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13 Music Festivals We're Excited For in 2018

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.

After sundown at the M3FEXPAND
After sundown at the M3F
Melissa Fossum

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.

Fans at the 2017 Pot of Gold Festival.EXPAND
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.

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.

Kimya DawsonEXPAND
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.

FORM Arcosanti
FORM Arcosanti
Michelle Sasanov

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.

NOFX presents Punk in Drublic.
NOFX presents Punk in Drublic.
Ben Garcia

Punk in Drublic
When: Dates TBA
Where: Fear Farm Festival Grounds
This annual festival created by Fat Mike from pop punk band NOFX is named for one of the band’s most popular records. NOFX usually tops the bill and are joined by other groups of the same ilk. In addition to the live music, another facet of this fall fest that brings folks out in droves is the 100-plus craft beers offered.

Impressive face-painting skills here.
Impressive face-painting skills here.
Michelle Sasonov

Tour De Fat
When: Dates TBA
Where: Tempe Beach Park
Loaded with beer, bikes, and bands, this event is a staple of the fall festival season. New Belgium Brewing’s event happens in multiple cities each year and raises money for partnering nonprofit organizations. Jaunty, creative outfits are an optional part of the party. Third Eye Blind and The Roots have graced the music stage at previous events; stay tuned to see who will perform this year.

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

Lost Lake Festival
When: Dates TBA
Where: Steele Indian School Park
This festival made quite a splash when it debuted in 2017. Three days of music, art, food, and games brought out thousands of attendees ready to celebrate a brand new central Phoenix event. The lineup swirled genres with Chance the Rapper, Pixies, Haim, and Run the Jewels.

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Apache Lake Music Festival
When: Dates TBA
Where: Apache Lake in Roosevelt, AZ
For eight years and running, this festival has served as an opportunity to chill out in beautiful surroundings, digging on nature while hearing a lot of good tunes from Arizona bands. This year’s lineup hasn’t been announced yet, but last year’s roster killed it, mixing up area acts like Lemarshawn Jean, Sara Robinson, Jane N’ the Jungle, and Scattered Melodies.

A Goldrush-er.EXPAND
A Goldrush-er.
Benjamin Leatherman

Mesa Music Festival
When: Dates TBA
Where: Downtown Mesa
This event celebrates the culture of downtown Mesa by inviting local, national, and international acts to perform. The 2017 event was hosted by Randy Jackson and saw more than 200 musical guests. Jet Force Gemini from Portland, The Stanleys from Australia, and our very own Crowning Thieves were part of the mix.

Goldrush Music Festival
When: Dates TBA
Where: Rawhide Western Town
EDM and hip-hop dance fans shouldn’t miss Relentless Beats’ annual event. In addition to plenty of local acts, the fest is rounded out with artists from around the U.S. Last year’s party was lit, with three stages featuring Marshmello, Migos, Oona Dahl, Lil Pump, and Ugly God.

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