Sidepony Express Music Festival trots into Bisbee Friday morning for a weekend packed with emerging musicians.
Anamieke and Michael Quinn first brought the festival to Bisbee eight years ago to help provide a weeked for musicians to showcase their sound in one location. Anamieke, the festival director, said she and her husband have always loved Bisbee, despite living in the Phoenix area, which is why they wanted to have the festival there.
“We wanted to find a way to bring a variety of musical acts to Bisbee in one weekend and not have it be a competition between venues,” Anamieke said. “We wanted to introduce Bisbee to our music.”
This year’s three-day festival will feature roughly 140 acts from across the Arizona, as well as the rest of the country and Mexico. Anamieke said about half the acts are from Phoenix, since that’s where the company is based.
“Sidepony is wild, incredibly unique, incredibly Arizona music festival,” said Zachary “Davey" Nelson, drummer of Tempe-based band Maybe Next Years. This is the third year he has participated in the event, he said.
“It’s so much fun to be a musician participating in the festival,” he said. “It is a wild three-day party that is unrivaled by any other event that we play in during the year.”
The acts will perform in 15 venues across Old Bisbee that span from the top of Main Srit and goes to the bottom of the gulch. The participating venues are The Screaming Banshee Pizza, The Bisbee Grand Saloon, Poco, The Copper Queen, The Stock Exchange Saloon, Copper City Saloon, The Courtyard, Old Bisbee Brewing Company, St. Elmo Bar, The Quarry, The Silver King, Grassy Park, The Jonquil Motel, Chuckleheads and the Bisbee Social Club.
“Anything you can name we have it,” Anamieke said. “It’s a rich and diverse tapestry or artistry window into ... independent music that’s happening in 2019. If you want to see something edgy before it gets popular, this is the place to see it.”
This year the festival will feature a fashion show and a “rest and recharge area.” Anamieke said the inspiration for the fashion show came last year when she was looking at the crowd and how “wonderful” they looked. The fashion show will take place on Saturday at 2 p.m, in Grassy Park. There will also be free yoga, pilates and qi-gong sessions for relaxation on Saturday.
For a full schedule of events and locations of which bands are performing visit https://sideponyexpressmusicfestival.com/schedule.