Under a fabulous Arizona fall sky, Indian Steele Park glowed during the first ever Lost Lake Festival. The Downtown Phoenix park was transformed into a fantastic wonderland with over 50 musical performances, local food, art and culture for three days in October 2017. With a focus on the local food, art and culture of Arizona, Lost Lake Festival absolutely met my hopes for this new Arizona WOW moment. The atmosphere was laid back, in only the way I know Phoenicians can be. I have been to a lot of festivals and Lost Lake absolutely exceeded expectations.
The Music at Lost Lake Festival
The musical lineup was filled with names from the past and the present that everyone could enjoy. An eclectic, curated sound that included The Pixies, Huey Lewis and the News, The Killers, The Roots, Ludacris, Lil Jon, Big Gigantic and more! Each performance was worth catching and I really wish I could have caught them all. All the music was so awesome, here are a few of the highlights!
On Friday, I had to stop and see The Pixies. I have been a fan of their music since I was in high school and they didn’t disappoint! Their haunting, punk sounds were the perfect way to close out the Piestawa Stage. Chance the Rapper ended his touring this year at Lost Lake and closed out Friday night with his poetic sound.
Saturday night for me was Huey Lewis and the News, the Roots and the night was closed out by the Killers. Huey Lewis and the News was amazing! I loved the energy of this band that was such a huge part of the soundtrack of my childhood. The Power of Love live was absolutely fantastic and the energy of the crowd was infectious Not one single person was standing still!
During the weekend I caught The Shelters, who I hadn’t really followed before. Definitely added them to my playlists. Also, I recommend tuning into local talent The Ricky Fitts. They are further evidence of the talent in Arizona.
The final day of the festival was filled with the energy of Big Gigantic and Major Lazer. Odesza was the final act of the entire weekend and the entire energy was lifted in unity and love. I have seen Big Gigantic and Odesza at other festivals but to catch them at home under the sky I love was a beautiful experience. It was a great way to end Lost Lake Festival.
The Food & Drink of Lost Lake Festival
Festival goers were rewarded with plenty of local options. The food was curated by Phoenix’s own Chris Bianco, one of my favorite food philosophers in the Valley. Bianco, a James Beard award winner, owns—amongst others—Pane Bianco, which has been one of my top three places to grab a sandwich since the mid-2000s.
With options like Casa Añejo, Clever Koi, Frites Street, Gadzooks, Churn, Pokitrition and Los Compadres, there was something for everyone and it was all guaranteed to be fresh, local and fun. I only had one dish that I wasn’t 100% sold on, but everything else was fantastic and it was great to see more than fair food available.
Chris Bianco served up a house made mozzarella and tomato sandwich that was big enough to share. Clever Koi served up amazing chow mien. Tom’s BBQ, located at The Lava Pit, served up this enormous serving of BBQ Nachos that consisted of Pork, BBQ Sauce, Nacho Cheese, Pico De Gallo, Jalapeños and homemade potato chips. Oh my!
Tacos are a festival must, in my opinion, and Los Compadres served up a fantastic potato crunchy taco with a homemade tomatillo sauce and horchata that I absolutely swooned over! How simple is a potato taco!
The Brewpark served up craft brews and backyard games! You were able to sip on a local brew and make friends over a game of LED Table Tennis or Jumbo Jenga! Nectar of the Gods was an agave experience at Lost Lake Festival. Not only was tequila available to taste, but they provided education about mescal and tequila.
Art, Culture and More at Lost Lake Festival
Lost Lake curators further focused on the talent Arizona has to offer with their Found Marketplace. Everything from The Wooden Nickel Store—an Indigenous owned and operated jewelry maker that offered unique items made from silver, shell and turquoise—to Phoenix Flower Crowns that created one of a kind made to order flower crowns the marketplace was a place to discover new local vendors!
Festival attendees could also watch live painting by local artists such as Clay Halling, J V Snyder and Lisa Von Hoffner. With murals and canvases coming to life right before our eyes, they created pieces that evolved every time you passed!
This festival was three days of fantastic food, music and art. A little something for every taste and more than I could ever share in one article. I will say that Lost Lake Festival is now one of my must attend festivals, right up there with Electric Forest in Michigan and Suwanee Hulaween in Florida.
I can’t wait for next year’s wow moments! Catch the Afterglow video for some highlights and watch the schedule for 2018 Lost Lake Festival.
As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with entry to the event for the purpose of review. While it has not influenced this review, the writer believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest.