Construction company gives back with annual rock ’n’ roll charity festival.
When the McDowell Mountain Music Festival (M3F) debuted 13 years ago, it began as a homespun event to raise funds for local charities. Today, the three-day rock ’n’ roll gathering has evolved into a premier destination event, attracting locals and visitors from all over the country.
“At first, it was really about the music and people coming together and having a great time,” says Nate Largay, PR/Communications Coordinator at Wespac Construction, the company that manages the festival. “Now we’re one of the marquee festivals in the state of Arizona.”
When Wespac owner John Largay founded the festival from scratch, his goal was to give back to the community by offering a unique cultural experience while raising money to benefit youth in need. Fueled by his passion for music, Largay first launched M3F at WestWorld of Scottsdale. As the festival gathered momentum, he opened the Compound Grill, a north Phoenix eatery that offered an ideal venue to house the thriving event.
Today, having relocated to the newly renovated Hance Park in downtown Phoenix, M3F is a well-established destination event that has raised more than $1 million for local charities. This year, all of the proceeds from the 100 percent nonprofit festival will benefit Phoenix Children’s Hospital and UMOM New Day Centers.
This year’s lineup, hand-picked by Largay and his sons, Nate and RJ, features well-known headliners Beck, The Avett Brothers, Goldfish, and Animal Collective, plus a diverse program of indie, electronic and jam roots artists. In recent years, the organizers have added after-hour shows at nearby hotels and watering holes beginning at midnight and running until 3 a.m.
With 100 Wespac employees committed to donating their time and effort, the event is more successful than ever.
“The company is really the manpower behind what makes the festival work,” says Largay.
And they get plenty of help from corporations in the community. One of the event’s biggest supporters, National Bank of Arizona, provides everything from signage to beach balls for the audience.
“NB|AZ has been awesome to us, whether it’s a consulting or marketing platform or giving us feedback on design. It’s been an awesome partnership,” says Largay.
Every year, donations of supplies and services pour in from Wespac’s subcontractors and partners who contribute money, ticket packages, fencing, portable restrooms, waste management services and power equipment.
“The local construction community has kind of taken it under their wing [saying,] ‘This is our premier event, as well as our charity effort to donate back to the local youth,” Largay says.
The McDowell Mountain Music Festival will be held March 11-13 at Margaret T. Hance Park, 1202 N. Third St., Phoenix. For more information, visit mmmf.com.
Story by Leigh Farr
Photo by McDowell Mountain Music Festival