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10th Annual Flagstaff Music Festival
“Where Locals Come To Play”

By Dave Cooper and Mariah Fleming

10th Annual Flagstaff Music Festival

Like migratory birds, some humans follow seasonal travel patterns: heading south for winter and north for the summer. That pattern holds true for many Arizonans. Cooler temps and the natural scenery of Northern Arizona make Flagstaff a popular summer getaway. And one of the most popular summer events in Flagstaff is the 10th Annual Flagstaff Music Festival, June 9th & 10th. The event is free.

Flagstaff bands are scheduled to perform live music that spans several styles. The festival is so popular, you can support the local musicians by purchasing CDs that commemorate previous Flagstaff Music Festival music. The CD project, called “Sounds from 7,000 Feet” began several years ago. Area arts and craftspeople will have their work on display. Flagstaff is known for its unique arts community, and this festival provides a head start for purchasing holiday gifts. In addition to great music, lots of food and beverages are available.

The Flagstaff Music Festival is a nonprofit organization that’s dedicated to promoting Flagstaff as a musical destination. There’s a lot of quality music in Flagstaff and you can hear it for free for two solid days. The festival starts at noon and goes past sundown on both Saturday and Sunday. Flagstaff’s historic Heritage Square will be transformed into a vibrant outdoor venue to host the festival. Heritage Square is touted as “Where Locals Come to Play.” SambatuqueSmack in the middle of historic downtown, it’s a terrific festival location. You’ll doubtless enjoy finding out about the unusual area stores and cafes surrounding the festival site. Many of these businesses are in historic buildings, which makes them especially fun to visit.

One of the oldest buildings in Flagstaff, The McMillan Building, on the corner of Route 66 and Leroux across from the old train station, is the showpiece of Flagstaff’s downtown. The building was filmed for the opening sequence of the iconic 60’s classic movie “Easy Rider.” It’s named for Flagstaff founder and first pioneer settler Thomas McMillan, who built the building. If you head out to the Museum of Northern Arizona (and you should!) you’ll see Flagstaff’s first homestead, built by McMillan, which still stands across the street from the Museum of Northern Arizona. The family sold the homestead to the MNA many decades ago. These are just a couple of examples of the colorful historic buildings that Flagstaff’s community takes pride in.

Kicking off this year’s Flagstaff Music Festival at noon Saturday June 9th is Sambatuque, a Brazilian-inspired community percussion and dance troupe. Sambatuque performed at last year’s festival. Following at 1:45pm is Naked Ape Show, playing rock, reggae and groove music. Up next, delivering a mix of original acoustic/Americana/Indie sound, Porchlights hit the stage at 3:15pm. Alternative Rock outfit Psyche’s Playground performs at 4:45pm followed by the Tyrell Sweeten Element laying down a blend of funk, rock and jazz, combined with other influences. Closing Saturday’s performances, Brothers Gow hit the stage at 8:30pm with their unique brand of reggae, rock, jazz and hip-hop.

Sunday’s lineup begins at noon too, with the Celtic pub band sounds of The Knockabouts delivering “traditional Irish music straight from the keg.” Acoustic duo Them Savages are on tap at 1:30pm featuring sounds of their Native American culture.Them Savages Next, at 3:00 p.m. Gap-Toothed Djinn serves up a mix of acoustic, blues, folk, funk and jazz. Isrobel cranks it up at 4:45pm with a distinctive brand of funk and acid rock. Wrapping up the 10th Annual Flagstaff Music Festival, Wade Lashley & the Rounders hit the stage at 6:30pm with their Americana sound.

Beginning in 2003 as a one-day gathering presenting three bands, the Flagstaff Music Festival has burgeoned into a full weekend celebration supporting local music and arts. As a grassroots enterprise, the Flagstaff Music Festival is committed to supporting other local nonprofit organizations. Past events benefitted Radio Free Flagstaff, the Literacy Volunteers of Coconino County, the Mary Crawley Scholarship Fund at NAU’s Cline Library, and the Heritage Square Trust.

Volunteers are encouraged to participate, illustrating Flagstaff’s reputation for community based spirit and purpose. Volunteers can fill specific needs in band hospitality roles, be a roadie for a day, sell CDs, assist sound engineers, and more. Volunteers receive an official Event Staff Tee-Shirt.

Learn more about the 10th Annual Flagstaff Music Festival and other cool stuff by visiting the Flagstaff Music Festival website.