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Gila River Music Festival in Kearny April 21-22

Posted 3/31/23

The Third Annual Gila River Music Festival returns to Kearny April 21-22.The Gila River Music Festival is organized by the Arizona Rural Arts Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a …

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Things to do

Gila River Music Festival in Kearny April 21-22


The Third Annual Gila River Music Festival returns to Kearny April 21-22.

The Gila River Music Festival is organized by the Arizona Rural Arts Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a mission to bring arts and culture to rural Arizona.

Founder Jamie Ramsey, the former mayor of Kearny, developed the festival to highlight the community and boost the local economy while also creating a higher level of exposure to the arts for rural residents.

The two-day event has a diverse lineup of musical talent, dancers, food trucks, vendors and artists. This year, Gila River Music Festival has partnered with Arts & Economic Prosperity 6 through the Arizona Commission on the Arts as it does an economic impact study of the arts and culture industry and the impact it has on the rural areas.

Gates open at 10 a.m. Friday, April 21. Performances start with Ellie Fern, singer and songwriter, who will open the festival.

Performances include an Elvis impersonator; Americana band Pelican Museum; Aaron McCall, blues guitarist; Glenn Kaiser, Chicago-based blues-rock singer, songwriter and pastor; reggae band Jahlos and the Rebels; Adon Fanion, multi-instrumentalist, actor and world traveler, with his rock metal group Spiritual Suicide; country rock artist Caiden Brewer; Indigenous Enterprise, a Native American dance troupe; Buddy Duke, soulful folk artist; The Nashville Cartel featuring Bigg Vinny (of Trailer Choir and the show The Biggest Loser) and Jared Blake (from The Voice); country artist Matt Farris and Julie Roberts, special guest.

The full lineup is at gilarivermusicfestival.com.

Food vendors include BBQ from Butcher’s Choice, Sauced and Loaded wings, tacos and more from Michocali SoCal, tempura from Tempura Takeover, fry breads and a variety from One Hot Mess, soft serve ice cream from Chill Out, fresh squeezed lemonade from the Lemonaders, Stuffed wontons, mini donuts and more. There will be a beer garden provided by the local Kearny Elk’s Lodge.

The vendor market at the festival includes jewelry from Cactus Daisy Creations, art from NB Artistry, Gallery 45, Mama’s CBD Hempire, T-shirts from the T-shirt Factory; festival dresses by Beautiful Dresses in Branson; Renewal Windows by Anderson, cups and novelty items by PJ Designs, Chelsea’s Bowtique and others.

As with most festivals, there is a charge, and it is a private event. A ticket must be purchased at gilarivermusicfestival.com. Children 12 and under are free with paying adults. Prices will increase closer to the event. Ticket rates vary depending on where you are seated and there are three tiers of tickets ranging from $30 to $150. The VIP option enables interaction with the performers in a reserved seating area. Arena seating allows people to bring camp chairs and sit where they like while still being very close to the stage. The outside arena tickets offer the best price and allow for bringing a chair or sitting on bleachers in the outer area and enjoying the food trucks, vendors and beer garden and is still close enough to all the entertainment.

“We are thankful for our supporters this year and in the past, which include Pinal County Tourism (Explore Pinal County), Arizona Commission for the Arts, Resolution Copper, Capstone Copper, Winkelman Natural Resource Conservation District, Bella Pools and Norm’s IGA,” the release states.

There are sponsorship opportunities available for businesses that wish to be involved. Vendors may apply to participate in the event until April 15. Vendor rates start at $75/day. Get a sponsor application or a vendor application at www.gilarivermusicfestival.com. There are also volunteer work-exchange opportunities. Information can be found on the website.