Music News

Phoenix Rock Lottery Is Returning in February – Here’s What We Know

A scene from the Phoenix Rock Lottery in 2020.
A scene from the Phoenix Rock Lottery in 2020. Jim Louvau
Phoenix Rock Lottery, one of the Valley’s unique music events, will make a comeback next month more than two years after it was last staged.

The one-day event, which involves dozens of local musicians being randomly mixed and matched into a series of impromptu bands, will return on Saturday, February 5, at the Crescent Ballroom. Local concert promoter Psyko Steve Presents, which has organized the Phoenix Rock Lottery since 2014, announced the news on Wednesday.

The event’s most recent edition took place in January 2020. Last year’s version was canceled because of the pandemic.

If you’ve never attended (or even heard of) the Phoenix Rock Lottery, here’s how it works: More than two dozen musicians from a variety of local indie acts and musical styles show up at Crescent Ballroom on the morning of the event.

Their names are drawn randomly from a hat to create a series of five new bands, which will have approximately 12 hours or so to write and rehearse three original songs and a cover to perform that evening during a showcase concert at the venue. Every band member must also be included in each song.

It’s typically one of the more creative and collaborative efforts in Phoenix’s music scene (which Phoenix New Times has previously described as a “live mad science experiment”) and has resulted in some interesting and varied results over the years.

“I always say that the Phoenix Rock Lottery is one of my favorite shows of the year,” organizer Stephen “Psyko Steve” Chilton said in a press statement announcing the event. “No event brings together the local music scene in quite the same way. No other event forces local artists to interact in this way.”
This year’s Phoenix Rock Lottery will also feature a twist: Whereas previous editions of the event have featured different musicians each time, the 2022 version will include several local artists who have participated before.

The list of PRL alumni making a return includes David Cosme from Playboy Manbaby and Phoenix Afrobeat Orchestra, Nicole Laurenne of The Darts, Amber Johnson from decker., Buddy Culture’s Michael Coughlin, Megyn Neff of The Sunpunchers, Tatiana Crespo from Las Chollas Peligrosas, Tatiana Crespo of Las Chollas Peligrosas, and Meghan Herring of Doll Skin.

The list of Rock Lottery newbies that will be involved this year runs the gamut from singer-songwriters like Jim Bachmann and CeCe Oates to vocalists (PAO’s Camille Sledge and Trubbleboy’s Sam Braddy), guitarists (Sara Windom of Diva Bleach), and drummers (The Color 8’s Emmett Nash).

Other participating musicians include Kalen Lander (Snailmate), Raquel Denis, Recker Eans (The Kids Tonight Show), Stephen Gomez (The Summer Set), Brandon Iverson (UFO UFO), Kevin Jordan (This Wild Life), Amelia McLean (Amelia McLean), Chuck Morriss III (Wheelwright), Russell Prim (Rozotadi), Marcus Rushmore (Let Alone), Adam Simons (Wanderer), and Amy Young (Sturdy Ladies).

ALT AZ 93.3 personality Monique “Mo!” Rodriguez will host the Phoenix Rock Lottery's showcase concert at the Crescent Ballroom, which will benefit local non-profit organization Rosie’s House.

Phoenix Rock Lottery takes place at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, February 5, at Crescent Ballroom, 308 North Second Avenue. Tickets are $15 in advance via Psyko Steve Presents.
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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.