The McDowell Mountain Music Festival, more affectionately known as M3F, is a three-day festival that takes place every spring in downtown Phoenix. Although the actual McDowell Mountains are located miles away to the east, the backdrop of high rises within the cozy confines of Margaret T. Hance Park offer an alternative view while watching live music. Since 2004, this non-profit festival has focused on the three C’s of community, culture and charity to the delight of everyone involved, especially since all of the proceeds go towards local charitable organizations.
Margaret T. Hance was the first female mayor in the city of Phoenix, and as she worked tirelessly to develop this greenspace over the Papago Freeway Tunnel, the city named the park in her honor. The park sprawls through downtown Phoenix, and within its boundaries, visitors will find additional attractions such as the Japanese Friendship Garden, the Irish Cultural Center and the Burton Barr Central Library. The M3F festival itself takes place on the Great Lawn, which is located on the eastern side of the park near N. 3rd Street.
The Experience at The M3F Festival
Fortunately, the M3F Festival is held in early March, so most concertgoers can rest assured that the weather will be pleasant to enjoy the music, away from those fearful temperatures in the summer. In addition to the excellent musical lineup presented every year, the McDowell Mountain Music Festival contains a Kid Zone where children 10 and under can enjoy friendly, art-driven activities while parents stretch for a yoga class. Local artists will also create new pieces in a live art session, and if you feel the need to play the drums, join the drum circle inside the Oskar Blues Tent. Of course, any festival worth its salt would not live up to the name without food. In this case, M3F does not disappoint with food trucks and craft beer vendors that include Gadzooks (create-your-own enchiladas), Freak Brothers Pizza and Wasatch Brewery, just to name a few.
The Artists & Music
The McDowell Mountain Music Festival always presents an eclectic lineup of artists that create all types of sound, from bluegrass and blues to pop and punk. Past artists have included notable ones such as Beck, Animal Collective, Kid Cudi and many others. If you wish to find out more about this year’s M3F, check out the website at www.m3ffest.com. It has everything you need to know about parking, schedules, artist info, etc.