By Mia Andrea | January 4, 2022
On Hardy Drive in Tempe, the tallest story of one parking garage overlooks a business building adorned with four numbers: 8123. Some don’t think much about the address.
However, their high school hang means something to the Tempe alternative band The Maine. To their fans, those four numbers are worth celebrating.
Since in 2017, The Maine has hosted 8123 Fest, a curated music festival meant to commemorate its anniversary and highlight its label, 8123. Now the festival is returning to Phoenix for its third and biggest year yet.
While the 8123 Festival is officially just on Saturday, the festivities start as early as Thursday, January 20, and run through Monday, January 24, with events ranging from after parties to community service. Tickets for Saturday’s festival start at $55, but bundles that include admission to additional events are also on sale.
The weekend kicks off at the Rebel Lounge on Thursday, with a headlining show by indie-pop group Beach Weather, one of the supporting bands on Saturday’s all-day festival.
On Friday, The Maine will formally welcome fans to its home state and celebrate 15 years with a concert at Arizona Federal Theatre. The band is also set to play its 2021 album “XOXO: From Love and Anxiety in Real Time” in its entirety live for the first time.
The weekend’s focal point, the Saturday music festival, encapsulates everything the band creates and stands for in one weekend, according to Pat Kirch, The Maine’s drummer and self-identified super fan.
“This is kind of like Comic Con but for The Maine fans,” he says.
Attendees at 8123 Fest can expect a day filled with good music and even better friends at Downtown Phoenix’s Margaret T. Hance Park. The performances take place on two stages, one of which will host local bands, such as Breakup Shoes and Doll Skin, throughout the day.
Artists taking the main stage include pop punk group State Champs; indie-pop singer-songwriter Tessa Violet; 3OH!3, the dance-punk band best known for its 2008 hit “DONTTRUSTME” and, of course, The Maine.
Almost all the performers have toured with The Maine, which Kirch says, was meant to create an ideal environment for attendees.
“I hope that it feels like a sense of community and family,” he says. “There are people from all around the world, all walks of life… everybody may be different, but they have the same common love for music.”
If fans crave more music from the official festival’s opening acts, they can attend one last concert of the weekend on Sunday. The Crescent Ballroom will host a reunion headlining show by Valley-based The Summer Set, who hasn’t performed since 2016.
The weekend also showcases an exclusive merchandise store, an 8123 club and bar with custom cocktails, after parties at Downtown Phoenix venues each night and a day of community service to wrap it all up.
During what The Maine refers to as “8123 Impact Day,” fans are encouraged to join the band in volunteering with the nonprofit Welcome to America, which creates an accessible community for refugees.
According to Kirch, this engaging festival should be the band’s “footprint.” The strong community behind 8123 is a constant for many, and he hopes the weekend can be an escape.
“No matter what was happening on the outside, it was always like a home,” Kirch says. “It’s always something that I can come back to and always there to support what we do as a band and what I do as a person. I think that’s like a rare thing to have so many people involved in a community that can be like a home.”
WHEN: Noon Saturday, January 22
WHERE: Margaret T. Hance Park, 67 W. Culver Street, Phoenix