The fourth annual Oro Valley Music Festival is this weekend, and there’s one big change over the past three years: It has a new home.
The two-day event — with country music on the lineup Saturday, Oct. 13, and pop and rock artists populating the lineup Sunday, Oct. 14 — moves to the much bigger, more accessible Naranja Park, 660 W. Naranja Drive off North La Cañada Drive in Oro Valley.
The festival also is tiptoeing into diversifying its lineup. Sunday opens with its first-ever EDM (electronic dance music) artist, Max Schneider, who performs under the stage name MAX.
“I’m so excited to be a part of the lineup and bring a new spice,” MAX said, describing his music as “magnificent tasty sauce.”
Kerry Dunne, who works with R Entertainment, which is putting on the event with partners iHeartRadio and Phenomenon Concerts, said he is excited about the festival’s makeover.
“We thought this new location would be a great future opportunity for us,” he said, adding that the festival also will have more food options. In past years, a half-dozen food trucks selling pizza, tacos and hot dogs and burgers were on-site.
“We’ll have traditional pizza, hot dogs, hamburgers, homemade tacos, all the way down to vegan and gluten-free opportunities,” he said. “We have something for everybody.”
Dunne is new to the project and plans to bring a fresh eye to the festival. The location is a big change, but Dunne is especially proud to present a lineup that appeals to a wide range of music tastes.
“We believe in diversity. Festivals are for people to come and sample music and acts that they may have not seen before. That’s what really drives festivals these days, the opportunity to discover new bands and new styles of music,” Dunne said. “If we have diversity, we can touch many more people than we have in the past.”
The festival will showcase a mix of country, rock, alternative rock and pop artists.
a look at the lineup:
- Headlining opening day is Tennessee native Chris Young. The “Nashville Star” winner has had a string of hits including “Gettin’ You Home (The Black Dress Song),” “I’m Coming Over,” “Voices” and “The Man I Want to Be.” His latest single, “Hangin’ On,” is in the Top 20 on the Billboard Hot Country Chart.
- Danielle Bradbery, winner of season four of “The Voice,” brings a taste of R&B and pop into her music, with hits including “Friend Zone” and her latest, “Worth It.”
- Canadian brothers Curtis and Brad Rempel make up the bluegrass-leaning High Valley (“Make You Mine,” “She’s With Me”). They describe their sound as country, infused with pop-grass.
- Cassadee Pope makes an encore appearance. She was on the lineup for the second festival in 2016. Big question: Will Pope and headliner Young share the stage for the chart-topping duet “Think of You?” “These two have a hit track. So we said, let’s get Cassadee on the bill as well. That’d be a very cool thing for the patrons for them to do a duet together,” Dunne said.
- Phoenix firefighter turned country rocker Matt Farris (“Redneck Radio”) and Tucson country singer-songwriter Drew Cooper kick things off.
- Christian rockers Switchfoot head the pop-rock lineup. The band, which scored hits off “Only Hope” from the “A Walk to Remember” soundtrack and “Meant to Live” from their multiplatinum debut album “The Beautiful Letdown,” is returning after a one-year hiatus.
- Reggae pop band, O.A.R., fresh off its summer tour with Train, brings a saxophone to the party. Expect high energy and fun.
- Genre-bending rocker Mat Kearney brings acoustic vibes and chill house grooves to his fifth studio album, “Crazytalk,” which also drops some EDM moves. He might prove to be one of the most interesting artists of the two days.
- A Great Big World may be best known for its Christina Aguilera collaboration “Say Something,” but the duo says they have plenty of tricks up their musical sleeves, including a new single dedicated to Ian Axel’s baby boy.
- MAX will infuse a little EDM into the festival. He’s the first artist in the Oro Valley Music Festival’s history to perform EDM.
- Tucson’s The Rich Berra Band kicks things off.