The Scene: Country Music in the Sonoran Desert @ Dreamy Draw 2023
By / November 13, 2023

Dreamy Draw, a much-needed country music festival in the heart of downtown Scottsdale, Arizona, made its inaugural debut November 3-4, 2023. The sunshine, mild temperatures, and loyal country music fans made for the perfect environment to host not just local favorites, but traveling country stars alike. The lineup stayed true to the country theme with stars like Midland, Trampled by Turtles, Lord Huron, Margo Price, Luke Grimes, Hailey Whitters, and many more.

Photo Credit: Kassidy Pine @kassipine

While festival season is wrapping up for most people, down here in the Sonoran Desert, it’s just getting started! The southern Arizona weather could not have been better for Dreamy Draw with highs in the mid-80s and lows in the high 50s, I would have sat in the park all day, country music or not. But there was music and it was live, raw, and fantastic.

Table Of Contents

1. Running the Numbers
2. The Scene
3. Music Highlights
4. Travel Tips
6. Final Thoughts

Photo Credit: Kassidy Pine @kassipine

1. Running the Numbers

Dates: November 3-4, 2023
Editions: 1
Artists: 25+
MFW Beer Index: $10/12-ounce beer
Highest/Lowest Temperature: 85F/60F (29C/15C)
Reusable Cups? No
Free Water Stations? Yes

Photo Credit: Kassidy Pine @kassipine

2. The Scene

The Venue
Dreamy Draw took over the Scottsdale Civic Center grounds which consists of a large mainstage and two back-to-back side stages. The venue is like a desert oasis with tall palm trees lining pathways, light-colored sidewalks, and fields of grass alongside prickly pears. All of this was surrounded by modern buildings housing museums, a performing arts center, a public library, and City Hall. There’s no kicking up dust in this grassy venue. It’s perfect for blanket laying and sky gazing. Did I mention there’s a lot of restrooms?

Photo Credit: Kassidy Pine @kassipine

The Music
A little bit Americana, some bluegrass, a sprinkle of folk, some may say a smidge of country pop, and finished off with a dollop of outlaw country. The Dreamy Draw lineup was country music at its finest.

Photo Credit: Kassidy Pine @kassipine

The Crowd
From babies (children under 6 are free) to older folk, people of all ages came out to Dreamy Draw. I saw strollers of all kinds, family date nights, young couples, old couples, party people, and a whole lot of cowboy hats, boots, and daisy dukes!

Photo Credit: Kassidy Pine @kassipine

3. Music Highlights

Acts I Caught and the Unofficial Order in Which I Enjoyed Them

  • Midland
  • Nat Myers
  • Margo Price
  • Hailey Whitters
  • Stephen Wilson Jr.
  • JD Clayton
  • Logan Crosby
  • Emily Nenni
  • Chase Wright
  • Logan Halstead

Festival Favorite: Stephen Wilson Jr. for me! This guy was not on my radar at all and I’m still baffled as to why. I’m just happy the introduction was made and I will be forever grateful. Stephen Wilson Jr. is from rural southern Indiana and now resides in Nashville. For first-time viewers of this band’s performance, you may not remember the lyrics the next day, but you will remember the emotions and truth you felt watching them perform. The lyrics are raw and crafty with some head-banging tunes. Look em up, see em!

Photo Credit: Kassidy Pine @kassipine

Most Entertaining: Margo Price screams talent. She’s magnificent at everything performance-wise. Her outfit was bedazzled and cut just right. She rocks the vocals, acoustic guitar, piano (yep), and drums! She’s such a good time to watch perform, nails it all, and her energy is radiant.

4. Stray Observations

Logan Crosby was looking “dreamy” on stage in his white shirt, black sunglasses, and slicked-back hair. Oh, and there was some drinking out of a boot.

5. Practical Info

What’s the weather like? Perfect for cowboy boots and your favorite jeans or jean skirt. Bring a light jacket or something to wrap yourself in at night. Or just dance, it’s not that cold. Average temps were 85F during the day and 60F at night.

What are the prime hours for music? Music started at 1 pm and went until 11 pm each day.

Where did you sleep? The venue is surrounded by hotels and Airbnb lodging. I used Priceline to snatch a mega deal and I stayed at a 3-star hotel within walking distance of the venue for $110 a night. No onsite camping at this festival.

How do you get there? Drove in from eastbound I-10. The drive was a breeze and there was plenty of parking in garages surrounding the venue. I left my car at the hotel and walked, but I also noticed a plethora of parking in the neighborhoods surrounding the venue as well. Bicyclists could valet their bikes near the main entrance and there was a rideshare program with easy access.

6. Final Thoughts

The lineup and venue were so impressive the first time around, I’m really looking forward to what the second year will bring. The venue has a cozy feeling but is spread out just enough that the opportunities to grow are intriguing. The mixture of perfect weather, Sonoran culture, beautiful country, a venue oasis, plenty of lodging, and good people make for the ideal country music festival situation. I felt the artists loved being in Arizona and a part of the Dreamy Draw Fest. I anticipate a lineup as good or even better next year and I can’t wait!

Photo Credit: Kassidy Pine @kassipine

Written By

Armed with only a camera and a fanny pack, you never know what festival Coco will end up at next. Our resident festival expert floats from deepwoods hippie jam fests to downtown rock bashes to dive bar showcase festivals.