McDowell Mtn Music Festival Celebrates A Decade of Support for Youth

By Dave Cooper

McDowell Mountain Music Festival 2013

The Valley’s pre-eminent springtime outdoor concert event, The McDowell Mountain Music Festival, celebrates its 10th year with three days of live music on two stages March 22nd, 23rd & 24th, showcasing national touring acts and favorite local talent. This year, The Roots, the house band on NBC's Late Show With Jimmy Fallon (where they jam with a who's who of iconic musicians like Prince) close out the stage on March 23rd. That's just one of the main courses in a delectable smorgasbord of tasty music that's being served up. And like any top-flight event, the McDowell Mountain Music Festival also features plenty of food vendors, beer gardens, VIP Packages, a souvenir marketplace, a kid’s zone, after hour’s parties, and on-site camping options. And this year’s MMMF has a new venue: Margaret T. Hance Park in central Phoenix will be hosting the event for the first time.

Another signature characteristic of the McDowell Mountain Music Festival is that it's designed to serve the children of our community. This year’s event supports local youth-based charities Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Ear Candy Charity, and UMOM. The MMMF’s long-running mission statement declares, “The McDowell Mountain Music Festival exists to integrate and support the community, the arts and the underprivileged.”

This year’s event kicks off Friday March 22nd with gates opening at 4:00pm. Opening night is sure to usher in this year’s McDowell Mountain Music Festival with verve and excitement. Tempe-based outfit Yellow Minute performs live (4:00-4:30pm) on the local stage to greet you upon entering the festival grounds. Live music continues on the local stage showcasing the sounds of Ladylike from Phoenix (7:00-7:30pm). From South Africa, now calling Phoenix home, Kongos (9:00-9:30pm) shuts down the local stage Friday night.

Dry River Yacht Club

Phoenix band Dry River Yacht Club (5:00 until 5:45pm) lights up the main stage Friday with New York City’s Balkan Beat Box (6:00-7:00pm) following. Riding the crest of International popularity, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros (7:30-9:00pm) hit the main stage. Friday’s live music scene at Hance Park concludes with Albuquerque group The Shins (9:30-11:00pm) wrapping it up on the main stage.

Enthusiastic concertgoers will enter the Margaret T. Hance Park festival grounds Saturday March 23rd as gates swing open at noon. Live music alternates between stages all day. From Phoenix, Banana Gun beings the honors of playing the main stage (12:00-1:00pm). The main stage performance schedule continues Saturday with Phoenix outfit Mergence (1:30-2:30pm) and the Heartless Bastards of Cincinnati, Ohio following (3:00-4:30pm). Live music continues on the main stage Saturday with Providence, Rhode Island group Deer Tick (5:00-6:30pm) and Iration (7:00-8:30pm) from Santa Barbara, CA. Grammy-winning crew from Philadelphia, The Roots (9:00-11:00pm), close out main stage activities.

The local stage shakes things up Saturday as Tempe artists Sara Robinson and the Midnight Specials (1:00-1:30pm) lay down their groove. A favorite long-running tradition at the McDowell Mountain Music Festival takes over the local stage next: the Drum Circle (2:30-3:00pm). This highly-energized special segment features involvement joining event performers and organizers, along with a wide mix of concertgoers, in particular young members from the audience. A multitude of various percussion instruments are availed for all to engage in an impromptu jam session. It is a truly animated, entertaining happening to experience.

The Roots

Remaining local stage performances for Saturday includes all Phoenix-area talent with The Wiley One (4:30-5:00pm) and Fayuca next (6:30-7:00pm). Cousins of the Wize (9:00-11:00pm) shut down the local stage Saturday night. After Hours events continue at the Crescent Ballroom Saturday night with Deer Tick making an encore performance beginning at 11:00pm.

The 2013 McDowell Mountain Music Festival continues as gates open Sunday March 24th at 11:00am with live music from Sedona, AZ. artist Decker hitting the main stage (11:30am – 12:30pm). The main stage lineup continues Sunday with San Francisco group the JGB Band (12:30-2:00pm), a Jerry Garcia tribute crew spotlighting former Garcia band-mate Melvin Seals.

Philadelphia’s Dr. Dog (2:30-4:00pm) performs next followed by Duo de Twang (4:30-5:45pm) featuring Les Claypool from the band Primus. From Colorado, Yonder Mountain String Band (6:00-7:30pm) loads in next on the main stage. Chicago’s Umphrey’s McGee (8:00-10:00pm) wraps up Sunday’s live music scene on the Hance Park main stage at this year’s McDowell Mountain Music Festival.

Sunday’s local music stage presents Phoenix-area band Jared & the Mill (2:00-2:30pm) followed by another Drum Circle (4:00-4:40pm) extravaganza. Tempe’s Future Loves Past (7:30-8:00pm) closes out live music performances on the local stage Sunday.

The Crescent Ballroom will host the final After Hours performance of the 2013 McDowell Mountain Music Festival as Tucson-based Grateful Dead tribute band Top Dead Center sets up Sunday night at 9:30pm.

An interesting new attraction to this year’s McDowell Mountain Music Festival – on-site camping is available. For $50 a night you get: parking at the entrance of the festival, camping for 4 guests, showers, trash, and toilet amenities all in close proximity to the festival venue. Get more info about camping options here. Learn more about parking, tickets, complete lineup, what you can or cannot bring onto venue grounds, view a site map of Margaret T. Hance Park, and much more at the 2013 McDowell Mountain Music Festival website.

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