Arizona’s local music scene was highlighted an open-air festival on the streets of Downtown Mesa. The city was brought to life November 10th - 12th with the annual Mesa Music Festival.
The three-day festival kicked off on Thursday with a series of guest speakers and was followed up by a welcoming party. The next two days were filled with performances by local and national bands and many guest speakers including keynote speaker Chester Bennington of Linkin Park.
Friday was the first full day of events. Guest speakers started off the day. Ed Masley, the Music Editor of the Arizona Republic, and Dave Ellefson, the bassist of Megadeth were just some of the speakers who shared their insane amount of music industry knowledge with festival-goers. Their insight helped not only musicians gain valuable tools and resources that will help them, but so did photographers, band managers, and everyone else who works collaboratively with the music industry.
Intermixed with the guest speakers were Arizona’s finest local bands and national acts as well. Friday’s music selections served up a variety of different sounds and emotions which offered something for everyone to enjoy. All-girl group Doll Skin, Alt-Rock band The Sink or Swim, and Indie Rock trio Weslynn were just a few of the many talented acts to perform.
To end the series of guest speakers for the festival was Arizona native Chester Bennington. His inspirational and thought-provoking talk focused on the hardships of getting into the music business and ended with him giving advice to future musicians. Bennington’s crazy stories about working in the industry were all light-hearted; however, they came with a serious message: never give up on what you love. The Linkin Park singer was also given deep praises by attendees, including the mayor of Mesa. Chester Bennington's speech was a great addition to the festival.
Closing day of the festival was strictly music. Having more performers than the first and second days, there were many musicians to see and so little time. The streets were lined with pop-up acoustic acts like Melissa Rios and various bands like Citizen Rose and Constellations. On the stages throughout the town were Pop Punk band Divided Minds, Indie Pop trio Spirit City, and Alice Cooper’s Proof is in the Pudding winners Vintage Wednesday.
The Mesa Music Festival combined two important aspects in society in order to form a great experience for anyone: music and community. The festival catered to any music lovers’ needs, and because it was interwoven between the artistic streets of Downtown Mesa made it all the more special. While this year’s festival is over, there will be much more to see at next the festival next year.
Special thanks to Ami Rogers, of Square 1 Creative Management for inviting us out to cover this event!
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