“This Modern” guitarist Thaddeus Hornung playing on stage at the Mesa Music Festival on April 13, 2023. (Photo by Diego Esquivel)

City of Mesa celebrates 6th annual music festival

The city of Mesa came together for a free three night musical festival in downtown Mesa from April 13 to April 15 which featured over 200 live performances and welcomed new emerging artists into the industry.

The Mesa Music Festival celebrated its sixth annual event after being on a four year hiatus due to COVID-19. 

The mainstreet area of downtown Mesa was greeted with a large crowd exploring the various food trucks, vendors, and live on stage music performances available at the festival. 

Indian Antao, the festival’s director, had been doing the Jersey Shore festival for 13 years, and wanted to bring the same thrill to the west coast. 

After attending the SuperBowl in Glendale in 2015, Antao discovered the city of Mesa and decided it was the perfect destination to hold his festival. The festival was meant to bring people together through music which he described as the universal language.

Not only was the festival an opportunity for the community to hear a variety of emerging artists, but performers themselves had the opportunity to network with industry professionals and build connections with those who have worked on big records. 

“You go to a lot of these big shows and you never get to meet or interact with anybody. We’re a little more boutiquey where you could run into somebody that could change your life if you start talking to the right person and they like your band,” said Antao

Antao also describes the beauty and magic of seeing bands that meet at the festival and collaborate or tour together just a year later. Networking and gaining knowledge in the industry was something that the festival strived to achieve for its participants.

Among the many groups performing was young local fusion band “This Modern”, who had the opportunity to perform in front of their home crowd on Saturday night opening for rock band “Everclear”.

 Marcus Reardon, frontman of “This Modern”, spoke to the crowd about his love for the city and growing up going to Mountain View High School. 

“I’m grateful, the city’s been so great to us. Just being born and raised here, there’s no crowd I’d rather play in front of than the city of Mesa,” said Reardon.

Reardon explained how every year, the festival brings together labels and real star treatment to the city of Mesa. 

As for his group, Reardon mentions grammy aspirations and a determination to become the biggest thing in music.

With the Mesa Music Festival back in full swing after a long layoff, the city of Mesa looks to bring the event back once again in 2024 to introduce the city of Mesa to some of the newest upcoming talent and help lead future artists into growing their fanbase.

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