Scottsdale: Get ready to rock. More than a dozen bands will take to the 80-by-80-foot stage at WestWorld of Scottsdale's polo grounds today and Saturday for the fifth annual McDowell Mountain Music Festival.
But entertaining the estimated crowd of 10,000 concertgoers isn't the only goal the event's sponsor, Phoenix-based construction company Wespac Construction Inc., has in mind.
The underlying mission is charity.
"Our goal is to give back to the community. There's music, you're outside and you're giving back at the same time," said the festival's manager Heather Rogers of the concert that will benefit two Phoenix-based nonprofit children's organizations: Phoenix Day Child and Family Learning Center and the Golden Gate Community Center of the Arizona Children's Association.
Rogers said it takes a large team of company volunteers and countless hours of planning to produce what she described as an "eclectic concert experience."
"I think about it every day," said Rogers, who for the past year has been scouting local bands and negotiating with bigger musical acts to create the lineup of headliners which include rockers Gov't Mule (founded by Allman Brothers Band guitarist Warren Haynes), Blues Traveler (known for their 1995 Grammy hit "Runaround") and reggae greats, the Wailers.
For local bands, such as East Valley rockers the Mojo Farmers, the music festival also is an opportunity to share their music with larger audiences.
"It's very exciting. It's probably going to be one of the biggest crowds we ever played in front of," said Mojo Farmers guitarist Chris Losey.
The group, whose members live in Tempe, Chandler and Phoenix, will be performing songs from their upcoming CD "Wake of the Moon" at noon Saturday.
Losey, who works as an electrical engineer by day, said when the Mojo Farmers (named after Losey's former residence on Farmer Street in Tempe and a monkey in a "The Simpsons" TV episode named Mojo) aren't performing their own brand of 1960s and 1970s-inspired rock, they'll most likely be checking out Blues Traveler, Robert Randolph and the Family Band and Gov't Mule.
"We're regular guys who like to hang out and have fun," Losey said.