not quite ready for summer to be over? We aren’t either. That’s why next weekend we’re escaping down into the heat of Tempe, Arizona to end the season with a bang at the Summer Ends Music Festival. Taking place at the Tempe State Beach Park just off the Arizona State University campus, there’s never been an end-of-summer celebration quite like this. With headlining acts ranging from Hozier to Kanye West, this 4-day festival has something for everyone.
As much as we love Colorado’s music scene in the summer, traveling for other festivals happening outside our beloved state isn’t the easiest when you’re based here, which leaves us feeling a bit left out of all the fun. A trip to Lollapalooza, Firefly, Bumbershoot or Coachella can only be reached by expensive plane rides and the treacherous planning of vacation days. It’s safe to say that many wish it was easier to make a quick “vacation” out of a festival, rather than an extended trip through clogged airports.
Until now, we didn’t think there was an easy solution to this sad summer situation. But what many Coloradans have seemed to forget (even us!) is how surprisingly close Phoenix, AZ really is. Only a short 12 hours away, this easy drive southward gives you the opportunity to turn your festival-going dreams into a fantastic road trip through Colorado's backyard. Stops along the drive could easily include the gorgeous Taos, New Mexico, Salida, Colorado, or even a break at the Four Corners Monument or Mesa Verde National Park if you plan your drive right. A longer route allows for a night’s stay in Telluride, or even a cross through the scenic Moab and Arches National Park on your way to or from Denver. If you’re looking for a quicker trip down, Southwest Airlines offers tickets to Phoenix for about $60/way on a consistent basis, allowing for a quick, warmup getaway during chilly Colorado winters.
Ultra5280 isn’t the only Denver outlet to be treating Phoenix like our sister city these days. In 2013, Denver’s favorite breakfast eatery, Snooze, opened their first of three locations in Arizona, one just a stone’s throw away from the Summer Ends Music Festival grounds in Tempe. Another one of our favorite restauranteurs, Illegal Pete’s, are preparing to open their first location outside of Denver later this year in Tucson, a mere 2hrs north of Phoenix. The Summer Ends Music Festival is even produced by Phoenix independent promoters Lucky Man Concert, who feel surprisingly similar to our favorite Denver-based independent promoter, Soda Jerk Presents, who own the Summit Music Hall (among others) and promote their own major music festivals like Riot Fest Denver each year. Bringing in acts big, small, local, and everything in between, Lucky Man has worked hard to make Phoenix a must-stop musical city, and we at Ultra5280 believe that it’s time we celebrate our closest major market, and share in their summer fun.
Tickets are shockingly cheap to join in on the Summer Ends fun, and each day of the festival fits a different genre, making it a well-rounded music festival for any listener. Ultra5280 is proud to help continue to foster this Denver/Phoenix friendship that’s only beginning to blossom, and hope to put Phoenix roadtrips on the map for music-goers looking to turn their concerts into more of an adventure. Looking for your next show to attend? Maybe this time you should look at concerts hitting Phoenix as well.