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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Making transportation plans to get to M3F 2020?
Parking is very limited at the park, so feel free to use one of these methods:
1. Ride the Valley Metro for FREE with your M3F Ticket.
2. Park at the Ace Parking Garage based at 1001 N Central Ave.
— M3F Fest (@M3Ffest) March 3, 2020
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.
Hosteling International Phoenix
Other McDowell Mountain Music Festival resources
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
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).
Arizona Roots Festival
Where: Chandler, AZ
When: February 22-23, 2020
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).
Where: Tempe, AZ
When: February 29 – March 1, 2020 (will be February 27-28, 2021)
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:
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