The inaugural Gila River Music Festival is May 21-22 in Kearny, a small town on the Gila River an hour from the Valley just down the road from Superior.
“The music festival will feature a diverse lineup of talent, with food trucks, vendors and artists... Bring a chair and sit — socially distanced — outdoors and enjoy the atmosphere. It could be something that everyone could enjoy. It is a family event,” according to a release.
Gila River Music Festival and the nonprofit Arizona Rural Arts Foundation were established to help with the funding for the event and future events. There are sponsorship opportunities available for local businesses that wish to be involved. Vendors may apply to participate in the event until April 30. Vendor rates start at $75 a day. Sponsor and vendor applications are at gilarivermusicfestival.com.
The event will begin on Friday, May 21, at Pioneer Park, 1545 Veterans Way. The town sits at the base of the Pinal Mountain range and the Gila River runs along the edge of the town. There are tree-lined streets, mountain views, a lake, parks, several restaurants, hiking and OHV trails to explore. The festival will be held in town along the Gila River, the release states.
Sydney Swanson, a 14-year-old singer/songwriter, will open the festival at 11 a.m. She will be followed by solo artist Benjamin Bochenek, then The Floral Ties, an alternative group from Tempe. At 4 p.m., local musician Eddie Gutierrez will perform. Megan & Shane, a country folk duo, will play at 5 p.m. Reckless Envy, from Reno, Nevada, will close out the evening.
At 11 a.m. May 22 the festival will open and Tequila Moon, a honky-tonk style band, will perform; it includes local talents Kenny Vallee, Leonard Hernandez and Alex Hernandez. Then Buddy Duke is on stage at 1 p.m. with his soulful vibes. Curt n Rod perform hits 2-4 p.m. They will be followed by The Joeys, a young energetic rockabilly group from Scottsdale. Reckless Envy will play at 5 p.m. The world fusion group, Traveler, and the fiddling front man, Scott Jeffers, takes the stage at 8 p.m. to finish out the night.
Food truck offerings include wood-smoked BBQ with a Tex-Mex inspired menu from Salina’s Smoke Street; birria tacos, tortas and quesadillas from Estilo Sonora; tropical smoothies, teas and coffee from Maui Wowi; ice cream and Eegee’s from KoolTwists; and lumpia, spring rolls, adobo with pancit or fried rice from Golden Sun.
The Vendor Market at the festival includes jewelry from CactusDaisy Creations, soy wax melts and good smelling products from Pink Zebra, and CBD products from Hempworks, the release states.
As with most festivals, there is a charge and it is a private event. A ticket must be purchased online to attend. You can get tickets at gilarivermusicfestival.com. Prices will increase as it gets closer to the event. At the time of the release, two days of music costs $30 or $20 per day. Pop-up tent camping is available for two nights at $15. These are early prices and will go up, according to the release.