McDowell Mountain Music Festival is an annual 3-day festival in Phoenix at the beginning of March. The whole thing is entirely non-profit and their proceeds have been donated to local charities and organizations in Arizona for the fifteen years that they have been running.
Father John Misty
M3F also focuses largely on reducing environmental impact. At most festivals, after the last band has finished playing for the night you can expect to wade your way through hundreds of empty paper or plastic cups that were abandoned on the floor. Not here. Beer is sold in reusable cups, and those festival-goers who keep their cups get a discounted rate on their refills.
Across festival grounds, there are several waste stations clearly separated into compost, recycle, and trash bins. Even the disposable products sold are either compostable or recyclable. They also severely limited their use of any paper products at all. They thought of everything.
One of the coolest things there was the bike building station. The M3F attendees would come to this tent, run by Oskar Blues and Candaid, in their downtime and help assemble a huge number of children's bikes to be donated to local elementary schools. It was amazing to see how many bikes got finished at the end of each day.
Nick Murphy (Chet Faker)
The food vendors were stocked with all kinds of delicious food, including an impressive selection of vegan and vegetarian options (vegan steamed buns? Sign me up). The bars were run smoothly and with a smile, everyone volunteering was extremely friendly and seemed happy to be participating. There were booths for clothing, candles, stickers, headphones, radio stations, and other kinds of art. You never run out of things to do.
This festival draws in acts such as Griz, Jai Wolf, Anderson East, Big Gigantic, The Revivalists, O.A.R., and so many more. They started off each day with great performances by some amazing local musicians.
The whole vibe that this festival manages to produce makes for a fun weekend for everyone. It was easy to walk around alone or to strike up a conversation with the strangers standing next to you at any point in time. Even if festivals aren't normally your thing, I can almost guarantee you'll find something to love here.
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