Festival offers retreat for music lovers - East Valley Tribune: Get Out

Festival offers retreat for music lovers

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Posted: Saturday, April 26, 2008 1:59 am | Updated: 11:26 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

 It was the perfect day for a concert. And for some, the perfect reason to take a day off from school or work.

SLIDESHOW: View photos from the first day of the festival

It was the perfect day for a concert. And for some, the perfect reason to take a day off from school or work.

SLIDESHOW: View photos from the first day of the festival

10,000 expected for music festival at WestWorld

SLIDESHOW: See the preparations for the festival

It’s time to jam at the McDowell Mountain Music Festival

"The music is great. You're out in the sun, and you're not in front of the computer," said Isabel, 34, of New River, who along with her husband, Bill, 37, decided to play hooky from work early Friday afternoon so they could catch the action. The couple declined to give their last name since they decided to enjoy the weekend a day early.

Festival organizers said they expect about 10,000 music fans to pass through the gates Friday and Saturday.

Anne Mottek-Lucas, 46, and her friend Midge Fleishman, 44, made the trek from Flagstaff, arriving shortly after Tempe singers Mikel Lander and Meridith Moore kicked off the festivities early Friday afternoon.

The two women said this is their fifth year attending the event and had 30 friends meeting them there.

"There's always new bands, and the venue is nice. It's spacious. You can walk around and get away from the crowd," Fleishman said.

For a group of seven Northern Arizona University students, it was all about being in the crowd. Jessica Makowske, 22, and Marcos Escuandolas, 25, and their friends, set up a royal blue tent and were among 100 campers Friday who plunked down the $40 camping fee that would allow them to stay on the concert grounds through Saturday night.

The group of students said they first came to the festival two years ago and keep coming back for the "quality of artists and the sense of community" among the camping concertgoers.

For Makowske, knowing the price of admission was going toward two Phoenix-based children's charities made the event even more worthwhile.

"It's nice knowing your money is going to help other people," said Makowske.

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