Flying Burrito Festival Review

The Flying Burrito Festival enchants Downtown Phoenix with burritos, live music and more

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Flying Burrito Festival Review

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On March 9, Downtown Phoenix exploded with character and food trucks at the second annual Flying Burrito festival. Local and national bands shredded on four stages Crescent Ballroom. The night was jampacked with 25 bands teaming up with popular food vendors to create a one-of-a-kind experience.

The six-hour long festival started with the two bands Calumet and Strange Lot serenading a crowd dawning multi-colored hair and facial piercings. In the center of the mix there was a ring with live Lucha Libre wrestling to entertain spectators.

There was also an abundance of lawn games such as a very popular bean bag toss that became a popular attraction among the festival-goers. There were perfect selfie set ups for those interested in capturing the essence of the event. The most popular of these set-ups was a tent with a life-sized burrito replica with wings along the side.

There were a number of local food vendors, including the Phoenix-based aguas frescas vendor Cantaguas. There always seemed to be a line trailing the Cantaguas tent that was manned by one of the founders Irene Gonzalez. At the tent, customers could buy hibiscus, horchata, watermelon and peach drinks and infuse them with a selection of other flavors including strawberry, coffee and many others.

The festival also offered over 50 vendors, most providing their best burritos. Some vendors like the “Lookout Tavern” were sponsored by companies like the Phoenix New Times to make an appearance, while others just participated to advertise and enjoy the laid-back atmosphere.

Over 25 bands from different genres were able to share their music with the crowd while they ate their burritos and washed it down with a cold beer.

The funk-infused band Jerusafunk was one of the anticipated bands that jammed on the Sonoran Stage. The nonet band performed songs from their latest upcoming album, as well as some personal favorites. A few of their band members attended Glendale Community College and the band started recording their songs on campus. Jerusafunk has been performing all over the Valley for the past four years, but this was the first time they had performed at the Flying Burrito Festival.

“There is a healthy mix of local and national bands. We are really happy about the lineup. Any Crescent Ballroom concert is always a good time,” Jerusafunk band member Jessie Demaree said. The band performs funk music infused with different genres from all over the world, most importantly klezmer, which is Jewish dance music. “If you’re using music, the fusion is key… Making something your own and paying respect is the best way you can perform… We want the platform to tell people about this kind of music. There is so much more rhythmically and melodically advanced music than American music,” Demaree said.

Jerusafunk enjoyed the festival thoroughly and loved the reaction of the audience.

“It seemed like a lot of people’s first time hearing out music. They stuck around and started dancing. I love the reaction from the audience seeing it for the first time,” Demaree said.

The Flying Burrito Festival was a hit, attracting people from all over the Valley. Perhaps Downtown Phoenix will host it again next year.