M3F – McDowell Mountain Music Festival in Arizona

Text "M3F McDowell Mountain Music Fest. Downtown Phoenix's annual music fest. Everything you need to know." overlayed on crowd at a concert with hands in the air and lights on stage.

M3F (McDowell Mountain Music Festival) is an annual three-day music fest in downtown Phoenix, where all proceeds go to charity. Here’s what it’s like, the lineup and what you need to know to make the most of your time at M3F. 

M3F – McDowell Mountain Music Festival

M3F has been running annually since 2004 as a charity event for music lovers. Founded by Wespac Construction (whose employees volunteer to staff 60% of the event), it has raised over $2 million for Arizona charities. It is run around a “3 C’s belief” (community, culture and charity). Last year’s festival brought $509,000 Phoenix Children’s Hospital, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Teach for America and Habitat for Humanity of Northern Arizona. 

35 artists of different genres are spread across the weekend event, which also has food and drink, yoga, a silent disco and more.

McDowell Mountain Music Festival basics

Where: Hance Park, Downtown Phoenix, Arizona (main entrance: 1st Street and Portland Street)
When: March 6-8, 2020
Parking: Garages nearby, paid – better to use public transport
Water: Available – bring a refillable bottle
Payment: Cash, debit and credit cards accepted; ATMs available; some vendors cash only

You can find all information on permitted and prohibited items here.

M3F lineup playlist

If you want to get in the mood for the festival, or get to know the artists you haven’t heard before, here’s the Spotify playlist for you! Full M3F lineup and schedule below.

Accessibility at M3F

M3F is ADA compliant. If you have specific questions, you can email info(@)M3Ffest.com.

M3F lineup and schedule

The lineup is split between three stages, Kerouac (main), Huxley and Kesey.

This year’s headliners are RÜFÜS DU SOL and Bon Iver, and I’m excited for Sofi Tukker and Flamingosis. You can see the full schedule here and the lineup here. Get the official app to have all of it on your phone.

Performances run 2:00-11:00 on Friday and Saturday and 1:00-9:30 on Sunday.

The official after party is at the House Gallery, on March 6 and 7, 2020. 

M3F McDowell Mountain Music Fest 2020 lineup

M3F tickets

There are both one and three-day passes to the festival, at four different levels: GA and VIP. Children under the age of 10 are free (with a paid ticket). Cabanas are the festival’s version of suites, for groups (and with shade). They sell out quickly.

You can get M3F tickets here.

After party tickets are available here.

M3F official app

As always, there’s an app for that. The M3F app is the best way to interact with the schedule (and keep it in your pocket). There is a map, schedule & lineup tab, FAQ section and more. You can look at the lineup by schedule, stage or create your own schedule.

Links to the M3F Official app: Android or Apple.

M3F - McDowell Mountain Music Fest app store M3F - McDowell Mountain Music Fest app M3F - McDowell Mountain Music Fest app artist

Food at the festival

There are a bounty of food and beverages vendors that will be inside M3F (info here). Reentry is also available if you need to take some time out of the festival and want to eat somewhere downtown. If you go on Friday, I recommend heading over to the food trucks at First Friday in Roosevelt Row.

CANarchy will be at the festival, bringing Oskar Blues, Cigar City Brewing and Squatters Craft Beers/Wasatch Brewery.

READ  Roosevelt Row in Phoenix - area guide and street art

Sustainability at M3F

With M3F’s 3 Cs philosophy, sustainability is paramount. They have a goal of being a zero-waste festival and work on it with reusable cups, biodegradable and compostable cups, water stations, and they will issue NO paper materials.  

Cycling to the fest (and other eco-friendly transportation options) is encouraged, complete with a bike valet.

Other things to do at M3F

Other than the three stages of music, there are experiences going on in the park throughout the fest. There are local vendors with art, clothes and jewelry in the M3F Marketplace. You can also do some yoga, check out live art, get in on a drum circle, dance in the silent disco or take some time in the kid zone. More info on the M3F Experiences here

Woman stretching on purple yoga mat, folded with hands around feet

Getting to M3F

Margaret T. Hance Park is located in Downtown Phoenix, meaning that parking can get tight. Organizers recommend taking a ride-share or the Lightrail to get to the festival. Rides with Valley Metro are FREE with your M3F ticket. They also have a bike valet near the main entrance.

Where to stay in Phoenix for M3F

There are a ton of options for places to stay in Phoenix, but it’s all about location (and a lot of the hotels nearby are your standard fare). Found RE is a great option, closeby with art throughout the entire property and a great restaurant and bar downstairs. The Stay Alfred at Linear is also close with 12 apartments to rent. For a hostel option, Hosteling International Phoenix is down the road from the park.

Check here for the best rates and availability in Phoenix.

Found Re

Stay Alfred

Hosteling International Phoenix

Other McDowell Mountain Music Festival resources

READ  The best music festivals in Arizona

Other spring festivals in Arizona

While Innings Festival might be the best spring event in the Valley (especially for baseball fans), there are plenty more events going on in the area in February and March. Here are some more interesting music and food festivals in Arizona to check out if Innings isn’t enough for you.

Arizona Vegetarian Food Festival

Where: Scottsdale, AZ
When: February 15-16, 2020
Official website

The Arizona Vegetarian Food Festival is a two-day event in Scottsdale and is 100% vegan. It is focused on growing the vegetarian and green markets and promoting an eco-friendly, cruelty-free lifestyle.

For a similar event in Phoenix, check out Phoenix Vegan Festival, February 29, 2020 (official website).

READ  The best food festivals in Arizona

Arizona Roots Festival

Where: Chandler, AZ
When: February 22-23, 2020
Official website

Arizona Roots Festival is a reggae-rock festival celebrating the reggae and roots music and culture. Arizona Roots premiered in Chandler in 2019 and quickly announced 2020 dates following a successful event. It is produced by the same producers of California Roots Music & Artist Festival (running for 10 years).

Innings Festival

Where: Tempe, AZ
When: February 29 – March 1, 2020 (will be February 27-28, 2021)
Official website

Innings Festival is a beautiful convergence of music and baseball, which is why it’s perfectly suited for spring training in Arizona. There are multiple stages with headliners like Weezer and Dave Matthews Band, and baseball activities throughout the festival (batting, catching, pitching, etc.).

Check out the detailed guide here:

READ  Innings Festival brings baseball to a music festival in Tempe, Arizona

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M3F - McDowell Mountain Music Festival in Arizona

Founder of How Dare She, Jessica is on a mission to visit every country in the world, and bring you along with through photos, video and stories. 6 continents and 104 countries in. She has a BA in journalism and Master's in innovation and change, but her real skill is plugging in a USB in 2 or less tries (most of the time). She believes daring isn't about being fearless, but choosing to opt in, in spite of fear. She dares to see, taste, experience and meet the world as she goes.

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