Lists

13 Music Festivals We're Excited For in 2018

Festivalgoers get musically mesmerized.
Festivalgoers get musically mesmerized. Melissa Fossum

Rest up, Phoenix music fans. The 2018 calendar is loaded with music festivals. Although Viva PHX won't be one of them (sad face), there are plenty of other opportunities to get your festival fix.

Old favorites and recent additions to the area festival circuit offer both one-off and multiple-day rosters loaded with acts repping all kinds of styles, including alt-country, pop, rock, hip-hop, EDM, and metal. Here’s what we know so far about several of this year’s must-attend fests.

Art Laboe Valentine's Super Love Jam 2
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday, February 16
Where: Talking Stick Resort Arena
It’s a couple days after the actual Valentine’s Day holiday, but if you like classic R&B, make this your night to celebrate. Hosted by Mega 104.3, this night is jam-packed with classic acts that include the Delfonics, ZAPP, Evelyn “Champagne” King, Deniece Williams, and Twatha of MTume. Tickets are $28 to $49 and on sale now.

click to enlarge After sundown at the M3F - MELISSA FOSSUM
After sundown at the M3F
Melissa Fossum
M3F
When: March 2 to 4
Where: Margaret T. Hance Park
Previously known as the McDowell Mountain Music Festival, this event turns 15 this year. Since it started, bands like the Avett Brothers, Dwight Yoakam, and Chromeo have commanded the stage. The 2018 lineup features Father John Misty, Dr. Dog, and Wyves, as well as local acts Treasurefruit, Phoenix Afrobeat Orchestra, and The Lonesome Wilderness. The festival always has a chill vibe and includes an array of vendors and food and beverage trucks and stands. All the proceeds of this nonprofit festival go to charity. Tickets start at $40. Single-day, three-day, and VIP tickets are available and are on sale now.

click to enlarge Fans at the 2017 Pot of Gold Festival. - JIM LOUVAU
Fans at the 2017 Pot of Gold Festival.
Jim Louvau
Pot of Gold Music Festival
When: March 16 to 18
Where: Rawhide
This festival rocks for three straight days with a lineup that includes headliners Phil Lesh, Sturgill Simpson, and Russ. There’s plenty more, like G. Love and Special Sauce, Donavan Frankenreiter, Chris Robinson Brotherhood, O.T. Genasis, and Pouya. In addition to the national acts, there’s also a stage designated for local bands. Food and drink will be available on-site, and there will be a vendor village.

Innings Festival
When: March 23 to 25
Where: Tempe Beach Park
This festival makes its debut celebrating music and baseball's spring training season. It's a list of heavy hitters in the band department, featuring rock, pop, and alt-country acts. There's Queens of the Stone Age, the Avett Brothers, Chris Stapleton, The Head and The Heart, Eagles of Death Metal, Gin Blossoms, and Sylvan Esso, to name a few. Daily general admission tickets are $89 to $95. Three-day passes range from $179 to $199. VIP tickets are available. Tickets are on sale now.

UFest
When: 3 to 11 p.m. on Friday, April 20
Where: Tempe Meadows
For those who like it loud, this one-day festival is for you. Radio station 98KUPD is behind this metal-edged event featuring Five Finger Death Punch, Jonathan Davis, and Sevendust. More bands will be announced in the near future. Tickets are $49 and on sale now.

click to enlarge Kimya Dawson - JIM LOUVAU
Kimya Dawson
Jim Louvau
Indie 500
When: Dates TBA
Where: Trunk Space
This annual, marathon-style event generally happens in the spring. And once it starts, it doesn’t stop. Five hundred songs are played consecutively by a wide variety of local and national bands. Previous acts have included AJJ, Kepi Ghoulie, Kimya Dawson, Porches, Man-Cat, and Playboy Manbaby.

click to enlarge FORM Arcosanti - MICHELLE SASANOV
FORM Arcosanti
Michelle Sasanov
FORM
When: May 11 to 13
Where: Arcosanti
If this year’s lineup (set for release in early April) is anything like 2017’s fest, expect a slew of great acts. It's also a chance to hang out in the unique micro-city of Arcosanti. Last year’s lineup featured Skrillex, Solange, Future Islands, and Father John Misty.

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Amy Young is an arts and culture writer who also spends time curating arts-related exhibits and events, and playing drums in local bands French Girls and Sturdy Ladies.
Contact: Amy Young