlarge Pennywise is headlining the inaugural Punk in the Park festival in Tempe. - PUNK IN THE PARK
Pennywise is headlining the inaugural Punk in the Park festival in Tempe.
Punk in the Park

Punk in the Park Music Festival

Big Surf, 1500 North McClintock Drive, Tempe, 480-994-2297


A whole lotta punk (and a little bit of ska) will be on tap at Big Surf on Saturday, May 29, courtesy of a slew of such iconic acts from the genre, including Pennywise, Face to Face, Strung Out, Good Riddance, H2O, Voodoo Glow Skulls, and The Bombpops. Feel free to fly your finest mohawk. Gates open at 2 p.m. and tickets will run you $49 to $59 for general admission or $99 to $150 for VIP access.


Memorial Day Weekend Parties

W Scottsdale Hotel, 7277 East Camelback Road, Scottsdale, 480-970-2100


The W Scottsdale is planning daily pool parties on its second-floor WET Deck from Friday, May 28, to Saturday, May 29, each offering such posh amenities as bottle service from a captain’s boat and high-end libations like craft popsicle “refreshers.” A lineup of local DJs – including Aaron Taylor, Javin, Complex, and Cutswell – will be in the mix all weekend long. Hours are from noon to 6 p.m. daily. Call or text 602-405-0099 for admission info.


Wild West Splash Fest

Marriott Phoenix Airport, 1101 North 44th Street, 602-273-7373


Local DJs will drop hot beats at this pool party from noon until 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 29, which also promises “good vibes” and “a lot of twerking going on” throughout the day. Presale tickets are $20 for females, $30 for males. More info can be found here.


Back to the Beach

Big Surf, 1500 North McClintock Drive, Tempe, 480-994-2297


Famed funk-rock-ska band Fishbone will headline this outdoor concert taking place at Big Surf on Sunday, May 30. Chicano rock act Ozomatli and locals like 2Tone Lizard Kings, Jerusafunk, and Wade Cota share the bill. Gates open at 2 p.m. General admission is $45 and VIP tickets are $100.


Summer Breeze: A Night of Yacht Rock

Thunderbird Lounge, 710 West Montecito Avenue, 623-283-4621


Set sail through the seas of yacht rock on Sunday, May 30, as late ‘70s soft rock gems of the Hall & Oates, Kenny Loggins, and Michael Jackson variety will play over Thunderbird’s sound system during this laidback affair. Drink specials will also be planned and patrons are encouraged to wear bell bottoms, polyester shirts, deck shoes, and other fitting ensembles. Departure time is 4 p.m. and there’s no cover. Jesse Teer of The Senators will perform a special set prior to the event from 3 to 4 p.m.
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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.