Your M3F Fest 2022 survival guide: Everything you need to know before you go

·9 min read

M3F Fest will return to Margaret T. Hance Park in downtown Phoenix the weekend of March 4-5.

As usual, the festival formerly known as McDowell Mountain Music Festival has assembled a diverse array of talent.

There's EDM from Kaytranada, ZHU and Jungle, soul from Leon Bridges, jam-rock from Arizona's own Spafford, electro-pop from A R I Z O N A, and hip-hop from Bryce Vine.

Other highlights include Whethan, Elderbrook, Two Feet, Cautious Clay, Surf Mesa, Goth Babe, Bea Miller and Franc Moody.

This year's festival also features yoga, drum circles and a kid zone with arts, crafts and interactive activities.

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This used to be McDowell Mountain Music Festival

Conceived as a team-building exercise by John Largay of WESPAC Construction, the nonprofit even has raised $3.2 million for charity since launching in 2004, including $1.1 million donated in the last two years alone.

The festival has moved twice since that first year at WestWorld of Scottsdale. It settled into its current location at Margaret T. Hance Park in downtown Phoenix in 2013 after three years at the Compound Grill, a short-lived music venue Largay opened in 2009.

M3F was the last big music festival to play the Valley in 2020 before COVID-19 forced the concert industry to shut down. It raised $600,000 for the Music Therapy Program at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, the Northern Arizona Chapter of Habitat for Humanity, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and Teach for America.

If you're planning on checking it out, here's everything you need to know before you go.

And if you're really into music festivals, check out our guide to all the festivals we know about so far for 2022.

When M3F 2022 gates open

Gates open at 1:30 p.m. on Friday and 1 p.m. on Saturday.

Where to find the festival entrance

A fan laughs listen to the band Lettuce during the McDowell Mountain Music Festival in Phoenix on March 2, 2019.
A fan laughs listen to the band Lettuce during the McDowell Mountain Music Festival in Phoenix on March 2, 2019.

The festival is on the east side of the park at 1200 N. First St. The park is ADA compliant.

The main entrance is near the intersection of Second and Portland streets.

The VIP entrance is just north of the Phoenix Center for the Arts, 1202 N. Third St.

What to know about your RFID wristband and reentry policy

Your RFID wristband will act as your ticket and must be worn upon entering the festival.

You should register and activate your RFID before coming onsite.

Digital tickets and/or printed receipts of your purchase will not gain you access.

Details will be provided regarding how to obtain your RFID wristbands when you purchase tickets.

If you have specified will call as your pick up location, details will be sent to you regarding early pickup location/hour options. You can also pick up onsite the day of the event.

Your wristband will allow you to create an open credit/debit card for easy payments and access at M3F. For peace of mind, wristbands can be PIN protected, but credit card details are not stored on the band itself.

RFID wristband payments are processed via a PCI-compliant vault through the festival's merchant processor.

Fans listen to Chicano Batman performs during the McDowell Mountain Music Festival in Phoenix on March 2, 2019.
Fans listen to Chicano Batman performs during the McDowell Mountain Music Festival in Phoenix on March 2, 2019.

You will have the option to sign up for email receipts during wristband activation either via the billfold web registration portal or an onsite terminal outside before entering the festival or inside the festival at customer service.

No reentry is allowed.

Should you lose your wristband, you will need to bring your ID to the box office, where they can look up your order. Once verified, they will give you a new wristband. However, it is under the festival's discretion to prohibit entry if wristband loss becomes excessive.

If you damage your wristband, there is a $25 replacement fee. You will need to bring the wristband and your ID to confirm your order, pay for the new wristband, and then you will be able to enter the event.

You will not be able to get a new wristband without ID.

Getting tickets to M3F

Tickets can be purchased at m3f.frontgatetickets.com/

A two-day general admission pass is $155 plus fees.

Single-day general admission is $85 a day plus fees.

Fans listen to Kurt Vile and The Violators perform during the McDowell Mountain Music Festival in Phoenix on March 2, 2019.
Fans listen to Kurt Vile and The Violators perform during the McDowell Mountain Music Festival in Phoenix on March 2, 2019.

General admission tickets allow you entrance to the festival and free use of the Valley Metro light rail system.

VIP passes are sold out but VIP+ tickets are still available.

VIP+ tickets allow you all the perks of the GA tickets along with special access to the VIP area, which features private bathrooms, food truck options, seating and access to a premium view of the mainstage. It also offers complimentary massages, and $100 of credits for food and beverage in the VIP area.

A VIP+ ticket is $275 a day, $410 for both days.

All sales are final. When purchasing a ticket, please review your purchase before submitting your final order.

Children under 10 may enter the festival for free.

