The Pure Imagination Festival returned to Watson Lake Park for its second edition on May 20, 2023 and took some big steps toward establishing itself as a new Prescott musical tradition. Approximately 7,000 concertgoers watched more than a dozen performances throughout the sonic spectrum. Their positive spirit reverberated from two stages as the audience enjoyed great food, drink and merchandise from a league of happy vendors.
The musical highlights were too numerous to list all, but included Ziggy Marley’s timeless reggae, Los Lobos’ Latino roots-rock, Lucinda Williams’ hard-driving folk and Nappy Roots’ vintage hip-hop. They were bolstered by stellar sets from local favorites Ponderosa Grove with its rock and soul-driven songs, Johan Glidden’s folk rock and Rachael Plays Guitar’s intriguing blend of genres. Other performers included Dirtwire, the Brummies, Jared James Nichols, Capital Cities, and Alison Russell.
The littles had a world of their own to explore on the Tiny Tunes Stage with a parade, kids’ talent show, kazoo-making and puppetry. People of all ages had a great time reveling in sunshine that held off an unusual late-May string of monsoon-like storms and an aura of peace embraced by the musicians and the eco-friendly festival. It also featured art installations and live painters, aerialists, stilt walkers, lounge spaces and dance exhibitions including one from the Hopi Water Clan Dance Troupe.
An expanded two-day Pure Imagination Festival is reportedly in the works for May 2024.