The Arizona Roots Festival is a brand new multi-day music event that takes place in Chandler, Arizona. It is held at the Riverwalk at Rawhide Western Town, a massive western-themed attraction that encompasses more than 80 acres.
The first festival was held in 2019 and was a tremendous success. It is a spin-off of the California Roots Music & Artist Festival, which takes place in Monterey California every year. Often simply referred to as Cali Roots, and a sister-festival to Arizona Roots, celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2019. Both festivals are organized by the same producers who have become known for creating unforgettable and unique festival experiences.
The lineup features some of the world’s top Reggae and Roots musicians and bands. Past performers include Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley, Rebelution, Artikal Sound System, Kush County, and Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad. Hundreds of fans of Reggae music and Rastafarian culture flock to the festival to enjoy its unique vibe.
The stage is beautifully decorated, and the setting has an intimate feel. Visitors can wander through the grounds perusing unique handicrafts sold by local vendors and snacking on delicious food. The gorgeous Sonoran Desert Landscape, with its sprawling mountains and gigantic cacti, provides the perfect backdrop for live music during Arizona Roots.
Festival tickets can be purchased online for Arizona Roots. Guests may encounter several different pass types, including General Weekend passes, VIP passes, and Super VIP passes. The VIP and Super VIP tickets are called Cypress and Willow passes respectively. They offer perks like premium restrooms, a separate entrance, special viewing areas, and exclusive merchandise.
Tickets have often ranged in price, starting around $140 for the General Admission Weekend pass to $750 for the Super VIP Weekend pass. Once you make your purchase, your PDF barcode will be emailed to you. You can download this onto your phone and exchange it for a wristband at the venue.
The drive from Phoenix, Arizona to Chandler may take you less than 30 minutes. Rawhide Western Town is located at the center of Wild Horse Pass in the Chandler. It is situated near the Gila River Indian Community and is right off I-10, making it easy to reach. Download or take a print out of the directions ahead of time, since cell service may be weak in some areas.
Standard and premium car parking spaces can be purchased on the festival site in advance. You can buy a pass for a single day or the entire weekend. The premium parking spots are closer to the front gate. RV parking is not provided by the festival organizers, so it’s best to park your rig at your campsite.
The Rawhide Western Town and Events Center is a bit outside of the Phoenix area and as a result, is not near public transportation facilities. Since there are no bus or light rail stops close to the venue, so carpooling to the event is a good option. Ride-hailing services also operate in the area.
Onsite campground facilities are not available at the Arizona Roots Festival. Fortunately, there are several RV parks and campgrounds close to the festival grounds where you can find affordable sites.
The nearest RV park is less than three miles away from Rawhide Western Town. It comes with full hookups and sites that are accessible with a large RV. If you don’t mind driving a bit further away, Mesa / Apache Junction KOA is a great option. It is close to the Tonto National Monument and has some incredible horseback riding trails.
You’ll need to get around the venue on foot, so make sure you wear comfortable, flat shoes. The festival site is fully accessible, and there is a separate viewing deck for patrons with disabilities. ADA wristbands can be picked up at the medical tent or the box office.
Arizona Roots takes place in the Sonoran Desert, so you’ll need lightweight summer clothing for the daytime and warm layers for the chilly nights. Costumes that express your individuality are allowed and encouraged. However, Arizona Roots organizers request that patrons not wear headdresses inspired by Native American Culture since the festival takes place on reservation land.
The performances take place outdoors, so sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat are absolute musts. Bring a lightweight blanket that you can use to sit on or protect yourself from the night time chill. Make sure you take a valid photo ID and a card or cash to purchase food and merchandise.
Beat the dry heat of the desert by staying hydrated. Carry an empty water bottle and top it up at the free filtered water station on site. It’s a good idea to secure your belongings in the lockers that will be available for rent. You can book these in advance or at the onsite merchandise tent if they are not all booked in advance.
Cooking at your campsite can be made simple with prepared meals warmed in your RV kitchen or go all out and feed the crowd. Some of the campgrounds in the area may not allow open fires, so take a portable grill if you’d like to cook outdoors. Arizona Roots has had a general store on the festival grounds where you might be able to pick up a few snacks before heading to your campsite, but Chandler also has larger grocery stores if needed.
Chandler is a diverse, fast-developing city, and its culinary scene reflects this. Whether you want to experience the local flavors, try different cuisines, or would prefer to dine in a national chain outlet, you’ll have plenty of choices. Round out your dining experience with a delicious piece of pie or some creamy vegan ice cream.
Outside food and beverages will not be allowed into Arizona Roots, but there will be vendors on site selling festive meals, snacks, desserts, and drinks. There will also be a few restaurants and steakhouses within the venue. The place is a paradise for lovers of grilled meat, but there will be plenty of choices for vegans and vegetarians, as well.
Trained security personnel will be present on site for Arizona Roots. Bag checks will be conducted before entry into the grounds. Anyone not abiding by the festival rules or wearing inappropriate costumes will be asked to leave the premises. If you misplace something at the venue, it’s best to contact the organizers directly.
The days are often warm, but the temperature plummets drastically at night. Rain is not prominent in February, but if it does shower, there are multiple shaded areas throughout the park where you can seek shelter. It’s always a good idea to check if any weather or road alerts have been issued in the area. This way, you can head to Arizona with the appropriate clothing and gear.
There will be a centrally located first aid station on site. If you require medical assistance, ask one of the festival staff or venue employees to direct you there. Trained service animals will be allowed into Rawhide Western Town. Medically necessary items that you need to carry with you must be presented at the front gate to be inspected.