Friday band lineup and schedule

  • 2 p.m. Yoke Lore at Pompelli Stage

  • 2 p.m. JTM3 at Gris Gris Stage

  • 3 p.m. Thom.Ko at Lundi Stage

  • 4 p.m. Ford. at Pompelli Stage

  • 4 p.m. Modern Eyes at Gris Gris Stage

  • 5 p.m. Goth Babe at Lundi Stage

  • 6 p.m. Two Feet at Pompelli Stage

  • 6 p.m. Franc Moody at Gris Gris Stage

  • 7 p.m. A R I Z O N A at Lundi Stage

  • 8 p.m. Bea Miller at Gris Gris Stage

  • 8 p.m. Jai Wolf at Pompelli Stage

  • 9 p.m. Jungle at Lundi Stage

  • 10 p.m. Zhu at Pompelli Stage

  • 10 p.m. Bryce Vine at Gris Gris Stage

Saturday band lineup and schedule

  • 1 p.m. The Higgs at Lundi Stage

  • 2 p.m. Mildlife at Pompelli Stage

  • 2 p.m. Jungle Fire at Gris Gris Stage

  • 3 p.m. Blu DeTiger at Lundi Stage

  • 4 p.m. Cautious Clay at Pompelli Stage

  • 4 p.m. New Madrid at Gris Gris Stage

  • 5 p.m. Surf Mesa at Lundi Stage

  • 6 p.m. Parcels at Pompelli Stage

  • 6 p.m. Joshy Soul at Gris Gris Stage

  • 7 p.m. Elderbrook at Lundi Stage

  • 8 p.m. Leon Bridges at Pompelli Stage

  • 8 p.m. Big Something at Gris Gris Stage

  • 9 p.m. Whethan at Lundi Stage

  • 10 p.m. Kaytranada at Pompelli Stage

  • 10 p.m. Spafford at Gris Gris Stage

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Afterparties

There are afterparties both nights with all proceeds benefiting Backline.Care, an organization connecting music industry professionals and their families with a trusted network of mental health and wellness providers.

Friday: Jungle (DJ Set) and Franc Moody (DJ Set) at Walter Where?House.

Saturday: Blu DeTiger (DJ Set), Young & Sick (DJ Set) and Joshy Soul and Friends (DJ Set)

M3F Beer Garden

The new beer garden will feature a craft beer tasting curated by Hensley. Each guest will have access to five refills of each beer from 1:30-3:30 p.m. Space is very limited and only 100 tickets will be sold each day.

Where to park near Hance Park

There is no parking provided by the venue.

Downtown Phoenix offers more than 25,000 parking spaces. In addition to public parking garages, there are numerous parking meters, which are enforced every day including weekends and holidays from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

You can reserve a parking space at spothero.com. As of Wednesday evening, spaces in garages in a one-mile radius ranged from $8 to $58. Meters are $1 to $1.50 per hour.

Transportation to and from M3F

There are multiple light-rail stations near the festival and the light rail is free to RFID bracelet holders.

There are nine park-and-ride locations offering a total of 3,636 parking spaces. Valley Metro Rail park-and-rides are free. All park-and-rides are monitored by security cameras, security officers and municipal police officers. Parking for more than 24 hours is not permitted at Valley Metro Rail park-and-ride lots; violators are subject to ticketing and/or towing.

The nearest light-rail station is at Roosevelt Street and Central Avenue.

Lyft, Uber and taxis are also available.

Bike racks are available outside the festival grounds near the main entrance at Second Street and Portland. Bikes will not be permitted on the grounds.

Food and water

There are water refill stations at the festival where you can fill your water bottles; you may also purchase bottled water at drink tents. There are food trucks that offer a wide array of choices, including vegetarian and gluten-free options.

The water refill stations are near the information booth and main stage bar, and we're told they're big enough that they'd be hard to miss.

Health, safety and security at M3F

There is an inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 in any public place where people are gathered. People over the age of 65 and/or those with underlying medical conditions are at higher risk. By attending M3F Fest, you voluntarily assume all risk associated with COVID-19.

Vaccines are recommended but not required for entry.

M3F Fest will not be checking vaccine or testing status.

Big Something perform during the McDowell Mountain Music Festival in Phoenix on March 2, 2019.
Big Something perform during the McDowell Mountain Music Festival in Phoenix on March 2, 2019.

Please follow social distancing and mask recommendations to help protect yourself and others. If you are experiencing fever, cough or other symptoms of COVID-19, please do not attend.

There will be increased hand sanitizer stations onsite, and festival crews will do frequent cleanings in high touch areas.

Clear bags are strongly recommended and will allow for a speedier entrance to the festival.

There will be police officers and security guards throughout the festival. Emergency medical services tents will be stationed on site.

Specific questions regarding health, safety or security can be directed to info@m3ffest.com.

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Things you may bring to M3F

  • Sealed or empty reusable water bottles.

  • Umbrellas or low-backed chairs (in designated areas only).

  • Picnic blankets and non-framed or wheeled backpacks.

  • Hula hoops.

  • Selfie sticks.

  • Totems.

  • Costumes.

  • Hydration backpacks.

Things you may not bring to M3F

  • Pets (except for service animals).

  • Outside beverages/food/ice chests.

  • Open alcohol outside the festival grounds.

  • Illegal drugs.

  • Weapons.

  • Unlicensed vending.

  • Laser pens.

  • Motorized vehicles with the exception of ADA vehicles.

  • Professional photo or video equipment without a press pass.

  • Drones.

Hotels near the festival

The Hilton Garden Inn Phoenix Downtown, at 15 E. Monroe St., is the official M3F hotel. Its phone number is 602-343-0006.

Other nearby hotels include:

Hyatt Regency Phoenix, 122 N. Second St. 602-252-1234.

Hotel Palomar, 2 E. Jefferson St., Phoenix. 602-253-6633.

Hotel San Carlos, 202 N. Central Ave., Phoenix. 602-253-4121.

Holiday Inn Express & Suites Phoenix, 620 N. Sixth St. 602-452-2020.

Sheraton Grand Phoenix, 340 N. Third St. 602-262-2500.

The Westin Phoenix Downtown, 333 N. Central Ave. 602-429-3500.

FOUND:RE, 1100 N. Central Ave., Phoenix. 602-875-8000.

Clarendon Hotel & Spa, 401 W. Clarendon Ave., Phoenix. 602-252-7363.

Residence Inn & Courtyard by Marriot, 132 S. Central Ave., Phoenix. 602-603-2000

Reach the reporter at ed.masley@arizonarepublic.com or 602-444-4495. Follow him on Twitter @EdMasley.

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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: M3F Fest 2022 survival guide: Music, tickets, parking, safety

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