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March is an exciting time for Phoenicians – with beautiful weather, Cactus League Spring Training and music festivals to look forward to each year.
M3F, Arizona’s largest 100% nonprofit music festival, has stayed at the top of many locals and visitors’ to do list for years, thanks to diverse lineups and a community-first culture.
Established in 2004, M3F started in Scottsdale and moved to Downtown Phoenix’s Margaret T. Hance Park in 2012. The move was at a time when there weren’t many events in the area, and having M3F in DTPHX helped energize the urban core.
“If you’re new to downtown, you might think we’ve always been a magnet for music/culinary/cultural festivals but that’s not the case,” said R.J. Price, the Chief Marketing Officer of Downtown Phoenix Inc.
“M3F opened that door and set the template to make it easier for event producers to locate or relocate in DTPHX and downtown’s event portfolio has benefited greatly.”
Wespac Construction puts on the entire three-day music festival, and uses employees to help with logistics. Wespac founder, John Largay, said he moved the event to downtown to be a part of the resurgence.
“Any vibrant downtown has a work/live/play, and we’re proud to have been part of that,” said Largay.
And the vibrancy of downtown doesn’t just come from one event, but a constant string of events, according to Largay.
Downtown’s event portfolio has grown immensely since M3F moved to the city’s core. There are now 35 large events a year just in Hance Park, including the Pizza/Donut Festival, Howl-o-ween Featuring The Big Dog Show, Arizona Fall Fest and this weekend’s PHX Vegan Food Festival.
With more than one-third of M3F’s ticket buyers coming from out of state, M3F also exposes people from around the country to Downtown Phoenix, according to Price.
M3F has attracted visitors to Arizona with previous acts such as Odesza, Empire of the Sun, Griz, Flume, Beck, Kid Cudi, Father John Misty, Grouplove, The Roots, The Shins, Slightly Stoopid, and many others.
This year’s lineup is a reflection on M3F’s goal to bring music that does not travel through Phoenix as often as others.
“If you look at the three nights, you can come and listen to Bon Iver, you can come listen to Rufus Du Sol and you can come listen to Stick Figure, all of them are excellent artists but they’re not in the same genre,” said Largay. “And that’s a mission of ours – we’d like you to go because you’ll see something new.”
Beyond the music, M3F’s family-friendly environment includes a kid zone, live art, yoga, and a vendor marketplace.
When: M3F starts at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, March 6 and the last set ends Sunday, March 8 at 9:30 p.m.
Where: East side of Margaret T. Hance Park
Tickets: Three-day general admission and single day general admission & VIP are available, with all proceeds going to local nonprofits.