This past weekend the McDowell Mountain Music Festival (M3F) staged their annual event at Margaret T. Hance Park on March 3 and 4.
Many changes were made to the events lineup since the original was announced. Artists such as Quinn XCII pulled out after he was in a scooter accident and Ashe dropped to manage her mental health.
However, replacement artists were found including Channel Tres, The Knocks and a DJ, Shallou. Shallou played a closing set Friday night on the Cosmic side stage.
The goal of the festival is to sell as many tickets as possible and give 100% back to the community in many different ways.
M3F began at 2 p.m. on March 3 with a few smaller acts playing on opposite ends of the park. A formula that continued into the late afternoon hours before The Knocks set on the Daydream stage. The stage where the artist would be the only ones playing in the park.
The early afternoon crowd was a little sparse, but come sundown and Becky Hill’s set the park began filling up and by the time the sun went down and Hayden James took the stage for his performance, the park was alive.
It was First Friday in downtown Phoenix, and it was no doubt a very busy few blocks. M3F attendees were encouraged to use public transportation to avoid traffic congestion, and if you did so it was very easy to get in and out of the park.
Nashville based band COIN took the Vista main stage at 8:00 p.m. for one of the more energetic sets of the weekend. The band, who was playing in their first show of 2023 had a great stage presence and lead singer Chase Lawrence even climbed up the side of the stage.
French duo Polo y Pan went on after COIN, and Maggie Rogers’ soothing voice closed the first night of the festival on the main stage.
Although Friday evening was a bit chilly, Saturday was a beautiful day throughout, and made for a great outdoor music experience.
Gates opened a half hour earlier on Saturday, but still began with smaller acts until EVAN GIIA took the Daydream stage at 3:30.
After the hour-long set, JoshySoul took the side stage and played a beautiful set that was jazz/blues based, while obviously getting hits of Soul as well.
Chelsea Cutler took the Daydream stage for golden hour and played a set mixed with slower, softer songs and a great amount of songs you can dance to.
As the sun went down the park’s neon lights from the stage, as well as side vendors began shining a lot brighter throughout the night.
Peach Pit, Channel Tres, Toro y Moi and Purple Disco Machine followed up Cutler on the Daydream and main stages respectively. Before festival goers knew it, it was time for the closing act of the weekend.
Jamie xx was tabbed as the closing act on main stage and the DJ delivered with a high energy set that had nearly everyone in the crowd moving.
If a DJ set was not your speed fear not because The Jungle Giants, a more traditional version of a band, closed out the side stage concurrently.
With the beautiful evening Saturday and mix of high-energy DJ performances the energy inside the park on Saturday was a great experience for both artists and attendees.
Even with the higher-profile cancellations M3F 2023 was a great experience both musically and as a whole because of vendors and ease of access.
M3F is charity- and community-based and 100% of its ticket sales will go back into benefiting the community. This event is a no-brainer if you like music and making the world better.