KEARNY — With a diverse lineup of entertainment, more than a dozen food trucks and various artists and vendors on tap, the new Gila River Music Festival is set to run May 21 and 22 in Kearny.
The festival is a family event and attendees are invited to “bring a chair and sit, socially distanced, outdoors and enjoy the atmosphere. It could be something that everyone could enjoy,” a press release from Gila River Music Festival organizers said.
Among those set to perform at the festival are:
- Sydney Swanson, a 14-year-old singer, songwriter and actress from Phoenix
- Reckless Envy, a Nevada-based band known for playing rock and country hits
- Megan & Shane, an Arizona-based husband and wife singing duo who perform alt-country, heartland rock, Americana and country
- The Joeys, a high-energy retro rock band
- Tequila Moon, a Southwestern country band
- Buddy Duke, an Arizona-based singer who performs soul, funk and blues
- The Floral Ties, a Valley-based group
- Scott Jeffers Traveler, a music group that combines tales of journeys, mesmerizing violin and other instruments
- Curt-n-Rod, a singing duo that performs various rock and country music
- Eddie Gutierrez, a singer and musician
- Benjamin Bochenek, solo singer
The two-day music event will be held in Kearny’s Pioneer Park.
“The town sits at the base of the majestic Pinal Mountain range and the Gila River runs along the edge of the town,” the press release said. “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.”
Newly elected Kearny Mayor Jamie Ramsey is one of the festival founders.
“It seemed like a good idea to have a festival to help boost the local economy,” Ramsey said. “It was a way to give back to the community that elected me and lift spirits after a very difficult year. I wanted to bring something to the area that would become an annual event. With the Gila River running along the lower edge of the community, the mountain views that seem to go on for miles, and that small home town feeling Kearny has, it seemed like an excellent location.”
She teamed up with Arizona Rural Arts Foundation to bring the idea of a festival in Kearny to life.
“This will enable me to be able to continue to enrich the rural youth and communities by bringing culture and diversity through arts and entertainment,” she said. “I hope this is something that grows every year for many years to come.”
Swanson will open the festival at 11 a.m. on May 21. She will be followed by solo artist Benjamin Bochenek, then the Floral Ties, an alternative group from Tempe.
At 4 p.m. on May 21, Eddie Gutierrez performs followed by the group Megan & Shane at 5 p.m.
Reckless Envy will close the first night of the festival.
The second day of the festival opens with Tequila Moon, which includes the vocal talents of Kenny Vallee, Leonard Hernandez and Alex Hernandez, taking the stage at 11 a.m.
Buddy Duke performs at 1 p.m. followed by Curt n Rod, The Joeys and Reckless Envy.
The world fusion group Traveler, with its fiddling front man Scott Jeffers, takes the stage at 8 p.m. to close out the second night, the press release said.
Among food vendors are those selling smoked barbecue, birria tacos, tortas and quesadillas from Estilo Sonora, tropical smoothies, teas and coffee from Maui Wowi; ice cream, lumpia, spring rolls and other items.
A vendor market will be featured at the festival with artists and vendors selling jewelry, soy wax melts, CBD products and other items.
The music festival is a private event and a ticket is required to enter. Tickets may be purchased online at www.gilarivermusicfestival.com.
Although the cost of a ticket is expected to increase as the day of the festival approaches, early-bird ticket prices are $15 per day or $30 for both days.
Pop-up tent camping is available for two nights at $15.
“Don’t miss out on being part of history along the Gila in Kearny, Arizona,” the press release said. “Come experience the friendly Kearny community.”
Gila River Music Festival and nonprofit Arizona Rural Arts Foundation were established to help with the funding for the music festival and other future events.
Sponsorship opportunities are available for businesses that wish to be involved. Sponsor applications are online at www.gilarivermusicfestival.com.
Vendors may apply to participate in the event until April 30.