We get it. You didn’t get Coachella tickets. You’re either broke or you were a second too late when they went on sale. Luckily, the Phoenix area has plenty of terrific music festivals coming up that you don’t have to drive three hours for. Here are five of our favorite upcoming festivals.
McDowell Mountain Music Festival
Generally thought of as the "coolest" festival in metro Phoenix thanks to its relatively tasteful lineup, M3F 2019 will attempt to outdo the excellence of last year's Cut Copy and Father John Misty-infused brew with a heaping helping of indie goodness and just a dash of electronica. ODESZA and Empire of the Sun will headline; other high-profile acts playing include Toro y Moi, Kurt Vile, Jungle, Chicano Batman, Kevin Morby, and Maribou State. There's also local acts such as Phoenix Afrobeat Orchestra and Cheap Hotels, and as always 100 percent of the proceeds will be donated to local charities such as Phoenix Children's Hospital and Habitat for Humanity of Northern Arizona. M3F 2019 takes place Friday to Sunday, March 1 to 3 at Hance Park. Visit m3ffest.com for more info.
Although it's happening the same weekend as M3F — Saturday and Sunday, March 2 and 3 — the Innings Festival held at Tempe Beach Park is catering to a decidedly different crowd: The horde of baseball fans that invade every year for spring training. To wit, they've prepared a lineup that's decidedly, uh, safe: Incubus will headline on Saturday, Eddie Vedder on Sunday, and support acts include Sheryl Crow, Jimmy Eat World, Cake, Band of Horses, Grouplove, and more. Several former MLB players such as Roger Clemens and Sean Casey will make appearances as well. See more at inningsfestival.com.
Pot of Gold Festival
The three-day event returns to prove once again that there's more to St. Patty's Day weekend than throwing up green beer. This year, the festival, which will take place March 15 to 17, has switched venues from the familiar raver stomping grounds of Rawhide Western Town to the much more lush Steele Indian School Park in central Phoenix — makes sense to have more green around, doesn't it? They've also traded up in terms of the lineup: While last year's headliners included slightly embarrassing artists like Russ and Sturgill Simpson, this year's will be almost exclusively hip-hop. Lil Wayne and Post Malone are listed as headliners on Saturday and Sunday, respectively, while support acts include Cardi B, Young Thug, Lil Pump, Jhené Aiko, Ski Mask The Slump God, Lil Baby, Tinashe, and more. Arizona has been lacking a pure hip-hop festival until now, and we're excited Pot of Gold has stepped up to provide one. Check out potofgoldaz.com for more.
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So far the only performers announced for this year's edition of the annual EDM extravaganza are Kaskade and Excision. We're willing to bet, however, that promoter Relentless Beats is going to want to outdo last year's lineup, which featured four incredible headliners — Diplo, Gucci Mane, Martin Garrix, and Travis Scott — as well as support from the likes of Metro Boomin, Green Velvet, Brownies and Lemonade, and more. This year's Phoenix Lights is set for April 5 and 6 at The Park at Wild Horse Pass in Chandler. Visit phoenixlightsfest.com for more.
Although there are still some unresolved issues concerning the allegations against Paolo Soleri, the late founder of Arcosanti, FORM is still set to go on this May. Although organizers have yet to announce this year's lineup (expect a mix of indie and electronic artists that otherwise never come to Arizona), the 2019 festival, which will take place May 10 to 12 at the experimental community north of Phoenix, will include reduced ticket prices and easier access from the Phoenix metro area. Tickets are still capped at 2,000 attendees, however. A preview event, FORM Labs, is scheduled for Thursday, January 31, at Phoenix Art Museum. More info can be found at experienceform.com.