Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Good Life Festival at Encanterra

We had the wonderful opportunity to attend The Good Life Festival at Encanterra, in the southeast Phoenix valley. The festival featured a concert by the Beach Boys. The Beach Boys put on a fantastic show, but it was much more than that. It was the venue, the activities, and the synergy of it all that made the day a wonderful event.

Encanterra is one of a few properties in the US that has these activities. The Good Life Festival is done in the spring and features big name bands that put on a concert. The music starts in the afternoon with a couple of local bands, followed by the opener band. Then around dusk the featured band takes the stage. In this case it was some local bands followed by Steve Ansel, then the Beach Boys.
Tickets had multiple selections to choose from. Seating selections were VIP, reserved and then General Admission lawn seats. The VIP seats came with a buffet and access to upgraded restroom facilities. All of the tickets had an upgrade option for wine tasting. The stage was set up on the golf course of the community. Seating areas were divided into 3 sections. Two of the sections features white fold up chairs. The VIP section was at the very front, followed by the reserved section. There were around 10 rows of VIP, and then around 40 rows of reserved. Behind the reserved was the General Admission Lawn Seats. Here you would just sit on the grass, blanket, or fold up chair if you chose to bring one. They also rented fold-up chairs on site.
The seating area was very good. The VIP seats are so close, you are between 5-30 feet from the stage. And the reserve seats you are also very close to the stage. For the price you pay for those seats – typically $100 for VIP or $60 for reserved, they are a bargain! Any other venue, you would be paying a lot more to be that close. And at $25-$35 for General Admission seats, it is an amazing bargain as well. The General Admission seats and viewing location is still really good.
The production of the concert was very good as well. The stage had all of the equipment a band would need and that you would find at other concert venues, down to the spotlights on scaffolds behind the reserved eating. The full lighting system was great, and I was especially impressed with the sound. There were multiple speaker arrays, including subwoofers on stage, that provided a great and realistic sound, with impactful bass you would expect form a concert environment. Only the sound was better than I have experienced at other concerts. Maybe that is partially due to the open environment. Or maybe it is also due to the relative newness of the gear. After all, The Good Life Festival at Encanterra has only been going on now for a few years. And they only do around a half dozen concerts a year: a few in the spring with the big name bands, and a few lower key concerts in the fall with local bands.
Behind the seating area there are booths set up for local venders selling products and services. And then there are around a dozen food trucks to provide a variety of good food to choose from. All of this really helped to fill out the experience. There was more than just the concert.
All in all, the synergy of the event was really everything they had, such as the wine tasting, craft beer, and local vendors. And for the Beach Boys, they also had some old classic muscle cars on display. They have really worked hard to provide a fun event. There was even optional Valet parking. So you can come out, check out the model homes, the facilities, do some wine tasting and loosen up a bit, check out the local vendors, each some good food, and hang out while being entertained with some good music. You can make a day of it and have some fun. 
At the end of the day, walking back to the car after the Beach Boys, I looked around at the crowd and watched as people were walking back to their cars. It was an atmosphere of smiles, laughter, and everyone who had experienced a wonderful event. I saw what Encanterra's The Good Life Festival had tried to accomplish, and they succeeded in spades! If you have not experienced one of their concerts you need to! It was accurately named:  The Good Life Festival.  At the festival, life was good. The Beach Boys were amazing, and they didn’t miss a step. In the past they had some other great names such as Chicago, Styx, and Kenny G.  I can’t wait to see who they get next!
For more info, check out their website, as well as the websites of sister communities.  The sister communities do not have the big name concerts like The Beach Boys, but they do have fun events.