M3F Fest 2020
Photos by Jesus (@guerraxhype) M3F Phoenix, AZ.
So M3F fest is officially over and it's time to recap what went down during this weekends festival. For those who don't know, M3F takes place in downtown Phoenix Arizona, a place booming with new development and a strong sense of community. The festival has officially been up and running since 2004, this being it's 17th year.
M3F is also a 100% nonprofit music festival that has adopted a 3 C's motto. Community, culture and charity. It's a festival that earns money to give back to it's community and local charities so one can take pride in being part of it. Some of the charities include Phoenix Children's Hospital, Teach For America, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Habitat for Humanity of Norther Arizona and many many more. Last year M3F raised $509,000 for local charities, an impressive amount and in total more than $2,000,000 since 2004.
Headliners included Bon Iver, Rufus Du Sol and Greensky Bluegrass who were bumped up after the cancellation of Stick Figure. Stick Figure cancelled on Thursday, a day before the festival leaving many attendees upset as a lot of them had centered their whole experience around them. Other acts included Local Natives, Lany, San Holo, The Growlers, Sofi Tukker, Snakeships, Cory Wong and Aqueous to name a few. Definitely a divers lineup with music for all. This was something that would come up, the question of what kind of music does the festival have. But as stated by a few, that question is being asked less and less because community and diversity are much more important.
Now, this festival took place at a time where things are simply not looking too well. A few days ago Ultra was cancelled in Florida as well as other large events that take place all over the country. As we got closer to the date we were beginning to think this event was going to be canceled as well and crossing our fingers it wouldn't. And well it did not. Of course many people were and still are afraid over the newest threat plaguing the entire world at the moment but that did not stop festival goers from attending this event.
Now the numbers for this festival are not Ultra numbers but you don't need a massive crowd to start spreading the disease person to person. One of the things we noticed were the amount of hand sanitizers at vendors booths as well as some dispensers around the festival grounds. We also noticed a lot of festival goers using napkins, as opposed to touching things with their bare hands, so we know that the fear and concern is there but people are just more cautious now.
Art and music are things that now seem to be together at every festival and it was no exception here. The traditional Festival letters where present with a few cutouts for some very funny photos to fill up your gram with and let everyone know what your up to. There were also spaces for people to get together and create unique arts of their own like paintings and sculptures.
There were also dedicated canvases where artists painted with spray cans during the day and then people were free to try and paint as well. There was a a large VW vehicle named big red in which people could climb in and stand on its hood if you wanted to take it up a notch. Another tent gave people the chance to build bikes for children that later were given away to them.
Other aspects the festival had included an are where you could join and hit some drums, shake a tambourine or hit a triangle. This was actually really fun to look and listen to as people tried staying on the beat. On Sunday afternoon this same tent had people doing yoga and then a silent headphone party at another time. Those are always interesting to just watch and try to figure out what they may be listening to. Another event was building bicycles for children who would then get them at the end in support of local charities.
Another aspect of festivals is the food and boy was there a lot of it. Burgers, hot dogs, noodles, dumplings, fried oreos, funnel cakes, kabobs and much more. Every time I passed by the vendors I was hit by the smells and it was so hard to resist the temptation. Personally the Pizza was amazing and the noodles with chicken was perfect.
Lastly, the music. It has been know to have a pretty broad lists of artists when it comes down to the lineup and this year was no exception. You had alternative, pop, EDM and a bit of rock and while we do believe the lineup could be more diverse, 2020 was a phenomenal year. Acts that really grabbed us were Soffi Tucker with their amazing performance, energy and stage set up that made the audience get really into it. I remember seeing them at Coachella 2019 and when I saw them on the lineup I could not miss the chance. The group is so energetic and their sound is very unique and catchy.
Another act that grabbed us was by Aqueous who were such a lively band bringing so much funk and energy to the crowd. Towards the end of Saturday Rufus Du Sol performed a show that gathered the entire crowd to end Saturday night in a mesmerizing show. This was another group that we were so excited to see and we were definitely not disappointed. One thing that we would wish would have happened was have Fridays line up be on Saturday and save Saturdays lineup for Sunday. Sundays lineup did leave us wanting a bit more, even though Greensky Bluegrass did an amazing performance, it just felt like it would be the right move to have those lineups on days you have people not working. Grow the crowds more in a sense.
All in all M3F was an amazing festival that has its heart in the right place. A sense of community was definitely there as we walked the grounds. Everyone was friendly and just enjoying there time especially in such a time where many are concerned and afraid. The positive vibes were definitely flowing and for our first M3F we can definitely say that we see the charm. It is a small festival but definitely one to check out and hopefully 2021 will be just as great if not greater.